15 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview to Impress a Hiring Manager

15 Great Questions to Ask in an Interview to Impress a Hiring Manager

    Job interviews aren’t just a chance for a prospective employer to get to know you – they’re also a chance for you to get to know the organisation and the people you’re hoping to be devoting many of your waking hours to.

    The best questions show you are interested in the role and want to check the opportunity is the right fit for you - culturally, professionally and personally.

    Here are 15 smart questions to choose from when interviewing for your next role.

    1.  What do you personally like most about working for this organisation?

    People like to talk about themselves, and this question enables you to build up a sense of camaraderie with your interviewer, invite openness and give you a first-hand insight into the pros and cons of the workplace. You'll get an insider's view of the culture and working environment as well as perhaps an insight into how they started in the business and how they have progressed.

    2.  What does a typical day in the life of this role look like?

    This question will help to get down to the day-to-day detail of the job and help you discover how you will be spending your time. The answer will give you an idea of what the employer's expectations are, so if you're offered the job there should be no surprises when you start.

    3. What will be my biggest challenge in this role?

    This question demonstrates that you are keen to tackle challenges and gives you an insight into what unique obstacles you may face. Remember that no role is perfect, but it’s important that you understand what the challenges of the role will be so that you can evaluate if you feel motivated and equipped to overcome them or not.

    4. How would you describe the organisation’s culture?

    This will help you understand what it would be like to work in the organisation on a daily basis and how they support and encourage staff wellbeing. You'll glean if and how the organisation prioritises employee happiness, any benefits on offer and what the work-life balance is like.

    5. How is the feedback process structured in the company?

    Constructive feedback facilitates growth in the workplace. By asking this question, you're showing the hiring manager you're always looking to refine your skills and develop your capabilities. You can find out how frequently the company offers feedback, such as annual or quarterly reviews.

    6. Can you tell me more about the team I would be working in?

    This will help you understand the way the company is structured, who you'll report to and the team the role sits within. These are the people you'll work most closely with, so it's worth trying to find out about the team dynamic and working methods. It may also give you the opportunity to mention any experience or success you've had working in a similar team set-up - just to give the employer one final example of how well you'll fit in if you get the job.

    7. What type of employee tends to succeed here, and what qualities are the most important for success?

    This is a great question and sets you out as a high achiever who is looking at what you need to succeed and hopefully achieve positive outcomes for the business. Hopefully, the ideal candidate looks a lot like you – and if you feel like you’ve missed something they mention in response, you can always email the interviewer later to reiterate how well you think you’ll fit in. 

    8. How do you help your staff grow professionally and what types of training and development programs can you offer?

    This shows that you are career-orientated and interested in staying – and growing – in the role. It also tells you if and how the organisation invests in its employees.

    9. What would you expect me to have achieved after 6 or 12 months in this role?

    It’s important to know what the expectations are of you before you start. But it’s also nice to know if the organisation is organised enough to have thought about what they want from a new employee before they begin interviews.

    10. How could I impress you in the first three months?

    This is a great question to ask because it shows potential employers that you're eager to make a positive contribution to the organisation. The response will tell you how they want you to perform and will highlight particular areas of the job you should be focusing on during the first few weeks of employment.

    11. How do you evaluate success in this role?

    Through asking this question, you’ll get an idea of what it means to do the job well, and whether the organisation’s values align with yours. It demonstrates that you are results-driven, which is a very appealing quality to a hiring manager, and also helps you understand if you will be set up for success.

    12. What are the company’s growth plans over the next five years and are there any new initiatives or changes on the horizon?

    Change is a constant in most organisations in today’s fast moving business landscape. Asking about future plans shows a real interest in the organisation and reiterates your commitment. The response you receive will give you an insight into the company's progression plans and its place in the market, its longer-term ambitions and perhaps how your role aligns to this.

    13. Is there anything else I can do or provide to help you make your decision?

    This is a solid question that shows you are switched on, confident and enthusiastic about the opportunity.

    14. Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications or experience?

    Some candidates may be uncomfortable asking this question in case it places them in a vulnerable position. However, it demonstrates that you’re confident enough to discuss and address your weaknesses.

    15. What are the next steps in your recruitment process before you can make an offer?

    This is a good ‘next steps’ question – great for a candidate to ask last as it rounds off the interview nicely. 

    Finally, there’s the question of how many of these questions to ask. Don’t ask them all! There’s no perfect number of questions you should ask in an interview, but we recommend asking at least three. Remember that some will be answered during the course of the interview, and others you may easily be able to find the answers to on the company’s website.


    Final thoughts...

    Making a great impression in a job interview doesn’t just mean knowing all the answers to the questions that you get asked: it also involves having a great set of questions to ask in return. Having smart questions prepared in advance shows that you’re motivated, that you’ve done your homework, and that you’re invested in learning more and being informed.

    Furthermore, with the chance to ask question usually coming at the end of an interview, the questions you choose to ask can have a huge impact on how your interviewer remembers you. So, do your research, prepare in advance and choose your questions wisely.

    If you come prepared with a list of smart questions to ask, you’ll be well on your way to making the interview a success!

    Please get in touch with our expert, friendly team for help with the next step of your career by emailing us at Theteam@identify-hr.com