“Do you have any questions for me?” It’s one simple question that often throws interviewees for a loop. It can feel intimidating when this question comes your way. However, it presents a great opportunity to learn more about the company and its role. We’ve outlined 12 job interview questions for you to ask throughout each stage of the interview process. You will never be left speechless again!
Phase 1: Screening (Phone Interview)
The first phase of the interview process is typically a screening or phone interview that includes a brief exploratory conversation to determine eligibility for the role. To prepare for this call, research the company and decide what job interview questions you should ask ahead of time. Consider asking the following:
- Is this a new role, or will I be taking over for someone who is leaving? Understand the nature of the position you’re interviewing for. It might change your perspective or lead to additional questions that can be asked later on.
- What are the common attributes of your top performers? Great candidates also want to be great long-term employees. Asking this question will provide valuable insights into the type of candidate a company is looking to hire.
Phase 2: Skills Test
Depending on the company, the next phase of the interview process might include a skills test to verify knowledge and performance abilities. Once you’ve completed your skills test, consider emailing your point of contact the following questions:
- What does the performance review process entail? Asking this question after completing a skills test will show that you care about your performance and are receptive to feedback. You should also follow up on this question by asking how often management will formally evaluate your efforts.
- Will there be opportunities to learn new skills? Smart candidates let the company know that growth and development are at the forefront of their minds. Be sure to mention your desire to learn new skills.
Phase 3: In-person Interview
The in-person interview phase includes a 1:1 in-office or virtual meeting with the hiring manager. This is your opportunity to dive a little deeper into the role and get your position-specific questions answered. Here are a few of the specific job interview questions you should ask:
- What are a few things that drive the company? Make it known that you want to know what truly makes a difference in the company. This lets the hiring manager know that you’re dedicated to the company’s success as much as your own.
- What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days? Prove that you’re a candidate who’s ready to hit the ground running. Take detailed notes and emphasize your desire to get started right away.
- How do you plan to deal with ___? Every business faces significant challenges. If there’s a particular setback taking place, like supply chain bottlenecks or data breaches, ask about those challenges specifically.
Phase 4: Group Interview
Oftentimes, companies want potential candidates to meet additional team members to further evaluate the job and culture fit. Prepare questions that allow you to understand the organization better and the people you’ll be working closely with. For example:
- How would you describe the work environment here? This question will give you an idea of the company culture directly from the employees who contribute to it. Take note of the body language and expressions of each employee who is answering to gauge authenticity.
- What resources are in place to encourage employee development? The answer to this question may differ depending on the person answering. Hopefully, the employees will be able to provide honest feedback on training, conferences, and other opportunities that encourage growth.
- What direction do you see the company heading in? Get a read on whether or not the company has clear goals outlined. Also, try to determine whether or not employees are actively working towards reaching those goals.
Phase 5: Group Presentation
There’s a chance the final interview round will require presenting on a topic of the hiring manager’s choice. At this point, the hiring team will have a strong sense of the skills you bring to the table. Leave the hiring manager with these remaining questions:
- Is there any other information I can provide to help you make a decision? Let the interviewer know that you are open to answering any other questions you may not have covered previously.
- What are the next steps? Be sure to outline the next steps of the process together. This should include the estimated timeline for when the company plans to make a decision.
Interviewing is, without a doubt, one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in life. It pays to be prepared every step of the way. If you’d like a little extra information to help you feel at ease, we recommend reading about Why Recruiters Are Your Key To Successful Interview Preparation.