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5 Interview Questions You Should Always Ask

Your interview isn't just an opportunity to tell a company about yourself; it's also your chance to learn why (or why not) you'd like to work there.

You’ve done it! Your studying and resume-writing skills have helped you land an interview and you’re ready to make a great impression on your future employer. Everyone knows you should prepare for the most common questions you might encounter: strengths and weaknesses, conflicts you’ve handled, salary requirements, and more.

However, the end of the interview is also the perfect place to demonstrate your enthusiasm and fit for the job with a few well-worded inquiries. Here, five questions you should always ask during an interview.

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1. Can you tell me more about your company’s recent XYZ?

No employer wants someone to come into an interview without an idea of the company’s structure and history. Show that you’ve been doing your homework by researching the organization ahead of time. Look through their website, recent news articles, or annual reports—whatever is available and most applicable to your role. Then show your interest in the company by asking a question about something you read that you found interesting. This will demonstrate that you’re not only curious about the workplace but also genuinely interested in the company.

2. What type of professional development do you offer?

Professional development—anything from hour-long webinars to full-fledged conferences—is a wonderful way to improve your competence in a position. By asking the interviewer what types of development opportunities are offered, you exhibit a willingness to learn and a humility in recognizing that there is always room for growth. A company will likely be glad to see that you are going to invest your time and energy in professional growth.

3. What are the biggest challenges you expect the person in this role to face?

Asking about potential challenges is not only a great way to get a sense of what you can expect in the position but also an avenue to open up the conversation and speak to your skills. Do they foresee time management as being a difficulty? Speak to a time in your school or work history when you demonstrated this ability. Do they feel the position requires independence—or teamwork? Explain how you work under these conditions. This way, you can assure them with specific examples that you will be able to face the challenges of the position head-on.

4. How would you describe the work culture here?

Again, this question can be a great jumping-off point for speaking about how you thrive in the particular environment. Is the culture laid back? Tell them about how you’ve found success under flexible conditions and managed your own goals. Are they particular about how you spend your time? Speak to your organizational skills and your ability to take initiative. This question could also show you whether or not the company is a good fit for you, as opposed to whether or not you are a good fit for them. This is equally important when it comes to finding a career you can really sink your teeth into.

5. What do you love about working here?

This last one speaks to the heart. There may be no better way to give an interviewer a great last impression of you than to ask about why they love their job. Once the employer begins to reflect on their feelings about the organization and their role within it, they’ll likely relax a bit and feel a rush of positive thoughts. Once you leave the interview room, you can rest assured they’ll associate those positive thoughts with you and be glad that you wanted to know more about the company and its culture.

Going to an interview doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Take this opportunity to make sure the fit is right for both sides.

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