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What Questions Should You Ask a Hiring Manager?

Our insider’s guide on how to leave a positive impression
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A job interview allows you to build a connection with your hiring manager while learning as much as you can about your potential role. To get the most out of this opportunity, it’s critical to prepare a list of questions in advance. These questions not only showcase your genuine interest in the role but can also help you make an informed decision about whether the company and position align with your career goals.

In this article, we’ll walk you through essential questions along with how to build a rapport with your hiring manager that will leave a positive impression. Let’s get started. 

Why Asking Questions Is Important 

Asking questions in a job interview is as crucial as answering them. It's an art that helps the hiring manager see how well you grasp the nature of the role and your compatibility with their company culture. Skillfully crafted inquiries can help you: 

Get to Know Your Employer 

Ask about their favorite part of working in the company or a challenging part they faced during their onboarding process - these personal anecdotes from hiring managers give valuable glimpses into work environment dynamics, team strengths, and shortcomings, and what it takes to thrive there. Furthermore, queries about management style give clues about what kind of support management offers to help overcome challenges.

Get to Know Your Company 

Moreover, raising thoughtful questions based on information found from pre-interview research, such as "How has your company's mission evolved over time?" or "What are some noteworthy projects that originated from this department?" serves a twofold purpose - they demonstrate your initiative while also revealing possible paths for career advancement within the organization.

Understand How the Role Will Benefit You 

Equally important are probing questions related to professional development opportunities offered by the employer; these responses will indicate whether they value employee growth aligning with individual career goals. After all, everyone wants a good fit – not just for today’s job description but for future aspirations, too.

Cover Your Bases

Lastly, it’s crucial to have final questions ready that address potential red flags uncovered during your job search or ones that arise when the hiring manager asks you typical interview sample questions; this strategic move ensures better-informed decision-making regarding any upcoming job offer. Essentially, having prepared questions reaffirms positive attributes like attentiveness and comprehension while ensuring you make an informed choice towards charting out your prospective career path.

Top 10 Essential Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager

During an interview, the conversation shouldn't be one-sided. It's just as important for you to learn about the potential employer as it is for them to learn about you. One great way to gain insights is to ask a few questions that provide a clearer picture of what working in that job and company may entail.

1. Can you describe the company’s culture?

Purpose: To understand the values, teamwork, communication styles, and working hours of the company. 

Potential Insights: Do your values align with the organization, and will you be comfortable in their work environment?

Consider beginning with inquiries about the company's culture. The hiring manager's response will help reveal if your values align with the organization's, providing valuable context on how comfortable you would feel in their team culture. This type of question gives room for honest reflections on teamwork, communication styles, and even working hours.

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

Purpose: To get a clearer picture of the main responsibilities and routines in the prospective role.

Potential Insights: Understand whether the expected tasks are aligned with your skills and interests.

Next up could be exploring a typical day in your prospective role. This offers clarity on main responsibilities and routines, which will allow you to discern if your expected tasks are aligned with your skills and interests.

3. What are the expectations for this role within the first 30, 60, and 90 days?

Purpose: To understand the milestones and plans for new hires during their initial phase.

Potential Insights: Learn about the company's expectations and support for new hires.

Understanding expectations early on ensures both parties start off on a clear footing. Inquiring about how the company will measure success reveals not only what milestones they anticipate but also whether they have thought-out plans supporting new hires during their initial phase.

4. How will my performance be evaluated?

Purpose: To understand the metrics or objectives used in performance appraisals.

Potential Insights: Understanding of how regularly feedback is given and what aspects are valued in performance.

Understanding the company's performance review process may shed light on specific metrics or objectives used in appraisals while implying whether feedback is regular or sporadic. Whether you are the type of person who benefits from regular career advice or who prefers a more open-ended approach, it's important to know what to expect.

5. What opportunities for professional development does the company offer?

Purpose: To understand growth potentials and professional development opportunities within the company.

Potential Insights: Insights on the company's commitment to employee growth and value beyond immediate roles.

