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By: Helios on April 4th, 2014

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The 20 Best Interview Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager

Talent Acquisition

You’ve landed the job interview, congratulations!  Now the real work begins.

On average, hiring managers interview at least three to five candidates before extending an offer. And depending upon where you fall in that line-up, you could get lost in the mix if you do not set yourself apart from the rest.

Whether you are interviewing via telephone, in a virtual meeting, or in person, do your research and prepare several questions to show the hiring manager (and other interviewers) that you are genuinely interested in not only the opportunity but the company overall.

As a recruiting consultant interviewing career seekers on a daily basis, I have to tell you upfront to steer clear of questions like:

  • “How long have you been in business?”
  • “What does this company do?” or,
  • “Where are you located?”

You may be wondering why, as these seem like perfectly fine questions to ask at first glance. However, they are dead giveaways that you didn't really do your research on the organization which may mean this is just another job interview to you vs. an opportunity you are really invested and excited about. You want to make sure you take some time to look at the company's website, social media pages and have a baseline understanding of the mission, services, etc. to ensure it's a place you'd want to be a part of too.

And while those three questions I mentioned previously aren't recommended, there is absolutely nothing worse than not asking any questions at all. Please, jot down at least two to three questions to have in your back pocket when the interviewer turns the floor over to you to ask questions. Here are a few questions that may help you get a better feel for the organization and position below.

Top 20 Best Questions to Ask in an Interview:

  1. Is this a new position, or did someone leave?
  2. If someone left, can you tell me why they left?
  3. What are some of the things that you like about working here?
  4. What are some of the challenges that you face working here? 
  5. How is success measured in this role?
  6. What training programs are available to your employees?
  7. What is the potential for growth and advancement in this role?
  8. What's the long-term vision for the organization? Is that something that you could share with me?
  9. How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
  10. How would you describe the company’s culture?
  11. Is the environment typically collaborative or more independent?
  12. Is there any travel expected in this position?
  13. How many people are on the team?
  14. Who will I work most closely with?
  15. Who will I report directly to?
  16. What is the last team-building event/exercise that the team participated in?
  17. How many people are in the company?
  18. What kind of community and social causes is the company involved in?
  19. What is the next step?
  20. When do you think you will be making a decision?

While an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, it is your best opportunity to highlight your background, experience, and also your personality.  Use that time to speak intelligently to your qualifications, but also figure out if the job opportunity is true as you understand it.

Ask questions that will promote a beneficial dialogue between you and the interviewer(s) and give you greater insight into the culture, the leadership styles, and the job opportunity to determine if it's the right next step for you and your career goals. Best of luck!

For additional guidance and tips as you embark on your job search, check out some of these other resources: