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40+ Smart Questions to Ask at the End of Any Job Interview

Asking the right questions at the end of an interview will help you get to know the company better and give you an advantage over 90% of other applicants.

Asking smart questions at the end of an interview can really make it or break it for you — it will show you’re eager, engaged, and genuinely curious. 

So, before you go with your initial impulse and say: No, we’ve covered everything, here’s a story a coworker recently told me.

While interviewing people, she came across a candidate who had solid experience, seemed like a great fit, and was ecstatic about the job. But when she asked him if he had any questions, he just politely declined and said no. She even asked: Are you sure, we have a couple of minutes?, but the candidate insisted that he didn’t. They didn’t even consider hiring him after this.

So you need to be ready. But you already know that. So let’s see what you should and shouldn’t ask when given the floor.

This article will show you:

  • A list of the best questions to ask at the end of an interview.
  • Tips for which questions to choose depending on how the interview went.
  • How to ask questions at the end of an interview in a professional manner.

Why Does Asking Questions at the End of an Interview Matter So Much?

Apart from building rapport with the recruiter and making the interview more conversational, asking questions is important because: 

  • Curiosity is a sign that you care and that you’ve done your research. Learning as much as possible about the company and its future shows you’ll be engaged at work and invested in your job. Not having anything to ask could be interpreted as lack of interest and passivity. 
  • It’s the employer litmus test. Don’t forget you’re not the only one being evaluated and scrutinized for compatibility — identifying whether the employer is a good fit for you is part of why you’re here. Asking questions will give you the opportunity to unearth some not-so-obvious details about the company, its culture, and your prospective role.
  • First impressions are the most lasting. The idea is to demonstrate to the interviewer you’re proactive, confident, and genuinely interested in joining this company and working in this particular role.

Now let’s get into the smartest questions to ask at the end of the interview and why they work.

40 Smart Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview

1. Why is this position open?

Seemingly obvious, this question will offer you a deeper insight into the company’s structure, culture, and expectations for the role you’re applying for. 

For example, if the previous employee(s) quit, you’ll be able to catch a whiff of a bad management style and a potentially toxic workplace. 

If they were fired, you can use the information to avoid making the same mistakes. Similarly, if the position is open because the previous person got promoted, it could mean that there are internal advancement opportunities. 

There’s also a possibility that the company is growing and expanding into a new market, so you can ask additional questions that will help you prepare better. 

Alternatives to try:

  • Is this a new position? If not, why did the person before me leave this role?
  • Why are you hiring for this role?
  • How has this position evolved?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

2. A year from now when you’re looking back on this hire, what would I have done to exceed every expectation?

If you want the hiring manager to know you’re not only looking to meet the minimum requirements but excel in the job, this is the question to ask. The answer will help you understand what success looks like and plan how to achieve it. 

Or you could ask: 

  • What are the KPIs or metrics that you use to evaluate this role? How would I go above and beyond them in the first year?
  • How do you envision this role evolving or growing in the next year? What would I need to do to exceed your expectations in that process?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges or opportunities that this role will face in the next year? How would I tackle them in a way that impresses you?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

3. How would you know you’d hired the right person after the first 90 days in the role?

This question provides an opportunity to address and clarify the short-term expectations and objectives. It will help you make sure you’re on the same page with your potential employer about what it means to deliver.

Or you could phrase it like this:

  • How will you evaluate my performance in the first 90 days of this role?
  • What are the main objectives or expectations for this position in the first three months?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

4. What’s your favorite office tradition?

Company culture is an important factor when deciding if a job is right for you. By inquiring about the hiring manager’s favorite office tradition, you’ll find out more about whether the employer cares about work-life balance and employee well-being.

At the same time, you’ll show genuine interest in the company that goes beyond the job and extends to the workplace culture and community. Every recruiter will love your enthusiasm to bond with other employees and participate in extracurricular activities.

Other versions of the same question: 

  • What’s the company culture like?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

5. Who would not be a good fit for this role?

Although it seems counterintuitive to ask this question, it’s actually a clever twist on the usual Who’s the perfect candidate for this role?. The response will shed light on what big no-nos are when it comes to the new hire’s personality and soft skills. This will help you decide if you’re suitable for the role or if you have to acquire some additional skills to really excel.

Or you could try: 

  • What types of people tend not to fit in here?
  • What qualities and attributes make for a successful employee in this company?
  • What does the ideal candidate for this role look like?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

6. What do new employees often find surprising after they start?

Few interviewers will have a top-of-the-head answer to this one, so you’ll probably get an unscripted, honest response that could reveal a lot about the company culture and processes (or lack thereof). Maybe new hires struggle to find the documentation and login credentials they need. Or maybe they’re impressed by an office tradition or a company initiative.

For example, after first starting at Atlassian, a friend of mine was stoked to find out about the company’s bar, social club, and regular costume parties. And although he was aware of their massive volunteer work and donations, he was still surprised to learn that Atlassian partnered with hundreds of NGOs and nonprofits to contribute 1% of the equity, profit, and employee time to make a difference in the world.

For my friend, this meant that he’d need to put in 20 hours a year working with an environmental organization at in-person and virtual events, as well as walk >40 miles over a 2-month period to support an African foundation.

Other ways to ask this:

  • What are some of the things that you wish you knew before you started working here?
  • What are some of the common misconceptions or myths about working at this company?
  • How does the reality of working here differ from the expectations you had when you applied?
  • What are some of the hidden perks or benefits of working at this company that are not advertised?

7. What’s one of the most interesting projects you’ve worked on here?

This question demonstrates a genuine interest in the company and the work it does. Asking about a specific project the interviewer found exciting will give you a better sense of the type of projects you could be working on if you joined. You can then use this information to evaluate if the job really aligns with your interests and career goals.

Or you could ask:

  • What are some of the projects that you enjoyed working on here and why?
  • How do you decide which projects are interesting and worth pursuing in this department?

8. What opportunities will I have to learn and grow?

Many companies have a learning and development budget, and offer educational resources, courses and certifications like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and technical certifications like PMP, AWS, HubSpot etc.

Asking about professional development in an interview shows you’re committed to learning. It also sends an implicit message that you’re looking to stay at the company long-term and would like to grow within the organization.

Plus, the answer will tell you about the company’s own commitment to employee development and how it aligns with values.

Or you can ask:

  • What’s the company’s approach to employee learning and development?
  • How does the company support career growth and advancement for employees?
  • Are there any training or mentorship programs available for employees to enhance their skills and knowledge?

9. Where do you think the company is headed in the next few years?

Questions about the future of the company show that you’re serious about joining and that this job isn’t just a temporary gig until something better comes along. And the hiring manager’s response will reveal if there’s room for your personal and career growth in the company. 

The message you’re implicitly trying to convey by asking this question — you don’t want to get stuck in a dead-end job, working for a company that has zero vision for the future.

This question is also an indicator of how good or bad internal communication is. The hiring manager might not be very close to the key decision-makers, and if their answer makes you think they don’t really know what the long-term vision is, there you have it — it clearly shows some glitches in company communication.

Other versions of the same question: 

  • What are the company’s plans for growth and development?
  • What gets you most excited about the company’s future?
  • How do you see this company evolving over the next five years?

10. Where do you see this role in the company’s growth?

Asking this question highlights your genuine interest in the company’s future, and shows your motivation and commitment. Plus, the interviewer will appreciate your wish to understand how your role aligns with the company’s targets and goals. This means that making a meaningful contribution and adding value to the company is important to you.

You can also ask: 

  • How does this role contribute to the company’s vision and mission?
  • What are the main goals or priorities for this role in relation to the company’s growth strategy?
  • How do you expect this role to evolve or change as the company grows?

11. What is the biggest challenge the company has faced?

Learning more about the company’s biggest hurdles will give you an opportunity to think about how your expertise and skills can be put to good use in overcoming these obstacles. 

However, be aware that companies aren’t keen on divulging their issues during the first interview with a candidate, so it’s a good idea to ask this during your final interview. 

Alternatives you can use: 

  • What are some of the challenges the company is facing right now?
  • What are the biggest challenges your team is currently facing and how are you addressing them?
  • How is this role going to help the company overcome some current challenges?

12. What are the main challenges for someone in this role?

No job is a walk in the park, so there’s no need to ignore the challenging aspects that come with the territory. Learning about the difficulties and obstacles you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis will give you an opportunity to prepare in advance. 

