The Top 5 Best and Worst Questions to Ask in an Interview

 A strong candidate knows what questions to ask a potential employer during the interview process and which ones to avoid.  In today’s market, it’s no longer enough just to have the right qualifications.  Top candidates know how to set themselves apart from the competition, and one way of doing this is to ask an employer the right questions during the interview process.  

With intelligent, thoughtful and informed questions, great candidates demonstrate both a high level of due diligence as well as a strong interest in the opportunity itself.  Remember, too, that you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  When asking thought-provoking questions, you can better determine not only if you are technically a good fit for the position, but if the culture and work environment will allow you to perform successfully - and happily.

Best Questions to ask:

  1. How would you best describe the responsibilities of the position? 
    This is a great question to find out the complete scope of the role and begin to get a better understanding what you will be accountable for if hired.

  2. Can you walk me through the typical day of someone in this role? 
    This question allows you to get an idea of what you will be doing on a daily basis.  You will also get a good idea of how well the company has defined the position that you are interviewing for.

  3. What do you like most about working for this company? 
    This is a good way to get a hiring manager to tell you in their own words what some of the benefits/advantages are of working at the company.

  4. How would you describe the company's culture?
    The answer to this question will allow you to better understand if a company’s work environment will be a good match your values and expectations.

  5. Will I have an opportunity to meet those who would be part of my staff/my manager during the interview process? 
    It’s extremely important to meet your potential colleagues at some point during the interview process because you want to have some reassurance that you will be a good fit with the rest of the team. Team dynamics and work style are an important factor for you to consider.

Conversely, by asking the wrong questions, an otherwise qualified candidate may effectively eliminate themselves from the running.  Poorly thought out questions demonstrate not only that you haven’t done your research or are interested in the opportunity for the wrong reasons, but may also indicate red flags regarding your background.

Interview questions not to ask:

  1. Can you tell me about your company? 
    This question indicates that you haven’t done your own research.  You should already know this information before you arrive for the interview.

  2. How long does it usually take to get promoted?
    This question gives the impression that you’re not really interested in the actual position that you are interviewing for and don’t want to invest much time staying in that role.

  3. How long do you think this interview will take? 
    This question gives the impression that you’re not really focused on the job you are there to interview for and probably have other opportunities in the works.

  4. Is a drug test band background check required for your position? 
    This would seem obvious, but sadly it isn’t to some.  When asked during an interview, this question understandably causes red flags to fly.

  5. Will I have to work much overtime in this role? 
    Clearly, this question indicates that a candidate is unlikely to willingly put in any extra effort when needed or perhaps has too many outside distractions.