Interviewing for jobs isn’t exactly fun. It’s often more nerve-wracking than anything else. While it’s true the more you do it the better you get, interviewing a lot probably isn't at the top of your priority list.
Acing your interviews shouldn’t come down to how many you’ve done. Luckily, it doesn’t have to.
In your job search, preparation (not interview volume) will be your greatest ally. Quality over quantity, as they say.
Here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), we’ve interviewed thousands of employees across the U.S. Over the years (nearly 70 at this point), our hiring teams have developed a robust understanding of what it takes to truly nail an interview. We’re excited to help you succeed in your next one.
With some variance, every company’s interview process is (relatively) similar. They start you out with a phone screening, maybe throw in a one-way video interview, connect you with the hiring manager and, as a final step, set you up with a final panel or team interview to vet your fit.
Navigating these interviews can be difficult, especially if you’re not sure how to prepare for them. Asking well-thought-out questions in each interview is absolutely something you’ll want to do. This shows the employer you’re thinking critically about the opportunity and the possibility of working for them.
But what questions should you ask and how many is enough?
Is it more important to ask certain questions over others?
What if you don’t ask any?
In addition to stressing the importance of asking them, this article lists 50 questions to consider incorporating at some point in the process. At the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to ace all of your interviews you do by asking the best questions, at the right time.
Why It’s Important to Ask Questions During an Interview
Every interview you’ve done has probably ended something like this:
“Okay, thank you for the information. Do you have any questions for me?”
Sound familiar? Hopefully, this doesn’t bring you back to a dear-in-the-headlights moment you had previously. If it does, you’re not alone.
Let’s avoid this going forward, though, because asking a few questions is a great way to round out every interview you do. As the people on the other side of the table, we expect job candidates to come prepared with some questions. This is important for several key reasons, including but not limited to:
- Asking questions signifies your commitment to making an employment opportunity work and that you’re taking it seriously.
- Asking questions helps employers learn what you value most.
- Asking questions helps you learn more about the opportunity, the company and the culture.
- Asking great questions helps you stand out as a candidate.
In the end, asking some well-formulated interview questions benefits all parties, allowing you to learn more about the company and job and helping them better evaluate you.
How Many Questions to Ask In An Interview?
While there isn’t an exact number of questions you absolutely should ask in every interview, you should usually prepare three to five. One or two more or less is also fine. Additionally, here are some basic guidelines to follow:
- It’s possible to ask too many questions during an interview. Try to pair down your list to only the most pressing ones; everything else can be asked in follow-up.
- Try to touch on various aspects of the role including the day-to-day realities of the job, the company culture, your compensation, growth potential, etc.
- Leave your questions open-ended so the interviewer can give you a more robust response.
- Don’t hesitate to bring your questions up as they arise during the interview. You don’t have to wait until the end of the interview to ask your questions, particularly if you have many.
It’s most important to ask questions during your interview with the hiring manager — this is the person who knows the position best and you’ll be working with closest. That said, it doesn’t hurt to prepare questions for each of your interviews individually.
50 Questions to Ask During an Interview (By Category)
When each interview is over, you want to walk away with a deeper understanding of the position you’re applying for. Although you can get some of this insight from watching the way people interact with one another while you’re there, asking questions is your best way to do this.
As we touched on above, it’s usually best to distribute your questions across a handful of key categories. This will give you the most well-rounded view of what it means to work for the company.
Here are 50 questions to ask during an interview, broken into the following categories:
- Questions about the position
- Questions about the company
- Questions about employee development and growth
- Questions about compentation
- Questions about the work environment
Questions to Ask During an Interview About the Position
- Can you provide more details about the day-to-day responsibilities and tasks involved in this role?
- How does this position contribute to the overall goals and objectives of the company?
- Can you describe the team structure and the potential for collaboration within the team?
- What are the key challenges or opportunities that someone in this role may encounter?
- Can you tell me about the performance expectations for this role and how my success will be measured?