Also, the way the recruiter talks about these challenges and overcoming them will help you get a better picture of the company culture and leadership style.

Other versions of the same question: 

  • What are the biggest challenges with this position?
  • What are the biggest challenges that I might face in this position?
  • What do you think is the most challenging aspect of the job?

13. What goals would you set for me for the next 6 months?

If you want the interviewer to know you’re up for a challenge and eager to make an impact in the role, then this question should definitely be on your list. It will communicate your sense of commitment and determination to hit your KPIs.

At the same time, the response will give you an idea of the company’s goal-setting practices.

Or you could say:

  • What are the current goals for someone in this role?
  • What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 to 60 days?
  • What’s the most important thing I should accomplish in the first 90 days?

14. What is a possible growth trajectory for someone in this role?

This question is actually Is there an opportunity for a promotion somewhere down the road? in disguise. Besides allowing you to spot a cul-de-sac career, this question also shows you’re ambitious (and will definitely score you some brownie points with the hiring manager).

Alternative versions of this question:

  • Is there a “typical” career path for someone in this role?
  • Where do people who have held this position typically end up next?

15. If you had a magic wand and could change anything here, what would it be?

Another untypical, yet revealing question. The interviewer might let you in on the challenges they’ve been struggling with, a lack of processes, or something about the job you’ve applied for. This might turn out to be a great opportunity for you to highlight how your skills and experience can help the team improve their performance. 

Also, reluctance to answer this question might be a sign that they’re trying to hide something. 

Or you could ask:

  • What would you like to change in the company?
  • How could this company be better?
  • What could I do to improve the team?

16. What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?

This open-ended question will make the recruiting manager reflect on their past experiences and tell you the pros and cons of working for your potential employer. It’s much better than asking the more general What it’s like to work for the company?

Or you could ask:

  • What are the unique aspects of working here that you enjoy the most?
  • How does this company stand out in terms of culture and values?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of working here that you didn’t experience elsewhere?

17. What do you think encourages employees to stay at this company?

It’s only logical to be curious if existing employees are happy to work for the company. But, if you ask such a question explicitly, you can’t expect to get a specific answer. With this question, you’ll prompt the recruiter to come up with specific reasons why people choose to stick around. 

Other versions of this question:

  • What are the main reasons people love working here?
  • How do you foster a positive and engaging work environment? 

18. Can you tell me a bit about company values and how you put them into practice?

This question is self-explanatory, as it demonstrates you’re interested in company values and want to check if you’re a good match. Also, note that it’s not only about the values (you can probably read them on the company’s website), but how they’re practiced IRL. It’s important to ask for examples to determine if the company really follows their values or if they’re just for show.

But, you can also take a different angle and include the actual values the company stands for (at least on paper) to let the recruiter know you did your research. So, ask something along the lines of How does the company ensure diversity in the workplace and break the glass ceiling?

Or you could phrase it like this: 

  • How do you think the company demonstrates its values?
  • What’s one way you think the company has demonstrated X value in the past year?

19. Can you tell me about the team I’d be working with?

No matter if you’re interviewing for a small company or a Fortune 2000 international, you’ll spend your day-to-day working with a core team. That’s roughly a third of your day and 40 hours a week. It’s important to know who you’ll be working with most closely and if you’d be interacting with anyone from other departments. 

Alternative versions of this question: 

  • What are the roles and responsibilities of the people I would collaborate with in this position?
  • What’s the structure of the department?
  • How would you describe the culture and dynamics of the team I would join?

20. How long have you been at the company?

While answering, the interviewer may include a personal story and tell you about their own growth at the company — all good intel about how the company handles career development and employee retention.

Or you could ask:

  • What has been your career journey at the company so far?
  • How long have you worked in your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?
  • What are some of the changes you’ve witnessed or experienced at the company since you joined?
  • What are some of the reasons that make you stay at the company?

21. What’s your favorite part about working here?

Instead of the more direct How would you describe the company’s culture?, go for a subtler version. It will generate a more sincere and experience-based response. 

Apart from establishing rapport with the interviewer, this question will let you get a firsthand account of how it feels working for the employer. 