This question will allow you to understand growth potentials within the firm, whether it’s attending seminars or internal promotions. Responses here can indicate employees’ value beyond their immediate roles within the firm.

6. Tell me more about the team I’ll be working with.

Purpose: To understand the team dynamics, size, mix of seniors and juniors, and typical work styles.

Potential Insights: Insights on potential future working relations and team dynamics.

Understanding team dynamics often defines how well individuals perform at work. Responses here can range from team size, the mix of seniors and juniors to typical work styles; each is valuable in helping you picture your future team culture.

7. What are the biggest challenges facing the company/department right now?

Purpose: To uncover potential red flags and understand organizational challenges.

Potential Insights: Information on potential hurdles and to gauge your ability to handle such scenarios.

It's equally crucial to uncover potential red flags through questions that are respectfully phrased but realistic about what type of situation you might enter. Depending on their response, you can gauge potential hurdles or even reconsider if you’re equipped to handle such scenarios.

8. How does the company support work-life balance?

Purpose: To understand the company's working style and how that will impact your quality of life.

Potential Insights: Understanding of whether the company supports flexible hours, remote working, or maintains traditional policies.

Balancing professional commitments with personal life is becoming more vital. Discerning whether they promote flexible hours, remote working, or maintain strict traditional policies can influence your final decision significantly.

9. What do you enjoy most about working here?

Purpose: To get personal perspectives from the hiring manager about the company.

Potential Insights: Reveals positive aspects of the company culture beyond formal job descriptions.

Personal perspectives from hiring managers often reveal unspoken realities of the firm more than any job description. This question allows hiring managers the opportunity to share their favorite parts about the job while indirectly hinting at positive aspects of company culture.

10. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Purpose: To show interest in staying connected post-interview and to understand the hiring timeline.

Potential Insights: Essential information on timelines for decisions and clarity over the next steps in the interview process.

Finally, show interest in staying connected post-interview. Their reply will provide essential information on decision timelines and offer clarity over what follows after this round, whether it is the next interview or a decision.

To Sum it Up

The ability to ask thoughtful questions during a job interview is an often-overlooked skill that can set you apart from other candidates, reinforce your suitability as an ideal candidate, and show genuine interest in both the role and company culture.

These prepared inquiries should reflect comprehensive pre-interview research and indicate a strong understanding of both the role's main responsibilities and how they have changed over time given organizational evolution. Moreover, asking challenging yet essential questions about professional development opportunities and typical career paths within the organization can clarify whether it aligns with long-term career goals. 

If you are one of the many people still unsure of what their career goals are, taking a career test from JobTest.org can help you get a better sense of what type of working style, environment, and role aligns with your personality and unique strengths so that you can face the interview process with a firm sense of what you need from and can bring to a new job.  Our professional career coaches can help guide you on your career journey.

Finally, remember a successful job search involves being strategic. Not only does asking good questions showcase genuine interest, but it also empowers you to make an informed choice regarding upcoming job offers. Preparing thoughtful questions will undoubtedly bring you one step closer to securing a full-time role perfect for you! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a quick look at the questions we hear the most:

Why is it important to ask questions during an interview?

Asking questions in an interview is crucial for several reasons. This not only showcases your interest and knowledge about the role and the company but also helps you make an informed decision about whether it is the right job for you.

What are the essential questions to ask a hiring manager?

The top 10 questions to ask a hiring manager include asking about the company's culture, typical day in the role, expectations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days, how performance will be evaluated, opportunities for professional development, the team you will be working with, biggest challenges facing the company, the company's support for work-life balance, what the hiring manager enjoys about working there, and the next steps in the interview process.

How should I prepare to ask these questions?

Pre-interview research is key to preparing to ask these questions. Formulate your questions based on the job description and information on the company's website. It's important to ask questions in a way that builds rapport with the hiring manager.

What is the significance of asking questions in an interview?

Asking questions during an interview can greatly impact your chances of securing the job. It not only demonstrates your interest in the company and role but also gives you a better understanding of what to expect, which allows you to make a more informed decision.

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