Want to Impress a Hiring Manager? Ask These Questions During an Interview

26,971 Views
Young woman at a job interview talking with two developers.
vgajic/Getty Images

After sending off dozens and dozens of job applications, you finally get that call asking to schedule an interview.

Yes!

You select the right outfit to wear, practice your elevator pitch and think ahead about your answers to the questions they’ll likely ask.

Good job!

You get to the interview, and it seems like you’re making a positive impression on the recruiters and giving all the right responses.

Wonderful!

But don’t start celebrating yet.

Because instead of shaking your hand and welcoming you to the company, they then turn the tables on you.

“Do you have any questions for us?”

And you freeze.

Well, hopefully that isn’t the case. Ben Brooks, career coach and founder and CEO of career-improvement company Pilot, said it looks bad if you don’t have any questions on hand during a job interview.

“Not having questions says, ‘I’m coasting, not paying attention and lacking critical thinking skills, and will be mindless once you hire me,’” he said.

So what should you say? Brooks shares some advice on how you can shine in your next interview.

Here Are the Questions You Should Ask

Brooks laid out some go-to questions you can ask during an interview. They’ll show your interest in the position and the company, plus they’ll help you gauge whether or not you could truly see yourself working there.

  • ​What kind of people get ahead here, and why?
  • What are the traits of your dream/ideal employee?
  • Can you see me fitting in with the team?
  • Beyond the core job duties, what are the things you really want to accomplish and achieve with this role?
  • Tell me what you love and hate about the culture here?

What’s Off Limits

Keep in mind, not all questions are good questions. You want to make a positive impression on the hiring managers, so what you ask should reflect that.

“Avoid any sort of criticism of the business model, strategy, brand or product,” Brooks said. “Phrase things in the positive, with open-ended questions.”

Watch out for questions that show your interest in the job doesn’t align with the goals of the company. For example, questions that just focus on company benefits may be a “poker game tell” that your intentions are misplaced, Brooks said.

“If you are really worried about summer Fridays,” he said, “it shows your focus is on benefits and time off, not the work itself.”

And remember to prioritize what you’d like to ask ahead of time. Brooks said to use the assumption that you’ll only get to ask one or two questions — though it’s always good to be prepared with more.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.