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The Art of Asking Questions – Why you MUST ask questions at interviews

I always find it perplexing when people accept a permanent job, contract or gig, based on an interview or two without asking ANY questions.

Having facilitated thousands and thousands of interviews, I understand that there are many reasons that you might not ask questions.

Perhaps the interview has run over time and you need to get back to your office. Maybe the interview has been a pretty nerve wracking experience, and you cannot wait to get out of there. Or, perhaps the interviewer has not left enough time for you to ask any meaningful questions.

But by not asking any questions, you are doing yourself a disservice. After all, an interview is just as much about you, as it is about the company you are interviewing with.

11 insightful questions to ask at interview

Here are 11 questions you can ask your interviewer to give you a much stronger appreciation and insight into the company you are interviewing with, and the people who work within it:

  1. What do you love about working here?
  2. In your mind, what’s the biggest challenge the business is facing right now?
  3. How would you describe the culture or the vibe in the office?
  4. Do people within the company ever work remotely and is the company committed to flexibility?
  5. How does this company compare to others you’ve worked in?
  6. How does the company view innovation and failing fast?
  7. How you would describe the team that this role sits within?
  8. Is there a lot of cross collaboration between teams here?
  9. How social is the company? What do you get up to together after work hours (is there such a thing as “after hours” anymore??)
  10. What are the next steps in the process for this role?
  11. If I proceed to the next interview, what can I expect from that interview?

Don’t interrogate your interviewer

The questions above are not designed to be asked as a kind of cross-examination. You should of course use your emotional intelligence to decide which questions to ask and the tone you should use.

But I would argue that without asking some questions in an interview, you are not setting yourself up for success – insights you gain at an interview assist you to decide whether the company is right for you – regardless of whether the company thinks you are right for them.

Practical Tips

Quick tip for interviewees:

Before you head to your next interview, think of a couple of questions you can ask. If you haven’t asked questions in an interview before – just start with a question or 2 –  that will build your confidence.

Quick tip for interviewers:

Make sure you leave time at the end of the interview for interviewees to ask questions. The questions asked are likely to give you some further insight into the candidate you are interviewing.

Have you got some “go to” questions you ask at interview? Share your feedback in the comments section below. 


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