10 Smart Job Interview Questions That Work For You

So you’ve made it through the job interview and skillfully shared how your experience and qualifications make you the right candidate for the job. It’s about to wrap up but you know that there is one last question coming your way.

“Do you have any questions?”

The worst answer you can give here is “No”.

This is your moment.

While hopefully you have asked questions along the way to clarify details of the job NOW is the time to truly show your interest in the position, clarify outstanding concerns and set yourself apart from other applicants.

It is also your opportunity to ensure this employer is the right fit for you.

You are interviewing the employer as much as they are interviewing you.

First a few important tips:

  • Mentally prepare yourself ahead of time with several questions so that they flow easily at the end of the interview. (Be careful that you don’t have only one question in mind in case it was already answered.)
  • Research the company and their business. The interviewer will know right away if you ask questions that would be easily answered if you had done your homework. On the other hand it can show initiative if you ask a question based on what you have learned.
  • Use your best judgment regarding how many questions to ask and which ones. Ask those that are really important to you and that you feel will help you confirm this job or place of employment as a good fit for you.
  • Make your questions conversational. Ask them in your own words and ask follow-ups if it makes sense and fits into the conversation.
  • Be sincere with your questions. Your interviewer will be able to tell if you are asking questions “just because” versus genuine interest.
  • Don’t keep your interviewer too long. Read the situation and don’t keep asking questions just for the sake of it. They may be on a schedule and you could turn a positive impression to negative very quickly. While there is no set number of questions that is considered ideal, keep 3 to 5 in mind.
  • Don’t waste your interviewers time. If for some reason during the interview process you have determined that this is not the job for you (even if offered), feel confident to pass on asking any questions.

Ask Your Interviewer These Questions and Why

  1. Is there anything else I can tell you or clarify regarding my qualifications or fit for the job?

This demonstrates to the interviewer that you are eager and sincere in your interest. It also gives them the opportunity should they think of something additional to ask. Caution: Be prepared for a one word answer to this i.e. “no”. Don’t read anything into this. It may simply mean they have everything they need.

  1. What do you see as the most critical tasks/projects to be tackled in the first 3 to 6 months?

This shows you are ready to get started and interested in making a contribution.

  1. How do you evaluate employee performance? Is there a formal performance review process?

Why it’s a good question:

This indicates that performance is important to you and that you understand that your performance may be measured. In turn, it lets you know whether there is a formal process in place and if your work will actually be monitored.

  1. Is there a formal training/orientation process? Who will be doing this?

The answer to this will tell you a lot about the company and the fit for you. You may be comfortable if you find there is no defined process. On the other hand give a little thought to what it might mean to your success if there is little or no support to get started.

  1. Are there instances where you support employees with professional development through training or continued education?

This let’s your interviewer know that you are interested in furthering your skills and indicates to you whether you can expect this employer to invest in their employees.

  1. Can you tell me about your plans for new business or growth?

This question is a good one but tricky. Definitely don’t ask this if it’s been covered in the interview. Some positions become available because of growth so you should know this already and may have discussed. Also not every company is in growth mode. Most however have plans for continuing or new business or tweaking/improving their offerings. The answer to this question should help provide insight as to where the company is headed and lets the employer know you have an eye on the future.

  1. How would you describe your company culture?

How your interviewer answers this question can be just as important as what they actually say. If they respond quickly and openly and maybe even enthusiastically it could be a good indication that they enjoy the culture and are proud to work there. If they stumble or can’t answer the question easily, it may be an indication that there isn’t a strong culture or that they are uncomfortable to admit what it is.

  1. What do you enjoy most about working here?

Once again this demonstrates your interest in joining the company but more importantly will give you some insight into organization beyond the job. It allows you to connect with your interviewer on a more personal level and can help you stand out from other candidates.

  1. Do you have any hesitation about my qualifications?

This question shows that you are open to feedback, which is desirable in an employee. It also demonstrates confidence considering that they might give you an indication you are not the right candidate. For you this is an important opportunity to clarify or provide additional information if they express hesitation.

  1. What is the next step in hiring the process? Can you tell me about the timeline?

This confirms your interest in the job. And let’s be honest – knowing how long you may have to wait to hear anything can save a lot of wondering!

There is probably no end to the questions you could ask. Just make them smart ones!

Questions should confirm your interest in the job and/or help you determine if this is the place for you.

Don’t forget to finish up the interview with a confirmation of your interest, a thank you, and a smile!

Hopefully the job is yours!





Post by Margaret Johnston, eventswork.com

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


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