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What are Good Questions to Ask in an Interview? (Tips and Examples)

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What are Good Questions to Ask in an Interview? (Tips and Examples)

by CVMaker

  • Job interview
  • · February 14 2024
  • · 9 min read
Good questions to ask in an interview

Table of contents

Imagine yourself sitting in a conference room, across from the interviewer who is awaiting your questions as the conversation wraps up. As the interview winds down, the employer will likely ask, ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ Take this opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the positions, as it could play a crucial role in assessing whether this company aligns with your career aspirations. Asking thoughtful questions shows your genuine interest, proactive thinking, and ability to have a meaningful conversation.

If you're unsure about what are the good questions to ask at a job interview or how to approach the interview confidently, our tailored guide is here to help. It offers practical tips, real-world examples, and job-specific questions to help you succeed in the interview and leave a lasting impression.

See our related article on negotiating a salary offer for more guidance on your perks and income questions.

Tips on how to ask good questions during a job interview

Whether you are a school leaver, undergraduate, graduate, or a seasoned professional looking to advance your career, these tips can provide valuable guidance.

1. Personalise your questions

When preparing your questions, ensure they are specific to the company and role you are applying for. We suggest you bring up a few details from your research, such as recent company projects, company culture, and the organisation’s position in industry trends. Doing so would demonstrate your genuine interest and enthusiasm for the position.

Example:

Could you tell me more about AuroraTech Ventures Ltd's recent paymet transactions project mentioned on your website?

This question is tailored to the company and role, showcasing your knowledge and commitment to learn and grow to your employer.

2. Prepare your questions in advance

Get ready by considering what might come up during the interview and having a list of all potential questions ready. Doing so shows you're proactive and ensures you always have a topic to bring up. Having well-prepared questions indicates that you're serious about the opportunity and have taken the time to understand the company and its needs.

Example:

During my research on EvergreenEco PLC I was intrigued by the recent marketing campaign project mentioned on your website. Could you share more insights into how this initiative aligns with the team's goals, and how my role might contribute to its success?

This question reflects the candidate's specific research on the company, showcasing genuine interest and a desire to understand the company's projects and goals.

3. Keep the conversation going

Engage in active conversation by listening carefully to the interviewer and asking specific questions. This is your chance to showcase your strong communication skills, reflecting your genuine interest in the role and organisation. Remember to keep it brief and keep your conversation natural throughout the interview. Stay flexible, respond to the conversation, and use the manager's information for follow-up questions.

Example:

Based on what you've shared previously about the company's expansion to other markets, how do you envision this impacting the team dynamics and potential opportunities for collaboration with other companies?

This question demonstrates the candidate's active listening and critical thinking abilities, showcasing their capacity to process information quickly and engage in meaningful dialogue.

4. Show that you've done your homework

Conduct comprehensive research on the company's values and recent developments before the interview. Utilise resources such as their newsletter, social media channels, or official website for this purpose. Incorporate this information into your questions to emphasise your dedication and show you understand what a company does. Demonstrating familiarity with the company bolsters your credibility and indicates a sincere desire to align your skills with their objectives.

Example:

I read about Momentum Enterprises PLC's commitment to sustainability. Can you share how this value translates into the company's day-to-day operations?

This question demonstrates familiarity with the company's values, showing candidate's credibility and desire to align their skills with the company's objectives.

Explore our related blog article on top skills employers look for in your application to help you answer the questions related to expertise for your next interview.

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Pro tip

Avoid yes-or-no questions, as you can usually find such information on the company's website. Instead, focus on information that was missing in the job description or not mentioned earlier in the interview.

What are good questions to ask an interviewer?

Whether you want to start working for a start-up or a large organisation, prepare insightful questions in advance to ensure you're ready for your interview. Employers typically expect candidates to have questions ready, so jot down any that come to mind beforehand. Avoid repeating questions the interviewer has already addressed. Keep your inquiries short and relevant to ensure a smooth, engaging conversation that demonstrates genuine interest. Remember to maintain a natural flow and showcase your eagerness to learn more about the position and work environment.

