Need good questions to ask in an interview? Try these.

Job interviews are a two-way street. They are both the HR manager's chance to see if you are the right fit for their company and your chance to see if the company is a good fit for you.

With any interview, the easiest way to show a recruiter or hiring manager that you have what it takes to succeed is to arrive prepared; part of this means coming armed with a few intelligent questions up your sleeve that you can ask at the end of the interview. By taking the time to ask a few questions, you'll show the recruiter that you've done your research, have a sincere interest in the role and are an employee who takes initiative.  

What you ask in an interview can tell an HR manager a lot about your character, so the trick is to not just ask questions for the sake of asking, but to ask the right questions. For example, you don't want to jump the gun and start asking about salary or employee benefits right off the bat, as this will come later in the process. As a general rule, you want to avoid focussing on yourself and instead show the HR manager you want to know more about them, the company and the role. 

If you're keen to impress an HR manager and are interested in good questions to ask in a job interview, read on and be ready to hear the words 'Do you have any questions for me?'

1. What is the typical career path for someone in this role?

This is a fantastic question to ask at the end of a job interview as it shows you have a long-term outlook, are interested in career progression and are taking the job and the interview seriously.

2. What do you think are the most important qualities someone needs to succeed in this role?

This is a great way to gain a better understanding of the new position and the skills you will need to be successful. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss any qualities or skills of yours that you may not have mentioned thus far in the interview.

3. Why do you like working for the company?

Hiring managers are great at pitching the company to potential employees, but it's always compelling to hear what they say when you turn the tables and ask them what they personally like about it. Plus, it shows that you are interested in the experience of being part of the company, not just having a job.

4. How would you describe the company culture?

Companies vary dramatically in workplace culture from one to the next. If you're spending nine hours a day with your colleagues, you definitely want to find a workplace that suits your personality and your working style. Asking about the company culture will give you an understanding of the team and the social aspects of the role, which will give you a good idea of whether or not this is somewhere you want to be.

5. What are your expectations for the role over the next six months to a year?

This is an excellent question to ask in an interview because it demonstrates your proactiveness. It also helps you because meeting your manager's expectations early on in a new job is crucial to your success. Therefore, gaining a clear understanding of what is expected of you before you've even started is a sure-fire way to get a head start. 

6. What are the next steps in the interview process?

If you're aware of the company's hiring process and usual timeframes, you will know when to follow-up and when to hold back. Asking this question will ensure you maintain proper etiquette that is appropriate for the specific company you are interviewing with.

7. What are some of the challenges that come with the role?

It's good for candidates to be aware of the challenges that previous employees in this role have faced. By asking this question at the end of an interview, you will be better prepared when you start. It also shows the hiring manager or employer that you're the type of person to see a challenge and overcome it.

8. How does the role fit within the overall structure of the company?

This question will tell you more about direct reporting lines and where your department or office fits in the greater scheme of things. It will also give you insight as to whether career progression is possible.

9. How is performance tracked and reviewed?

Knowing what is expected of you and how it is measured is important. This question also shows the HR manager that you care about how you perform in the role.

10. What are the most rewarding aspects of working for this company?

This is a good interview question to ask as it will give you insight into the company culture, the team and the benefits of the role.

11. Can you tell me about the history of the role?

This question is geared towards finding out how long previous employees have stayed in the role and whether they progressed internally or left to work for another company. It will give you a good understanding of your own potential progression.

12. How does this position support the management team?

Asking about the management structure and how your role reports to it shows your understanding of good employee/management communication and your awareness of the internal 'food chain'. It also shows that you're interested in how the company works as a whole, rather than focussing solely on your position. 

13. What would you say is the steepest learning curve in this role?

This is a good question to ask the hiring manager in an interview because it's something that will serve you well if you are successful. Knowing what you are up against going into the job will only mean you are better prepared to tackle it once there.

14. How is feedback delivered and managed in the company?

Feedback is important no matter what job you do. It serves as your own personal guide to let you know how you are performing and how your managers view your performance. By asking about internal feedback processes, you are letting the HR manager know you are open to receiving feedback and want to improve your performance over time.

15. How does this role contribute to the company's short and long-term goals?

This question shows that you are a team player and that you care about how you can contribute to the success of the company.

Concluding thoughts

This may seem like a lot to remember, but taking the time to prepare intelligent questions to ask at the end of an interview is your best path to success. By asking the right questions, you will show the interviewer that you are professional and have a sincere interest in the role; you will also find out everything you need to know about the role so you can leave the interview with clarity on whether or not you are suited to the company.

Now it's over to you! Go ahead and choose a few questions from this list and take them with you to your next interview for your best chance at success.

Before you tackle the interview, you need a strong CV that will get you there. Submit your CV for a free critique and let TopCV tell you where you stand.

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