The Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
“What questions do you have for me?”
Beads of sweat start to form on your forehead.
Yup, you forgot to prepare for this part of the interview. Most people do.
But this can often times be the most critical question you can answer in an interview.
Here are 3 key reasons why:
It’s an opportunity for you to determine if the company is a fit for you. Remember, an interview goes BOTH ways. You want to make sure this is a company you want to join too.
It gives you an opportunity to show you’ve done your research on the company and it can showcase your critical thinking skills
It gives you a chance to drive next steps on the interview and to get active feedback
With that said, I’ve put together the top 20 sample questions you can ask an interviewer that should help you crush it in the interview:
What’s the long term vision of the company? This is a great question because it shows that you’re interested in learning about the long term plans of the company. You’ll want to join a company that has a sustainable business plan and innovative set of products to differentiate itself from the competition. Why? Because successful companies built for the long term present you with more learning, growth and financial opportunities. Think about it, if a company is struggling financially in the short term, do you think it’ll be a great place to work? Probably not!
How will the company drive innovation? Let’s face it, in this day and age, if a company isn’t innovating, it’s probably dying. Make sure you understand exactly what the company is doing to continue to push the envelope in innovation. Joining a company that has a culture of disruption and innovation is critical to long term success.
How would you describe the leadership team? The executive team and leaders of the company make a huge impact on the direction of the company in terms of strategy and culture. Make sure you get a deep understanding of what the leadership team is like. For example, if the leadership team is really fun, empathetic, hard working and innovative, that might be exactly the type of work culture you want to join. (Sign me up please!)
What are the core values for this company? One of the most important things you’ll learn in life is the importance of establishing your values. Your core values define who you are and what actions you should take. For examples, my core values are focused around my impact to the world (giving back), financial freedom, health and building deep relationships (with loved ones). Whenever I’m interviewing a company, I ask what their core values are and if they don’t align with mine, then I know it’s not a good fit. If it does, then I yell out “woohoo!” and join them. Ok, maybe I don’t that, but you get the idea.
What is the current revenue and year over year growth of the company? This questions is extremely helpful if you’re interviewing with a startup or a private company. (For public companies you can just look at their earnings statements). The reason is because you want to get an idea of how successful they’ve been so far. Revenue is a solid indicator, but not the only one of course, because you can have a good revenue number that shows you’ve made progress in the market, but if you have negative year over year growth, that could indicate that business isn’t doing that well actually. So ideally, you’re joining a company with a proven business model (with revenue) that is growing at a fast pace year over year.
What makes someone a top performer in my role? You should already have an idea of the answer to this because the job description will state what’s needed from the person in this role, BUT the reason this is a great question is because it gets the interviewer to provide answers on what he/she thinks will make this person successful. And that’s really critical because you can then come back with a statement of exactly how you’ll be successful in this role using the criteria the interviewer called out.
What has been one of the top challenges you’ve faced at this company? This is a great question because you’ll want to get insight on both the good and the bad. By delving into one of the company’s top challenges, you’ll get a view into what’s currently a top of mind issue for the company and if you’re able to solve this problem, you’ll be able to demonstrate a huge amount of value. Even if you can’t, it’s still good to know what the potential challenges are and how that might affect your view of the job.
What type of growth and learning opportunities will I have in the company? If you want to challenge yourself to grow and advance, this question is hugely important. For example, does it usually take 5-10 years for someone to get promoted to management? How hard is it to move into different roles, for example from operations to product? How does the company feel about mentorship?
Based on our conversation today, do you feel I am a fit for the company? Don’t be shy, ask for direct feedback! This will give you an idea of where you stand in the process and it’ll show you serious about the role. Show that you want it!
What are the next steps in the interview process? Let them guide you through the process so you’re not left wondering what to do next. After all, isn’t it painful sitting around wondering what happens next in the process?
Lastly, don’t forget, after the interview is over, sending the interviewer a nice note summarizing these elements:
Thank them for their time
Write a personal message to them based on your conversation (for example, maybe you bonded over your discussion on colleges)
Remind them how you’re going to drive value for the company in this role in 3 bullet points
Tell them you’re really interested in joining the company for this role
Need even more help in preparing for your interview? Check out my other post “500 Interview Questions and Answers” - I wrote this with a Fortune 100 HR expert.
I hope this helps you in your interview!