See below the smart question to ask based on several scenarios for a job interview in the UK:

Career change:

  • How does the company support employees transitioning to new career?

  • How can I apply my transferrable skills and knowledge from previous role in your organisation ?

Explore our career change article for additional insights to craft a strong CV and prepare effectively for your next job interview.

First job offer :

  • What are your expectation for me in this role for the first month?

  • How does the company foster collaboration among team members?

Refer to our blog article providing career advice for recent graduates entering the workforce, offering guidance on thriving in your new role and fostering collaboration in your first workplace.

Part-time work:

  • Does you company offer flexible work hour arrangements for part-time roles?

  • Could you elaborate on how part-time positions integrate into the team's workflow?

See our part-time article for strategies on managing part-time work schedules and enhancing your CV for the next job application.

After redundancy:

  • How does the company support staff who have been made redundant in their previous companies?

  • What support does the company provide for individuals transitioning back into employment after redundancy?

Discover useful strategies and resources from our article on best strategies after facing a job redundancy to navigate job loss and successfully transition back into the workforce.

After unemployment:

  • What resources or support does the company offer to individuals seeking employment after a period of unemployment?

  • Could you explain any programmes or initiatives the company has to help individuals re-enter the workforce after unemployment?

Explore our article on how to explain unemployment on a CV for practical tips and resources to support your job search journey after a period of unemployment.

3 role-specific examples to ask during a job interview

1. Good questions for students to ask during an interview 

Growth opportunities:

  • Do you provide mentorship programs for professional development training for entry-level employees?

  • How does the organisation assist the growth of employees who are new to the industry?

Company culture:

  • Could you tell me more about the company culture and how it fosters a positive environment for career starters?

  • How do company values reflect the day-to-day operations, particularly for those with little experience?"

Role expectations:

  • What do you feel are some of the best perks of the position?

  • What is the most challenging or interesting company project they have worked on?

Refer to the student CV and student cover letter guides for more information on how to tailor your application to an entry-level role.

2. Good questions to ask in a sales job interview 

Sales strategies:

  • How does the company differentiate its sales strategies in the market to stay competitive?

  • Could you provide examples of successful sales campaigns?

Performance metrics:

  • Which key performance indicators (KPIs) do you use to measure the sales department's success in your organisation?

  • How do you meet sales targets, and what strategies do you use to achieve that?

Sales team collaboration:

  • How does the sales team cross-collaborate with other departments to ensure a structured and productive work environment?

  • Can you share experiences in which collaboration between the sales and other departments within the company enhanced customer satisfaction and retention?

Consult our related sales CV and matching sales cover letter guides for more details and the best strategies to land a job in this field with well-structured career documents.

3. Good questions for teachers to ask during an interview 

Teaching methodologies:

  • Which teaching methodologies contribute to effective learning in this institution?

  • Can you share successful examples of innovative teaching approaches that have been successful in the past?

Student engagement:

  • How does the institution encourage student engagement in their learning process?

  • Are there specific initiatives or activities to enhance student participation in the classroom?

Professional development:

  • Could you elaborate on any mentorship programs for teachers to enhance their professional development?

  • In addition to workshops and conferences, are there collaborative forums or online resources that educators can access for continuous improvement in teaching methods?

Explore our teacher CV and teaching assistant cover letter example if you want to discover more about creating outstanding career documents for this profession.

Examples of questions to ask at the end of a job interview

Below are the top 5 smart questions coupled with general ones per category you can ask your employer at the end of the interview.

Smart questions for an interview

Questions about the job position:

  • What are the key responsibilities of this position?

  • Can you describe what a daily day looks like?

  • Are there any specific goals or targets associated with this role, and how are they measured?

Questions about the team:

  • Can you tell me more about the team I’ll work with?

  • Do you plan on expanding the department in the next 12 months?

  • With what other department would I be closely working in the future?

Questions about the company:

  • How is success measured in this company?