You might catch the recruiter by surprise and encourage them to share some interesting stories. If, in turn, you notice they’re not exactly enthusiastic about answering this question, this could be an alarm bell that something is off. 

Other ways to ask this question:

  • What’s your favorite memory from working here? 
  • What’s different about working here than anywhere else you’ve worked?
  • What is your favorite thing about working for this company?
  • What has been your best moment in this company?

22. How has the company changed over the last few years?

The interviewers will appreciate this question because it shows you’re interested in the company’s history, progress, and direction. The answer will give you a better understanding of the employer’s priorities and help you see the bigger picture — knowing how the company has evolved over time will give you a sense of its trajectory and future plans.

Different ways to ask this question:

  • How has the company adapted to the changing market or customer needs in recent years?
  • How has the company’s vision or mission evolved over time?
  • How has the company’s culture or values changed or stayed the same in the past few years?

23. How do you typically onboard employees?

A new job is always a little bit stressful — without the right onboarding process and tools, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. So it’s good to know what onboarding is like and how long it takes.

You’d want to know about the tech setup, office tours, policy training, surveys, feedback, and check-ins. Look for red flags too — interviewers who respond briefly and provide little detail, unspecified onboarding times, and no mention of check-ins and reviews.

Not having formal onboarding might indicate that they expect someone who already knows the drill. Or it’s a signal that the company doesn’t have some key processes in place.

Other versions of this question:

  • What are the first steps and milestones for someone who joins this team?
  • How do you help new hires get up to speed and integrate with the culture?
  • What are the best practices and resources for learning in this position?

24. What are the most immediate projects I would take on?

This question shows that you’re eager, proactive, and ready to take on a challenge. But the answer will also reveal precisely what the hiring manager has envisioned for the role, what gaps the team is looking to fill, and what your priorities will be. 

This will not only help you prepare for the job, but also give you a clear picture of what you’d be doing and how you could contribute to the company’s success.

Alternative versions you can try: 

  • What are some of the current projects or initiatives I would be involved in if I joined the team?
  • How would you prioritize the projects that I would be working on in this role?
  • How would I collaborate with other departments or teams on projects in this role?
  • What are some interesting projects I’d be working on in this role?

25. What’s the performance review process like here?

Asking this shows you’re interested in your professional development and growth. Knowing how often you’d be formally reviewed will also help to focus on the right areas and make sure you’re meeting (and exceeding!) expectations.

Finally, performance reviews are usually a good opportunity for career advancement, so this will help you visualize and plan your career within the company.

Or you could try: 

  • How do you assess and improve employee performance here?
  • How do you support and develop employees’ performance here?

26. What do you and the team usually do for lunch?

Sounds like an innocent question, but — knowing how the team spends their lunch breaks can tell you a lot about the team dynamics and company culture.

For example, if they regularly eat together or participate in any other group activities, it probably means the team’s close-knit and collaborative. This will 100% reflect how they are when handling projects.

On the other hand, if the answer is: I often stay at my computer to grab a quick bite or tie up some loose ends before a deadline, it may indicate that the people are overworked or that the culture is toxic.

Alternatives to test:

  • How does the  team spend your lunch breaks?
  • Do you and the team have any lunch traditions or after-work routines?
  • What are some of your favorite lunch spots or dishes?

27. Do you ever do joint events with other departments and teams?

This question is relevant to any job and position, but critical if you’re applying to a fully remote company. For example, working in a small marketing team and touching base with everyone else only in monthly Team Update calls may create silos and serious cross-departmental problems later. It’s important to know how teams communicate, bond, and share information. 

You can also ask:

  • How do you collaborate and socialize with other teams?
  • What are some events or activities that you do with other departments?
  • How would you rate communication and collaboration between departments?
  • How do you and your team interact with other departments?
  • Will I have a chance to meet the team in person (for remote roles)?

28. What are your expectations for me in this role?

Imagine you’re a Project Manager interviewing for a similar role in a different industry. You’d want to know more about what exactly the job entails and what skills are necessary.

As the hiring manager answers the question, you can visualize yourself in the role and understand how it differs from what you do in your current company. This question also tells the interviewer that you’re eager to know more and committed to meeting their expectations.

