Ask Us (Almost) Anything: Great Questions to Ask in an Interview

Last week I wrote about questions that candidates should refrain from asking recruiters. In turn, I’ll cover subjects that interviewees should bring up with up with potential employers.

As I noted in my last post, it is vital for you as a candidate to ask questions about the company that you want to work for, its culture, and its team.  Always come to an interview prepared with a list of questions, and make note of anything else that you could ask as the meeting progresses.

Examples of Interview Questions to Ask Employers

Here are are three ways to prove to your interviewer that you are the kind of candidate that they would love to hire:

1) Show That You Researched the Company

Look into recent news about the company, research its product and business model, and ask relevant questions that came up during that research. For instance:

  • “I saw that you recently attended VMworld. Do you have a partnership with VMware?”
  • “I noticed that your product is deployed on five cloud platforms. Are there any plans to expand that even further?”
  • “I saw that your customer base expanded by 10% last month. How many customers do you currently have?”

Doing research prior to your interview will both help you gain knowledge of the company and prove to your interviewer that you have a deep understanding of its current standing.

2) Show That You Read the Job Description

Ask questions related to the job description that the employer provided. If you ask something that has already been clearly stated, it will be obvious that you did not prepare for the interview. Here are some examples of higher level questions that still relate to the job description:

  • “ This position will be reporting to the VP of Sales, Jane Smith. Can you give me some insight into her management style?” (Look up the manager on LinkedIn or the company’s website)
  • “I saw in the requirements that you are looking for someone with three years of experience as a Development Lead or Senior engineer. Will this person be leading a team? If so, can you tell me about the team they will be leading?”

Preparing these kinds of questions will help you better understand the job role and its accompanying expectations.

3) Show That You Researched the Interviewer

I have a minor in Spanish but am unfortunately not fluent. However, I still mention the skill on my LinkedIn profile. During one interview that I conducted, a candidate with a Latin background began to speak to me in Spanish. While I didn’t understand most of what she was saying, I was very impressed that she delved into my background so thoroughly. This anecdote provides an important lesson: Research your interviewer and raise questions about things that you share in common. For example:

  • “What led you to leave Microsoft for OpenView?”

Making these kinds of inquiries will give you more insight into the company that you want to work for, while also leaving a lasting impression on your interviewer.

4) Wrap Your Interview Up with a Bow

Make sure to exit your interview on a high note. Close the conversation asking these two questions:

  • “Is there anything else I can tell you about me?”
  • “What are the next steps?”

Finally, always send a follow-up, thank you note! Doing so highlights how much you value your interviewer’s time, as well as how seriously you take the opportunity for the position.


What are some of your favorite questions to ask during an interview?

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering
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