Interviewing is a critical step to securing a job.
It's important to ask questions during an interview in order to better gauge the company and whether they are a good fit for you.
Some of the most common interview questions include asking about their culture, salary, benefits, work hours, and any other information that you might be curious about. But why not take it one step further?
Why not ask some killer interview questions that will leave employers scratching their heads? Here are some of the best ones.
This article is part of our complete guide to preparing oneself for an interview.
How do you win with your employees?
Employers want to prove they have a good relationship with their employees. So, if you ask them for an example of how they foster that, you can understand their approach to communicating and managing employees.
The employer might even provide you with a couple of examples, or perhaps they may elaborate their internal (and unwritten) philosophy or process. It can also lead to a deeper discussion about what type of environment you're looking for (work and life balance, working days, etc.).
How would someone describe you in one word?
This question can certainly help you figure out how your potential boss sees themselves and what their management style is like.
It can also provide you with insight into what they expect from employees and if you will have to deal with anyone bossy or difficult.
For example, if they say "disciplined," it might tell you that they expect the same from their employees — which might not necessarily be what you're looking for. You want a boss who is nurturing and understanding, but also supportive and hard-working - however you don't always get what you want; and knowing what to expect really lets you prepare your stomach in advance.
What type of people do you enjoy working with?
This is one of the best questions to ask a potential employer because it gives you an idea of your compatibility. Be careful not to judge them by their answer, but it can give you an indication of what it would be like to work with them. Follow up and poke at their answer.
Asking this question shows that you take initiative and aren't afraid to ask questions - which is a good thing. You aren't challenging their authority, but you are just "testing the waters".
Further, you don't necessarily need to agree with their answer — in fact, having a difference in opinion can show that there will be variety in working with different people on different projects and topics.
Beware that interviews are a two way conversation. So when you ask questions employers find sensitive, they might fire back fresh questions in retaliation that you may find uncomfortable and possibly illegal. Know which questions are strictly off limits.
Is there a reason you are phasing out your current employee?
You might also want to ask what they believe the employee did wrong in order to avoid making those same mistakes.
Find out if there were personality conflicts with other employees or if the employee continually showed up late or did a poor job. Doing this at the end of an interview might put you on a better footing with your potential employer because it shows that you have the same priorities as them and leaves a positive last impression.
What do your best employees have in common?
This question makes sense because it gives you an idea of what type of employee that they look for. You can then tailor your subsequent answers (slightly and slyly) to match what the interviewer wants, getting you better chances at the job.
The answer may also give you an idea of what they expect from you as an employee and how well you will fit in with the team. They may share that they look for people who are hard workers or go above and beyond to get the job done.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
This is a great way to get your potential employer to relax and open up. It's not uncommon for them to appreciate being asked this question immensely because it gives them a chance to brag about their company and what they do every day. Obviously, it's important that you find out how the position will benefit you — but it's also nice for employers to know that someone wants to hear about them as an individual and not just one of the many people who work there.
What does a typical workweek look like?
It's important to know how many hours an employer expects their employees to work and when they are available to do so because it can make a big difference in how happy you will be working there. Critical thinking is a big part of today's workforce and employees should have the freedom to work remotely or complete tasks during their own time, if necessary. Most employers will be honest with you about this information, especially if you ask it upfront in the interview.
Want more questions to ask your employer? Interview them back instead with the questions in this next article.