How To Ask an Interviewer Questions

During an interview, you should want to get to know as much about the company/team/environment you could potentially be working for as much as the interviewers want to get to know you. And because it works both ways, it's good for you to ask the right questions to find out what you need to know. This way the interview doesn't become an interrogative setting to your disadvantage. Instead it will just be a conversation where two parties chat.

Of course you have to bear in mind what kind of interviewers you get. Inexperienced interviewers will throw questions at you without expecting any in return. Regardless, it's good to narrow down your list of questions and ask these interviewers what you truly want to know towards the end of your interview. The more experienced interviewers will expect you to ask questions because it shows that you are proactive, interested, and keen (all positive traits for a job).

So what kind of questions should you ask? First of all you need to think about the company. It is always good to find out as much as you can about the company you're interviewing with before the interview. Then think about your current work experiences and how they relate to this new company. Is there anything you don't want to experience again? What traits are you looking for in your new job/coworkers/boss? Once you've done your homework, you may want to ask the following questions:

  1. What is the company culture like? What is the team culture like? These questions will give you an idea of the kind of environment you'll be in.

  • What kind of clients will we (the team) be working with? What is the client structure - and how does that affect the team structure? You want to be prepared for what to expect in terms of who you'll be servicing on a day-to-day basis. This is true for most industries (although not all).
  • Is there a potential for growth? Most interviewers will undoubtedly answer "yes" to this question. The good thing is that, they'll also throw in "why" they feel that way. Based on those reasons you can gage how much growth you may face as a company, as a team, and as an individual.
  • What is the history of your company? Today there are hardly any companies without extensive websites. If, however, you couldn't find anything about the company you're interviewing for, by all means ask about the history. You'll find out how it came to be, and in many ways figure out the future of the company as well.
  • How do you feel about (current company situation on the news)? This type of question shows that you've done your homework. Of course you shouldn't just ask about a headline you read about the company. You need to know to a certain extent what is happening to/at the company, how the media is reacting, and then find out how your interviewer feels about it. This type of question is only recommended if you truly are curious, and have read enough to know the situation.
  • What do you expect from (the position you're interviewing for)? It's good to ask this question (especially towards the end of your interview) because it sums up the most important things you need to know from your interviewer. This way, you can basically tell whether or not you can fulfill his/her needs during the job. Even if you have no experience in fulfilling those needs, you know you can polish up on them after you know what they are.
  • Above all, maintain a pleasant appearance, and be polite and assertive when asking questions.


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