Other ways of asking this:

  • What are the main priorities and objectives for me in this role?
  • What are the essential skills and competencies for me to perform well in this role
  • What are the key expectations and deliverables for me in this role?
  • How do you envision my success in this position?
  • What are the most important skills and qualities for me to excel in this role?

29. How would you describe the management style here?

Nothing will reveal more about a company’s vibe than its management and leadership style. Maybe you just don’t work well with authoritative, do-as-you’re-told managers. Maybe their core values of “transparency” and “flat structure” aren’t more than words on paper.

Asking the interviewer about the management style at the company will help you understand how decisions are made, what the work environment is like, and if you’d be comfortable working there. 

If the management style is less micromanaging and more hands-off, there could be more room for autonomy, flexibility, self-reliance, and collaboration. On the other hand, if your working style is more on the “I appreciate instructions, guidance, and structure” side, you may click better with a company that has a top-down approach and a more hierarchical structure.

You can also ask: 

  • What are the values and principles that guide the management?
  • What are some best practices and feedback types that the management uses?
  • How do you balance autonomy and guidance for your employees?
  • Does leadership “get” marketing (or the department the role is in)?

30. What would a typical day look like for this role? 

This is a pretty straightforward question that will allow you to familiarize yourself with the role and figure out if it’s the right choice for you. When you learn more about day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, you’ll be able to pinpoint what skills and strengths this job requires. 

Or you could try: 

  • Can you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • Can you describe a typical day for someone in this role?
  • It seems like I’d mostly be working on X, Y, and Z. Am I missing something that would be a part of my daily routine?

31. What tools or frameworks is the team using?

When you change jobs, it often means changing the tools and software you’re used to, or using different frameworks and methodologies. Knowing this in advance will help you learn if you need to complete any courses before you begin.

For example, the Marketing tech stack includes different emailing systems (e.g., Autoklose, lemlist, Mailchimp, Customer.io, ActiveCampaign, etc.), SEO tools (like Ahrefs or SEMRush), or task management software like Asana, Notion, Jira, or Trello. 

Although these tools are similar, you may feel more comfortable working in one or the other. This question is especially relevant for technical roles, where a candidate may want to e.g. avoid databases and work with infrastructure. 

Or you can try these: 

  • What are some of the frameworks, methodologies, and software that you rely on?
  • How do you keep up with the latest trends or developments in your field regarding tools or frameworks?

32. How would you describe the work-life balance here?

Not everyone has a Type A personality. Some people may have zero issues with putting in extra hours and working on weekends. Others will only pick companies that promote a healthy work-life balance and encourage employees to set clear boundaries.

Maybe the interviewer tells you about meeting-free Fridays, on-site childcare, or clocking out on time. Whatever it is, you’ll get precious intel on how heavy you can expect your schedule to be.

Alternative versions of this question: 

  • How do you support your employees’ physical and mental health?
  • How flexible are the working hours or arrangements in this role?
  • How do you handle urgent or unexpected situations that may require overtime or extra work?
  • How do you encourage your employees to take breaks or vacations?

33. How do you resolve workplace conflicts?

What you’re interested in here is how the company deals with disagreements and interpersonal dynamics, and if they have a structured process for resolving conflicts.

The answer will reveal a lot about the leadership style and company culture. You’ll also be able to see if the way they handle conflicts matches your own thinking and values, indicating a good fit.

Or you can try: 

  • How do you approach or support your employees when they have a conflict with a colleague, client or manager?
  • What are some of the best practices or strategies for resolving workplace conflicts in your organization?
  • How do your employees handle feedback or criticism from others when there is a conflict or difference of opinion?

34. In terms of professional qualities, what do you believe sets apart the most successful employees in this organization?

This is a question that will help you learn about the key personal qualities and soft skills that the person in this particular role should possess to excel. Every company has an ideal employee persona  a list of attributes that a candidate should possess to be considered a good cultural fit.

This can be anything from attitudes and life experiences, whether they resist or embrace change, how they socialize, or how they share industry and company knowledge. The answer will help you get a better idea of how you fit.

Alternatives you can try: 

  • What attributes and behaviors do your top-performing employees have? 
  • What qualities make for a successful employee in this company?
  • Beyond the hard skills required to successfully perform this job, what soft skills would serve the company and position best?

