At a job interview I know I’m supposed to ask questions, but what questions would I ask?
Employers like to give you, the interview candidate, a chance to ask questions. Why? Because the interview is about fit. They are checking to see if you fit what they are looking for, and you are checking to see if their job opportunity is what you are looking for.
So, to figure out which questions you might want to ask you can start by thinking about what you would like to know. What would help you understand the job and their organization better?
Would you like to know what kinds of projects you might get to work on? “Can you tell me about the types of projects someone in this role would be working on?”
Are you curious about which other people in the organization you would be interacting with? “Who does the person in this role interact with?” and/or “How much time is spent working independently, and how much is spent working directly with others? And who are the other people that the person in this job works closely with?”
Wondering how this job came to be open? “How did this job come to be available? Is it a newly created position?”
Want to know more about the tasks of the job and more about the skills that will be important? “Can you tell me more about what you think will lead to success in this job?” or “What do you think will be the biggest challenges for someone in this job?”
Questions to keep for later:
While you may be really itching to find out more about salary, benefits, vacation, etc., it is usually best to hang on to these questions until later in the process. Once a job offer has been made (i.e., the employer has offered you the position) you can then start discussing and possibly negotiating the terms, such as salary and benefits.
The bottom line is that asking questions is a chance for you to learn more about the opportunity at hand and at the same time show the employer how interested in the job you are and that you are serious about making a good decision about your next job opportunity.