Aurora University

Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

At the end of your interview, you will likely be asked, “What questions do YOU have?”  Be sure you have a list of questions ready to go. The questions you ask are as important as those you answer—they will set you apart from other candidates and help sell yourself as a qualified candidate.

1. Have a few questions prepared to ask your interviewer.
It doesn’t matter how many interviews you have at the same company, or even with same person, you always want to ask two or three (not fifteen) questions at the end of every interview.

The objective of these questions is to help you discover if this is the place where you want to be at least eight hours every day, and communicate that you have done some research about the company.

Brainstorm a few questions before the interview.  Here are some samples to get your ideas flowing:

Business-Related Questions
What are a few things that really drive results for the company?
Where do you see the company in ten years?
Has the recent merger had an impact on customer service?

Job-related questions
How would you describe the corporate culture?
What are some of the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in this job?
What strengths do you feel I might bring to the position?  What gaps do you see in my experience?
What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
How do you measure and determine success for this position?

Personal questions
Why did you decide to join this company?
What do you like most about working here?
What is the most challenging thing about working here?
What do you consider your company’s strengths and weaknesses?

“Soft” questions
You should always have a few “easy” questions in your back pocket, if you find your inquisitive nature going dry at the end of an interview. It’s nice to have personal questions that you can ask anyone in any department or at any level, and it’s OK to ask different interviewers the same personal questions.

Questions not to ask
You never want to ask obvious questions that you can find out from the job description or the web site such as “Who are your clients?” or “Where are your offices located?”

Do not ask about salary or benefits during the interview. You wait to ask those questions once you have received the job offer.

2. Pay attention to the answer, then ask a follow-up question.
A great question and answer session and conversation at the end of your interview can leave a lasting impression.

3. Ask about next steps.
You should always leave the interview knowing the company’s timeline or intentions:
What are the next steps?
What is your timeline?
When can I expect to hear from you regarding next steps?

4. Say “thank you” and restate why you would be a great fit.
As the interview draws to a close, you want to sum up everything:

“Thank you for taking the time to interview me. After hearing more about ABC Company, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute. I’ll look forward to hearing from you (mention the timeline they gave you).”

5. Follow up.
Send a thank-you email within 24 hours to everyone with whom you interviewed. This provides you an opportunity to elaborate on something you briefly mentioned during the interview, or to clarify an answer that you felt could have been better. It is also a simple matter of etiquette. 

  • Sending your note by email is if you've communicated with the employer that way before.
  • Don’t send the note on your way home from the interview (this may appear desperate, and you’ll want a little time to reflect on what you want to say), but do send your note within 24 hours of the interview.

Consider doing a handwritten note instead (if your penmanship is good). Sending a thank-you note sets you apart from other applicants who don’t do this.

If the employer told you when you could expect to hear about next steps, note that date in your calendar. If you haven’t heard from the employer by that date, call or email to follow up.