You may have heard that you should ask questions in every interview.
But does it really matter? And what happens if you don’t ask questions in your interview?
In this article I’ll explain why it really DOES matter if you ask questions in your interview, and why most employers are *not* going to hire you if you don’t ask questions in your interview.
We’ll start with why employers care and then I’ll show you some GREAT questions you can ask them after that!
Why You Should Ask Questions in Every Interview
Employers want someone who is going to enjoy their job, care about the work, and hopefully stay long-term.
It costs a lot of money and resources to hire and train someone new and the last thing they want to do is hire someone who’s going to leave soon after joining or give low effort.
So… employers want someone who’s being careful and selective in their job search, and who knows what they want.
One of the fastest ways to fail your interview is to seem like you don’t know what you want to do in your career!
And one of the best ways to show an employer that you’re being careful in your job hunt and looking for specific things is… you guessed it – asking questions!
Think about it like this: If you don’t have a single question to ask, how will you know it’s the right job for you?
So the employer will assume you don’t care what type of job you end up with, and are just desperate for any job. And this is how you get REJECTED.
What Happens if You Don’t Ask Questions in Your Interview?
Here are some of the bad things that happen when you don’t ask intelligent questions in a job interview:
- You risk being perceived as unprepared or disorganized.
- You will appear disinterested and lazy. Why would a hiring manager consider you for a job that you don’t even seem excited about?
- The other 5 candidates that interviewed for the position all appeared excited; I can almost guarantee it in this economy. The one or two that didn’t aren’t going to get to the second round of interviews.
So we need to avoid this by asking a few good questions in every interview.
Asking the right questions in a job interview can make the difference between getting hired and being rejected.
Any hiring manager will want (and expect) to hear at least a few intelligent questions from you during the interview process.
If you’re interviewing with a few different people on the same day, you need different questions for each person. One of the worst things you can say to an interviewer is, “the last person answered all of my questions.”
It might sound a bit difficult to formulate good questions for every person on every job interview, but getting organized can make it easier.
In the next section, I’ll break it down into a few key areas (with examples) that you can ask questions about. This should make your job of asking questions during a job interview into a much easier task.
Job Interview Question Categories/Examples:
Hopefully I’ve now convinced you why it’s good (and practically essential) to ask good to ask questions in your interview.
Now here are some ideas for questions you can ask…
1. Questions about the specific job:
- Is this a newly created position or did somebody previously hold this position?
- Will anyone report to me, and who will I report to?
- What are some of the greatest challenges that this person will face?
- What type of training will I receive to help prepare for this role?
2. Questions about the company:
- What type of person thrives in your company’s culture?
- What type of growth and learning opportunities does the company offer?
3. Questions about the future:
- What is the typical career progression for somebody in this role?
- How do you envision this person progressing over the next 2-3 years?
If you want more ideas of what to ask, we have a list of the top 105 questions you can ask in an interview HERE.
Tips and Mistakes to Avoid When Asking Questions in Your Interview
First, don’t ask extremely basic questions about the company. Spend 5-10 minutes researching the company so that you know a bit about the industry and the products/services that the company offers. Then you can ask more advanced/impressive questions, like “I was on your website and saw ___. Can you tell me more about ___?”
Next, don’t emphasize the future too much. Looking for growth is great, but you don’t want to seem like you’re only interested in taking a position so that you can advance beyond it within the first year. The hiring manager is interviewing for one specific job and they want to know that job interests you, along with future growth.
Next, save questions about salary, dress code, and other company policies for after you know the company wants to offer you the job. It’s especially important to avoid asking these questions in a first interview. This can get you rejected and I’ve seen it first-hand.
In a first or second interview, you really want to focus on asking questions about the work, the role you’ll play within the company and group, etc. You want to seem motivated to come in and quickly get up to speed in this role. So ask questions in your interview that demonstrate this.