  • What are the organisation’s main challenges in the market?

  • Does the company organise regular quarterly meetings and company events?

Questions about your direct manager:

  • How would you describe the management style of my new manager?

  • Who would my immediate manager be?

  • What does the onboarding process look like?

Questions about the role requirements:

  • How does this job position fit into the company?

  • How can I advance within my role at the company?

  • What criteria will my manager use to assess my performance? 

Questions about the work environment:

  • What do you enjoy most about working here?

  • Is the work environment more collaborative or independent in this department?

  • What’s different about working in this company than anywhere else you’ve worked?

Questions about career development and progression:

  • What professional development opportunities are offered to employees?

  • Is there a study budget for upskilling and taking courses?

  • How does the company facilitate training and career development?

Closing questions:

  • What does the company culture look like?

  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

  • Is there anything I can provide you with that would help to assess my application?

If you have little to no experience,

What questions to avoid in an interview?

Generally, we advise you to avoid asking for anything related to changing your contract conditions, job details, duties, salary, and other benefits in your first call. Instead, consider addressing them at a later interview stage, preferably in the second or third round. Avoid generic questions you can easily find the answer for, as this shows you haven't done proper research on the company in advance. Instead, wait to receive your job offer before you bring up this topic.

  • How many annual leave days would I have in a year?

  • What’s my expected annual salary?

  • What does your organisation do specifically?

  • How flexible are the working hours?

  • Can I work fewer hours per week?

See our remote vs hybrid working models blog article if you're looking for a more flexible work environment.

Key takeaways

To sum up, asking the right questions during a job interview is an essential skill that could set you apart from the competition. It showcases your genuine interest in the position and helps you gather valuable information to make an informed decision about the company. Personalise your questions, prepare in advance, and keep the conversation flowing to help you succeed in your next job interview.

Good questions to ask in an interview - DOs and DON'Ts

Next steps?

Explore our services below to help you get started, create from scratch or improve your CV within a few seconds:

  • CV Builder: create a tailored and well-formatted CV using our easy-to-use builder.

  • Cover Letter Builder: apply with a matching cover letter template with a clear layout so you can easily personalise and adjust to your career goals.

  • CV Writing service: connect with one of our experts to receive feedback and get quick, professional advice on tailoring your CV to a specific job. 

  • Blog: see our guides and brief articles to educate yourself on the best strategies to improve your job prospects. 

For more professional advice, see our job interview section, which answers all your questions regarding different types of interviews.

Looking to improve your CV to land more job interviews?

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FAQ

What is a smart question to ask the interviewer?

A smart question should demonstrate your understanding of the company, industry, and the specific role you're applying for. It should show genuine interest and a desire to contribute positively to the organisation. For example, you could ask, "How has the company adapted to recent industry trends, and what impact does this have on the priorities of my next role." This shows your proactive attitude to align your skill set to the needs of the company to contribute to the team's success.

What are the 10 common interview questions?

  1. Could you tell me more about your background and recent work experience?

  2. What are your main strengths and weaknesses?

  3. Why did you apply to work for this company?

  4. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

  5. Why should we hire you?

  6. Can you give an example of how you handled a challenging situation at work?

  7. What are your salary expectations for this role?

  8. Why did you decide to quit your previous job?

  9. What do you know about our company?

  10. Do you have any additional questions for us?

What questions should the interviewer ask the interviewee?

Here are some commonly asked questions that interviewers may pose to candidates to assess the candidate's skills, experience, and background fit:

  1. Can you provide an example of a successful project you've worked on?

  2. How do you handle deadlines and high-pressure situations?

  3. Describe a situation where you had to resolve a conflict within a team.

  4. What interests you about our company and this position?

  5. What actions do you take to stay updated on industry trends and developments?

  6. What motivates you to excel in your work?

  7. Can you share your previous experience working in a team?

  8. How do you set priorities for your tasks and manage several projects?

  9. Do you see yourself as an independent or team individual?

  10. Do you have any further questions about us or the role?

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Updated February 14 2024

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