- Are there any specific projects or initiatives that the successful candidate for this job will be involved in?
- Can you describe the reporting structure, level of autonomy and decision-making authority associated with this position?
- Are there opportunities for cross-functional or interdisciplinary work within the organization?
- How does your company foster work-life balance for employees in this role?
- What qualities or skills do you believe are essential for someone to excel in this position?
Questions to Ask During an Interview About the Company
- Can you tell me more about this company's mission and core values?
- How would you describe the company culture and the working environment here?
- What sets this company apart from its competitors in the industry?
- Can you provide some examples of recent company successes or achievements?
- How does the company encourage innovation and creativity among its employees?
- Can you tell me about the company's approach to corporate social responsibility or sustainability?
- How do the company’s leaders communicate and engage with employees on a regular basis?
- Can you provide some information about the company's financial stability and future prospects?
- Can you describe the company's decision-making process and how it involves employees?
- How does the company recognize and reward employee contributions and achievements?
Questions to Ask During an Interview About Employee Development and Growth
- Can you tell me about the company's approach to employee growth and development?
- What professional development programs or initiatives are available to employees?
- Are there opportunities for employees to attend workshops, conferences or industry events to enhance their skills and knowledge?
- Can you provide examples of how employees have grown and advanced within the company?
- Are there mentorship or coaching programs in place to support employee development?
- Are there any internal training programs or resources available to enhance employees' skills?
- How does the company encourage continuous learning and staying up to date with industry trends?
- Can you describe the performance review process and how it ties into employee development?
- Does the company have a formal career progression framework or growth paths for employees in this position?
- How does the company support employees in developing new skills or transitioning into different roles?
Questions to Ask During an Interview About Compensation
- Can you provide an overview of the compensation structure and packages offered at the company?
- What is the salary range for this position? Is it negotiable?
- Are there any performance-based incentives or bonuses available?
- Is there a standard pay increase or promotion policy within the company?
- Are there any benefits or perks offered as part of the compensation package?
- Can you provide information on healthcare, retirement plans and other similar benefits?
- Is there a stock option or equity plan available for employees?
- Are there opportunities for professional development and training that the company supports financially?
- What is the company's policy on paid time off, vacation days, overtime and sick leave?
- How does the company ensure competitive compensation within the industry and market?
Questions to Ask During an Interview About the Work Environment
- How would you describe the company culture and values?
- What is the leadership style within the organization and how it relates to your personal style?
- Can you tell me about the team structure and how collaboration is encouraged?
- Can you describe the communication channels and processes within the company and your team?
- Are there any specific initiatives or programs in place to promote employee well-being?
- Can you provide examples of how the company supports employee engagement and morale?
- Can you tell me about the office setup and any amenities provided for employees?
- How does the company promote a healthy work environment and manage stress levels?
- Are there any social or team-building activities organized by you or the company?
- What is the approach to handling conflicts or challenges within the workplace?
How to Use These Questions to Find a Job
Choosing a handful of these questions for your next interview will help you gain valuable insights about the company, culture, growth opportunities and expectations for the position you’ve applied to. These will also help the company you’re interested in learn more about you as a candidate.
While asking 10 questions during a single interview is probably too many, between three and five is okay. And, if you have multiple interviews — like a phone screening and in-person interview — you should be able to address a good chunk of this list.
Make sure the questions you ask are appropriate for your audience in each interview — the questions you ask a recruiter should differ from those you ask the hiring manager.
To get the most from your questions, we recommend you choose one or two from each category per company. That way, you get a well-rounded understanding of every option before you.
Download the Interview Etiquette Guide
Acing your interviews is about more than showing up and asking the right questions. You need to do all the right things before, during and after each interview to truly put your best foot forward.
Download the Interview Etiquette Guide which outlines 13 tips for acing every interview you do in the future to land your dream job.
If you have any questions about working at ATS (we’re hiring in multiple locations across the U.S.), don’t hesitate to contact us today.