Sweaty palms time.
The hiring manager has been grilling you with devilish interview questions for the past 45 minutes.
In fact, when answering those, you felt a lot like Neo from the Matrix bending backward and dodging the bullets.
You’ve finally made it to the end. The interviewer asks, Do you have any questions for me?
You stutter and say, No, I think I’m good.
Three weeks later, you’re back to job search sites and waking up at four AM.
In short, you came off unprepared and disinterested in the role. That made the hiring manager go with another candidate.
Don’t stress, though.
You’re about to see a whopping 41 questions to ask an interviewer that will help you start work on Monday (spoiler alert: you don’t have to ask them all.)
Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
Here’s a fun fact:
A mind-boggling 30 percent of job seekers leave a job within the first 90 days of starting.
Another 43 percent say their day-to-day role isn’t exactly what they expected.
That’s because they didn’t do a little interviewing of their own or asked softball questions.
That made them go with a job that was miles away from ideal.
There are 16 robust questions you can ask, so you know exactly what you’ll do.
- Can you walk me through my typical day if I got the job?
- Is there anything you’d like to tell me about the position that wasn’t in the job ad?
- Do you expect or allow employees to work overtime?
- Can you tell me more about my prospective direct manager?
- What’s the onboarding process like for recruits?
- How many people are there on the team?
- Do you think the scope of this job will change shortly?
- Where do you see the position going in the upcoming 12-24 months?
- Why did the company decide to open the position right now?
- How long has the position been open for?
- How long do people stay in this position?
- How many people have left or been let go from this job in the last year?
- Who do you think I’ll be working with the most closely?
- What’s the single most challenging part about the job?
- Name the top 3 things that are the most rewarding about the job.
- Will I get to enjoy some variety from day to day or my work will be similar most days?
Once you have a bird’s-eye view on the role you wish to fill, you can move on to more general interview questions.
Sniff out If the Company Is the Right Cultural Fit for You
Want some more whopping stats?
As many as 32 percents of job seekers are willing to take a 10 percent pay cut to work for a company that’s a great fit for them, culture-wise.
If you work in an environment that doesn’t match your character, you won’t be able to utilize your full potential.
Worse, there’s a good chance you’ll stall in your career, and as a result, feel frustrated and unhappy.
Before you take a leap of faith and sign the contract, do some digging and figure out what the company culture is like.
- Can you tell me a few things about the company culture? What makes it different from others?
- What are your core values? (make sure you can’t look them up on the company site.)
- I wanted to know if you base your innovation process more on the ‘move fast and break things’ style or quality and precision?
- How do you evaluate employees’ performance? Do you use OKRs or some other methodology?
- How do employees get feedback on their work? Do managers tend to sugarcoat things or give raw feedback?
- Can you describe the company’s overall management style? Are managers more hands-on or off with direct reports?
- How many people have left the company or been let go in the last six months? Why do you think those people left the company?
- Is the company growing?
- Is the management transparent about the company plans, revenue generated, etc.,?
- Would you say employees work mostly on their own or the work environment is more collaborative?
- Did you have a team integration event recently?
There are no wrong or right answers.
But—depending on what you hear from the hiring manager, one company or another could be a better option for you professionally.
Ask About Training and Professional Development
Here’s the bitter truth:
Some companies invest every once of their energy to help employees grow their skillsets they could showcase on their resume later on.
Others train people to do certain things and keep them in the role until the wheels drop off.
If you hit a plateau, it’ll dent your value proposition, and as a result, there will be only so many things you can do for a company.
Before you pull the trigger on the job offer, find out if you’ll be able to grow as a professional.
- Did top performers in this role move to other (senior) roles?
- Will I be getting training? How will it be implemented?
- Will I get a mentor?
- Do you offer training programs for employees?
- Are there advancement or professional development opportunities within this role? Can you give a specific example of an employee who held the position and then moved up the ladder?
- Is there a career path for the position? How long does it take to “level up”?
- Are there opportunities for professional development? If so, what do those look like?
Grill the Interviewer with the Interview Process Questions
You want to escape the interviewer ASAP.
If you don’t sew up the details about the recruitment process, you will wish you had.
So—make sure you ask some of the below questions:
- What’s the next step in the recruitment process?
- How long does your recruitment process take on average?
- How do you typically onboard recruits?
- What would be the ideal starting date if I got the job?
- Do you have any additional questions about my previous experience, fit or otherwise?
- Who should I stay in touch with as things move forward?
- When will I hear back from you?
So—What Do You Think?
There you have it.
A whopping 41 questions to ask an interviewer and land a job.
While you don’t have to ask them all, make sure to ask the interviewer at least four questions (one from each category.)
What’s your experience with job interviews? Do you ask more of softball questions, or you grill the interviewer with hard-to-dodge questions?
Let me know in the comments. Let’s chat!
Max Woolf is a career expert at ResumeLab. He’s passionate about helping people land their dream jobs through the expert career industry coverage.
In his spare time, Max enjoys biking and traveling to European countries. You can hit him up on LinkedIn.