35. How do you recognize and award outstanding performance?

Essentially, this is a question about benefits without asking explicitly. It’s a great question because it’ll help you learn about the opportunities for growth and development in the organization.

The answer will help you learn two things:

  • Determine if the company prioritizes achievement over collaboration and teamwork. 
  • Learn if there is a formal R&R program, what types of rewards are offered, and what it takes to qualify.
You can also ask: 

  • How do you measure and celebrate success in your team?
  • What are some examples of how you have recognized outstanding performance in the past?
  • What are the opportunities for career growth and development for high performers?

36. What is your timeline and what are the next steps?

Finally, you’d want to know what happens after this interview and what you can expect in the coming days and weeks.

The answer will help you understand the next steps in the hiring process – whether there is a second (technical) interview or a skills assessment, when you can expect to hear back from the recruiter, and when the final decision will be made.

Different ways to ask this question:

  • When can I expect to hear back from you about the outcome of the interview?
  • Who should I contact if I have any questions about the next steps?
  • How do you prefer to communicate with me about the progress of my application?
  • What needs to happen before your company can generate an offer?

37. What are some of the major milestones/achievements the company has accomplished lately? 

Apart from showing a genuine interest in the company and their achievements, you’ll be able to tell if the company does actually celebrate these or lets the hard work go unnoticed. 

You’d be able to pick on some intel about the company’s goals and priorities. Let’s say the interviewer answers: We recently acquired our first Fortune 500 customer. This may mean that they’re looking to continue in that direction. For somebody applying for a role in Sales, this could be precious information as it could affect your sales cycles and lead nurturing. 

Other ways to ask this: 

  • What are you most proud of accomplishing as a team in recent months?

38. Does the company organize social events?

This question is about work-life balance, inclusion, and company culture. The answer will help you tell if they value employee engagement and what kind of social activities the team prefers. 

Maybe it’s sports like soccer, sailing, or OCR events where team spirit and collaboration are valued. Or maybe they’re more into community involvement and social connections and go for company picnics, after-work beer fridge, or cooking with the team at a homeless shelter. 

Either way, you’ll be able to tell if these team-building activities resonate with you. In turn, a lack of social and offsite events could signal a disconnect or that the company culture is more task-focused.

Or you could ask:

  • Are there any social opportunities for employees to connect outside of work?
  • What do you usually do for fun as a team?

39. Will I have an opportunity to meet my manager or team during the interview process?

Ideally, as the interview process progresses, you’d have the chance to meet not only the interviewer, but also the manager (the person you’d be reporting to) and coworkers. A senior member of the team could answer some of your technical questions and tell you more about the team dynamics. You could also get a better idea of you how you’d vibe with the team. 

Alternatives to try:

  • Is there anyone else I should meet with?
  • Will I have a chance to meet the person I’d report to during the interview process?
  • How would I collaborate with my supervisor?

40. What are the main KPIs for this position?

There’s no better way to show you’re not taking your potential job lightly than inquiring about the metrics and KPIs before you’re even hired. You’ll come across as a goal-oriented person — a quality all hiring managers appreciate in a candidate.  

Alternative versions of this question:

  • What are the main expectations and deliverables for this job?
  • How do you measure success in this role?

These were example answers to Do you have any questions for me? but we also have a full article on the most common interview questions you may come across in your next interview.

What Questions Not to Ask the Interviewer

And then there are some questions you definitely shouldn’t ask in a job interview (even if you’d really want to know). Here are some examples:

Questions about salary and benefits

Most times, this will be covered in the job description or at the beginning of the process. If not, it’s best to wait until the employer brings it up. You can negotiate about pay and benefits in the later stages of the interview process, and asking too early may make you come across as pushy or ruin your image. 

Questions about PTO and working hours

Even if PTO is listed as a benefit in the job description, refrain from asking about vacation and sick leave policies in the interview. The interviewer may start questioning your dedication, work ethic, and genuine interest in the position. The same goes for asking Will I have to work long hours? and May I arrive early or leave late as long as I get my hours in?

