Top tips for questions to ask an interviewer

questions to ask an interviewer

It is very important for an interviewee to go armed with relevant and pertinent questions to ask an interviewer as well, other than preparing to answer questions that will be posed to them. As I discussed in my previous article “Top 21 common interview questions – Useful for practice” –  an expected question at the interview would be – “What questions do you have for us? – This question possibly seems innocuous but is very significant. The questions you ask will indicate your interest and your understanding of the profile and the company. So do not ignore this question.

Starting on this premise let us discuss what this entails:

Guidelines to keep in mind for questions to ask an interviewer:

  • Don’t say you have no questions. – This will indicate disinterest and make you lose an opportunity to gather relevant information about the role and the organization. Have questions ready and formulate the ones you need to ask to ensure clarity during the interview as well.
  • Be ready to improvise and be flexible- It’s ok to have some questions jotted down on the basis of your research and understanding. However the interview may give you indicators to pose further questions. In fact be prepared but let the questions not be scripted.
  • Ask some specific questions – . Your questions should be specific to the role, the experience and value you bring to the table and the expectations that you are expected to fulfill – the questions will indicate your research, your interest and understanding and your suitability to the role
  • Ask questions about multiple topics:  Ask questions about a variety of topics to demonstrate your curiosity and interest in all aspects of the position. The questions will also help you to understand if the position and the organization is suitable for you. The topics could be :
    • Company cultureProcess of assessment ,CSR initiativesTrajectory of growthJob Responsibilities and DutiesLikely challengesExpectations from the candidateMission and Vision of the CompanyLeadership style of the CompanyFocus on Training and Development
    • Anything you feel they have missed asking you  or anything else that will give you more clarity
  • Don’t just ask questions at the end. Even though the interviewer generally opens the scope for asking questions at the end of the interview but it is not essential to reserve all your questions for the end. Don’t hesitate to pose questions when it makes sense throughout the conversation, of course when relevant and meaningful.Interviews work best when there is a conversation; a certain open rapport is built up.
  • Ask questions you are really interested in getting answers to – This is an opportunity to gain insights to help you to understand aspects of the job, company culture, responsibilities, and challenges that you may face and you can assess your fit for the job. Don’t ask questions to impress alone.
  • Avoid “Me” centric questions: “Me” questions are those that seem to put your own interest ahead of the employer. These could be questions about salary, health insurance, leaves, work hours, and other employee benefits. During an interview, you are showcasing your worth to the prospective employer and establishing how you can benefit the company, not the other way around. Once you are offered a position, these benefit details could be checked with HR before accepting the offer.
  • Ask one question at a time: Avoid clubbing multiple queries in one question. The interviewer won’t have the patience to process it.Each question should have one specific point.
  • Avoid questions for which answers can be gained through your own research: Avoid questions about what the Company does ( line of business ) – that should be covered by your own research. Ask questions that will create a dialogue between yourself and the employer. Avoid “Yes”, “No ” questions which can be checked with a through study of the company website and the job description.
  • Don’t ask anything too personal: In the effort of building a rapport don’t encroach into personal topics. It’s best to avoid making opinion statements that will lead to controversy.
  • Don’t ask if you have landed the job- This will show desperation and impatience. Leave on a positive note and allow the Company to get back to you.

Hope this helps. We could discuss more specific questions to ask in another post.

Member - Board of Governors at CYGNUS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE | Website

An entrepreneur, voice over artist, communication and soft skill trainer, HR professional,writer and amateur actor, Rajrupa thrives in her people-connect skills. She has been a faculty at several institutes and colleges teaching communication and soft skills. She has handled several portfolios in the corporate sector and has headed HR function for several years.
She is an alumnus of St Xavier's College, Kolkata and a post graduate in English Literature from the University of Kolkata. She is the recipient of the proficiency medal along with several other awards from National Institute of Personnel Management

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