Interviewing for a job makes many people nervous, but you don't have to worry -- you can make a great impression on a possible employer by coming to the interview with your own questions.
If you ask quality questions, you will come across as engaged and bright. You'll also learn more about the job, the company's culture, and the people you'll work with if you get the position.
Stay on this page for our list of 41 great questions to ask in an interview and how they can help you get the most out of each job interview.
Why it's important to prepare questions to ask in a job interview
Interviewees should always ask questions during an interview.
It shows the interviewer that you are engaged and deeply interested in the opportunity. It also gives you the chance to gauge your interest in this position and employer. Interviews aren't just for employers to decide if they want to hire you. They're also for you to decide whether the employer fits your needs.
Try to prepare around 10-15 questions that interest you. But keep in mind that sometimes there will only be time for a few questions — make sure you prioritize correctly.
Asking thoughtful questions informed by what you already know about the position and employer shows you've done your research.
Consult our page on interview tips for more inspiration.
The best questions to ask during a job interview
The following list of questions is not exhaustive, nor is every question here relevant for every position.
The best questions to ask in an interview give the impression of a respectful and engaged active participant. Time your questions to fit the interview's flow. Don't get ahead of yourself and overwhelm your interviewer.
As the interview process progresses, your questions can get more detailed.
Questions to ask about the job
Use these questions to find out about job duties and the job's value to the company. You want to come off like you are planning to know the job inside out from the start.
1. What does a typical day on the job look like?
2. Can you tell me more about (specific job duty from the job posting)? How often does it come up?
3. Do you anticipate the main duties for this position to change within the next year?
4. Are there any skill gaps on the team you're hoping to fill with this position?
5. What other departments does this role interact with regularly?
6. Who would I be directly reporting to in this role?
7. What is turnover like in this role?
8. What's the previous person who held this role doing now?
9. What are the biggest challenges associated with this position?
10. Are there work-from-home opportunities for this role?
11. How long has this position existed within your company, and what need did it originally fill?
12. Could you give some examples of the kinds of projects I might be assigned if I'm hired?
Questions to ask about training and expectations
This category of questions can provide insight into the company's training process and future professional development and advancement opportunities.
13. What is the training process like for someone in this position?
14. What would you expect the new hire to master within the first 30 days? The first 90?
15. How is performance assessed for someone in this position?
16. How often do performance reviews take place?
17. What's the typical career trajectory for someone in this position/department?
18. What kind of professional development opportunities are available?
19. Will you expect me to participate in workshops or other professional development activities at conferences in the future?
20. Are there any books I can read on my own time to prepare for training?
Questions to ask about your interviewer
Turning the focus onto your interviewer can add humor and warmth to the interview process. Remember to be respectful and genuine in showing interest.
21. How long have you been with the company? What's motivated you to stay?
22. What's your favorite thing about working for this company?
23. What's the hardest thing about working at this company for you?
24. What brought you to the company? What were you doing before?
25. What's the most interesting/important skill working this job has taught you?
Questions to ask about the company and company culture
This category allows you to ask about the culture the employer wants to project. You can find out whether the company's values align with your own.
26. How would you describe the company and team culture? What kind of person tends to be happiest here?
27. How did the company handle the COVID-19 pandemic? What safety measures are currently in place?
28. What (other) recent challenges have the company faced, and how has it handled them?
29. How has the company changed during your time with it?
30. What's your favorite office tradition?
31. What do you see as the company's trajectory in the next few years?
32. How often do people typically have to work or be available outside their regular job hours? Is overtime expected?
33. What does the company do or offer to help employees achieve a work-life balance?
34. What kind of social outlets does the company offer for recent hires?
35. How would you say this company's culture differs from those of other companies you've worked for?
Questions to ask about next steps
The interviewer's answers to questions about the next steps in the process will demystify onboarding and give you a picture of how seriously they take you.
36. What's the timeline for the next step(s) in the interview process?
37. What is the next step in the process?
38. What does the onboarding process look like?
39. Is there any information about myself I haven't already volunteered that you would like me to share?
Questions to wow your interviewer
40. Among people who've held this position previously, what was the difference between the people who were okay in this role and those who were great?
This question, courtesy of Alison Green of Ask a Manager, will impress your interviewer because it clarifies your intent to be a great employee who will go above and beyond. Asking this question says you care about distinguishing between "good" and "great."
41. Do you have any reservations about me as a candidate that I can address now?
This question stands out because it allows you to showcase your humility and your ability to face your failings or weak points confidently. By admitting your interviewer may have reservations about you, you show a willingness to improve.
When you come to an interview armed with questions of your own, you have the potential to impress a possible employer. More than that, you can figure out if they are someone you care about impressing.
For more help moving forward with your job search and perfecting your interview skills, consult with your local college's career center or check out our page on phone interview tips.