Basic questions that reveal you’ve done zero research

Don’t ask things like What does this job entail? or What does your company do? The hiring team expect you to research the company and the position before the interview, so asking anything that you could’ve (and should’ve) learned from the company’s website or a simple online search will raise a red flag.

Critical and negative questions

Don’t ask questions with a negative undertone, e.g. What are the company’s weaknesses? or What do you dislike about working here? Overall, it is best to focus on questions demonstrating your interest in the position, and your enthusiasm for the opportunity. 

Questions about other candidates

Avoid asking about other people being interviewed, and be especially mindful of questions like How do I compare to other candidates? The most you’d get in that scenario is We can’t discuss this. I also advise against asking How many people are interviewing?. Even if you just want to know how many people you’re up against, some interviewers may be bothered and take you as impolite.

How to Ask Questions After the Interview

Let’s take a look at a couple of tips you should take into account when preparing the list of questions to ask in your next interview. 

1. Avoid asking yes-no questions

Closed-ended questions won’t yield the detailed and revealing answers you’re hoping for. The point is to get as much information as possible from the recruiter — especially details you won’t find in the job ad or on the company’s website. 

2. Aim for 3 questions

The list of questions we covered in this article is exhaustive and it’s impossible to squeeze all of them into only a couple of minutes. A useful rule of thumb is to ask no more than 3 but prepare 10 in case the hiring manager is engaged and willing to chat.

3. Wait until the end of the interview

The best time to ask questions is at the end. When the interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, it’s a clear sign that the interview’s about to end. This is your cue. Remember that you’ll have a limited time, so it’s best to choose 2–3 questions in advance and maybe ask another one that comes up naturally in conversation.

4. Modify questions based on who the interviewer is

Another thing to keep in mind — it’s smart to adapt the questions based on who’s interviewing you. If you’re talking to external recruiters, you won’t be able to get detailed answers to any questions about the department or much info on company culture. In this situation, stick to more general questions about the company.

Sometimes, there will be multiple people involved, e.g., a hiring manager, an HR representative, an executive or a potential coworker. You may or may not know this in advance, so make sure you prepare relevant questions for multiple people.

Here’s how I would approach this:

The hiring manager is the person you’d report to. They’d be in charge of setting your goals and KPIs, so they’re a good person to answer questions like What are your expectations for this role for the first X days/months?.

You’d go to the HR Representative with questions on culture, people, and onboarding. 

If you’re talking to a C-level executive, aim for a more strategic question like What excites you most about the company’s future? or How has the company changed since you joined?

Finally, a potential coworker can tell you the most about the team and how they get along. Some questions you could ask: What do you and the team usually do for lunch? or Do you ever do joint events with other departments and teams?


Here’s everything we covered in a nutshell:

  • You can make or break an interview with well-crafted questions.
  • Prepare a handful of questions about the company, the culture, the job at hand, the position, and the team you’d be working with. Then pick 2-3 questions to ask (maybe some of your initial questions will be answered over the course of the interview).
  • Although you can bring up some technical and job-related questions during the interview, it’s best to wait until the end (The interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them).
  • Don’t ask about the salary, benefits, and PTO. Save these questions for after you receive the offer.
  • Modify the questions based on who’s interviewing you. 


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How many questions to ask at the end of an interview?

Aim to ask at least two or three questions at the end of an interview. This shows you’re interested and engaged. Don’t exceed five questions — that could make the interview unnecessarily long.

What’s the best question to ask at the end of an interview?

One of the best questions to ask is: What are the most important qualities and skills you’re looking for in the ideal candidate? This question shows you’re keen on fitting in and will help you understand what the company values.

What if I don’t have any questions?

Never say you don’t have any questions. Instead, prepare a few questions in advance, even if they’ve already been partially answered. You can always ask for more details or clarification. Remember, asking questions shows you’re genuinely interested in the role.

What if they don’t ask me if I have any questions?

If the interviewer doesn’t ask if you have questions, take the initiative! Before the interview wraps up, politely mention that you have a few questions you’d like to ask. This will display enthusiasm and show you’re proactive. If they don’t let you ask your questions — well, would you really like to work there?

What to do if it’s an interview for an internal position?

In an internal interview, ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company while showing curiosity about the new role. For example, ask how the new position contributes to the company’s goals or how it interacts with other departments.

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