5 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

5 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

Jonathan JenkinsBy Jonathan Jenkins6 Minutes

The interview just finished. You have discussed your experience, your ambitions, your talents, and what you can bring to the company. As you reach the end of the discussion, the interviewer asks the all-important question.

“Do you have any questions for me?”

While this may seem like a tacked-on invitation to ask some basic questions about the company, it should be treated as so much more. This is no time to feign knowledge or throw some softballs in at the last moment. This is your opportunity to ask some in-depth questions that will not only give you insight into the company, but also impress your interviewer.

Here are some questions that you might consider for this integral part of your interview:

  1. What determines success for this position, and how is it measured?

If you want to prove your worth at a job, you have to understand what the company values. This question provides direct, actionable insight into what the company expects from its employees, how you can succeed in the future, and what results they expect.

It also provides the additional benefit of knowing what metrics to work into your resume. While not every company will respond the same way, the answers you receive to this question can give you a glimpse of what that particular industry values.

  1. Can you tell me about your new products/plans for growth?

This question can be framed differently depending on company specifics. If the business develops products, then go into the interview with some new products already in mind. The same goes for the future plans of the company if that information is available. Do research on the company ahead of time, and be prepared to dive deeper into their response using the knowledge gleaned from your investigation.

  1. What are the most common career paths in this department?

While your immediate concern may simply be getting the job you are applying for, it is extremely important to investigate paths for future growth. If their career paths lead in a direction that you frankly have no interest in, then you may want to reexamine what you want from this job. Some positions have a variety of career options, giving you a clear path to the position you eventually want. These possible choices may also give you room to grow and develop in new ways you may have never considered before. This question can give you a glimpse of your potential future, so don’t let the opportunity to ask it pass by.

  1. What are the company’s values, and how do you expect employees to represent those values day-to-day?

Your research should have already covered the company’s official values, but this question can give you a much deeper explanation from the perspective of someone currently working there. This will also give you practical insight on how they want those values applied. Stating certain values and living them out are often two separate things, so it’s important to know what a company expects to see from you day-to-day. This knowledge can also help you recall times in your past experience where you displayed those values in tangible ways and used them to show that you have exactly what the company wants in an employee.

  1. Is the work environment typically more collaborative or more independent here?

Some people work well with others, while others can’t stand collaborative work. Regardless of the position or title, you will likely have to work in groups at some point, and you need to understand what level of collaboration to expect. This can give you an idea of what to expect from others on your team, and will give you a guide to how much you should rely on others in that field. If you find it simply doesn’t suit your needs, then it may be best to look for another position.

Using these questions wisely can provide deeper insight into the company you dedicate years of your life to. Making the discovery that a company doesn’t represent you, your career plans, or your strengths well is much easier to react to before accepting a position with them. However, if everything aligns with what you want or need in a position, then pursue it wholeheartedly. These questions can make or break your interview, so make sure to take the time to ask them when presented with the opportunity.