Interviews are always a source of nervousness, no matter how many you’ve been to. It’s understandable that as soon as the hiring manager says, “do you have any questions for me?” You’re ready to say no and run out of there. Sometimes answering that question (with questions of your own) can give you a boost in your likelihood of getting hired.
Even though an interview is directed towards the job candidate, it’s also a way for you to assess if the job is right for you. Asking the hiring manager questions hits two birds with one stone—the hiring manager appreciates your curiosity and you can receive valuable information that can help you decided if you want to work there.
Certainly, some questions are more suitable to ask than others. Before we dive into a shortlist of good questions to ask the hiring manager, let’s start with what not to ask.
Firstly, never inquire about the potential benefits of the job, like pay, because it will seem as though you already received the job offer before the first interview is even over. It comes off as a bit overconfident.
Asking about anything that is relatively obvious is also a red flag. If the information is easily accessible elsewhere, like the companies website, you should have already done your due diligence. If you haven’t, then the hiring manager might get the idea that you lack true dedication to the role you’re applying for.
Ask Questions About the Company
What distinguishes this company from other companies?
Hiring managers like to see that you have an interest in not only the company values but also how they approach competition and originality in the field.
What is the company culture like?
Knowing the environment of a company not only allows you to understand the general interaction between employees in the company but also gives the hiring manager a chance to share insight about the company’s values in their workers and overall culture. This question is valuable in figuring out how well you will integrate into the company.
How does company management work?
Many job positions are slightly overstated, with no mention of manager dynamic or what part of the corporate food chain your position is located. Asking about management provides information concerning whether you’ll be working with a collaborative team or under one or more supervisors. The more specific details you try to dig into about the management, the more likely you are to convey curiosity and enthusiasm about integrating with role. The hiring manager may feel as if you’re already preparing to start working there before a decision has been made.
Ask Questions About the Job Position
What is the daily schedule generally like for this position?
Not only does this reveal a desire to equip yourself for the responsibilities, but it also gives you a grasp on whether the work structure and atmosphere is appropriate for you. You never want to accept a job offer before knowing what to anticipate.
What role does this position have in the overall company structure?
With this question, you are attempting to explore the value of your position. How do the tasks involved fit into the grand scheme of the company? What will your role contribute to the brand?
What type of individual is the ideal candidate for this job?
To conceptualize a theoretical “perfect” candidate to aspire to, ask this question. The most common concern about applying to a job or undergoing an interview is the uncertainty: What is the company looking for? Am I a good fit for the role?
By asking this, you get a sense of the standards to live up to. The hiring manager can also observe your interest in aspiring to be this ideal candidate.
Ask Questions About the Hiring Manager
How long have you been with the company?
Hiring managers love this question. Even though it seems like a short answer will suffice, this question tends to trigger a detailed response because of the assumption that you want the background of the hiring manager’s work at the company. Most are happy to relay their experiences. You could learn some captivating nuggets of intel, like how strongly the hiring manager feels about their job and the company values—which brings us to the next question.
What company values resonate with you the most?
Although the hiring manager may touch on this throughout the interview, this question probes at the hiring manager’s personal connection to the company’s aims and goals. From the response and level of enthusiasm, you can assess the alignment between the company and its employees.
Questions to Ask for Self-Reflection
What can I do to meet and exceed your expectations?
As direct as this may feel to say, the hiring manager will appreciate a question that shows a desire to cooperate and meet the company halfway. Whatever the reply is, it will be immensely useful in either going above and beyond the job expectations if the company offers the job, or improving your performance for other jobs.
Try to remember3-5 of these questions. Ask enough to show a certain level of genuine curiosity and propel engagement between you and the hiring manager. Make sure the questions you ask are things you actually care to learn the answers to. Remember: questioning the hiring manager isn’t just to hold up the image of a fantastic potential job candidate, but it’s also to give you insight into the company’s inner workings.