Questions during the interview are the icing on the cake. Anyone who asks the HR manager clever questions earns points. However, applicants should not throw questions off the hips completely carelessly. You could get a nasty surprise with that …
This is why questions are so important in the interview
At some point in the interview there comes a moment when the interviewer asks: Do you have any questions for us? Who now answers with a brief No, often shoots himself out of the running. Applicants should ask questions during the interview – always!
Why? Because queries signal interest and curiosity. Applicants can also find out more about the company themselves. It is a unique opportunity for them to test and tap the company. You may come to the conclusion that you don’t really want to start here.
But it’s not about asking any question. It should be sensible, clever questions. The correct questions in the interview bring the job within reach. The wrong ones catapult you straight to the end …
Here are 5 good reasons why you should ask back in the job interview:
- You can find out more about the company.
- Clever questions underline your intelligence and your intellect.
- You demonstrate good preparation for the interview.
- Questions indicate a real interest in the job.
- You can conduct the conversation yourself and not just react.
Questions in the interview: Tips
Good preparation for the interview requires the right questions. As an applicant, you should have an idea of which questions you can ask yourself – and which ones you can ask yourself. Both are equally important.
Who has his own questions up his sleeve, shows initiative and professionalism. Therefore, always ask counter-questions – unless you have noticed in the course of the job interview that the position is definitely not the right one and you are no longer interested You can shorten the matter and do without queries. Why waste valuable time?
A classic query for applicants is for example:
- In your experience, what distinguishes good employees from the best?
The question is terrific. The answer reveals a lot about the values and work style in the company. And it serves as a compass for the applicant. Afterwards he knows what performance is expected of him, what is important to the company and how he can make a career here. The question is also much more subtle than What do I have to do to have a career here?
As you can see, it depends on the wording. There are also good questions that are poorly worded and have no effect. So think a little beforehand about how the other person will perceive your question.
You should also try to read between the lines. Pouring pure wine and being too open-hearted will not be a recruiter in the job interview, but everyone will send out signals. Be careful!
13 top-questions-in-job interview
Attention is the be-all and end-all. There are very good questions that you should definitely not ask. Namely when the answer has already been given in the course of the previous conversation. This would only show that you are not listening properly.
The following questions are generally recommended. What is clear is that you will not be able to ask all of them, but very few of them, in the course of an interview. Under normal circumstances, there will not be more than two to four questions:
Why is the position vacant?
There are two options: Either the position was created or there is a predecessor. What happened to him? Perhaps he will leave the company at his own request or he will be promoted. Valuable advice for you. You can also directly follow up and ask: How long did the previous employee work in the position? And also: What happened to the other employees in this department?
How do you promote talent?
First, the question signals that you are not only interested in money, but that you want to develop yourself. Positive! In addition, the HR manager should already be able to explain which strategies his employer has implemented in order to do justice to every talent and to promote the strengths of each individual.
What expects me in the first 90 days?
You are already mentally moving into the familiarization phase. It’s important. As you learn more about onboarding, you can mentally prepare for it. And secondly, you don’t want to get dismissed during the probationary period. It is extremely useful to plan the first steps and to anticipate obstacles.
What challenges is the company currently facing?
The question proves: You are not a specialist idiot, but a person who also keeps an eye on the bigger picture. Of course, the person you are talking to will not go into the figures and reveal secrets to you, but will show you the basic direction. Which markets could be interesting, which target groups? What problems were recently resolved? This helps you to understand the internal connections.
Why do YOU work for the company?
This will turn the tables: Now it is the HR manager who has to put up with questions about his motivation and goals. Completely legitimate! The question is often an icebreaker that makes you smile and earns sympathy points. After all, it is a very personal question. And hopefully, you will also gain new insights.
What personality do you want from the new appointment?
How to test your fit for the Job. Do your expectations and those of the HR manager match? Wonderful. Are the ideas fundamentally different? Hmmm, maybe you’d better stay away from it. You also approach the personality of your future boss or supervisor. Often these employees are looking for people who are so similar to themselves.
What mistakes did my predecessors make that I shouldn’t make?
Please do not blaspheme! A rule of thumb that also applies to companies. But you don’t want to hear any specific names, just behavior from ex-employees who would not look good on you in your future position.
How many Do you expect working hours from someone in this position?
Admittedly, not everyone likes to ask this question. Because you don’t seem lazy and want to sound like a slacker. But time management is especially important for people with private responsibilities – small children or parents in need of care, for example. You can bring that up if you want.
Is there something that your company is committed to?
One very good feedback – especially for idealists. Is the company focused purely on the pursuit of profit or does it promote social commitment, support the environment, donate to a good cause? And if so, how and for what? It is also interesting for the company to know which values the applicant represents and what is important to him.
How do you protect the health of employees?
A question that has become incredibly important due to the corona pandemic. Health protection at work is no longer a marginal issue but has priority 1A – even for office workers without helmets and overalls.
How is your working time recorded?
Great question – and very topical. The ruling of the European Court of Justice on the recording of working hours has given the subject a new meaning. Not to be underestimated!
What distinguishes your company?
A question that draws the other person from their reserve. Does the interviewer answer with standard phrases to quickly put the applicant off? Or maybe he has a nice anecdote in store? That would speak for him and the company.
Where do you see the company in five years?
Great question – and a successful return to the typical personnel question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Good feedback for all-applicants
- What do you expect from the new employee?
- How do you define success for this position?
- What are your goals in creating this new position?
- How do you measure and evaluate performance?
- What did my predecessor do well?
What should I do differently than him?
- What would have to happen to make you regret my attitude?
- How many predecessors have there been so far?
- How long has the position been vacant?
- Who will be my direct manager?
- How would you describe the management style of my possible future manager?
How does your corporate culture differ from that of other companies?
- How has the company changed since you’ve been here?
- What could frustrate me in my new job?
- What obstacles and difficulties should I plan for?
- Which colleagues do I work with and how do you support me?
- How big is the department in which I would work?
- How big is the team that I would work in?
- How important is the department in the company?
- How important is my position for the company’s success?
- Can I visit my future workplace in advance?
- Can I get to know my future colleagues?
- Which task has priority at the moment?
- In your opinion, why has the company been so successful so far?
- What has to change in the company so that it remains successful in the future?
- What do you think will be the greatest challenges for the company in the future?
- What does a typical working day look like?
- Does the job involve a lot of business trips?
What should I do before starting my job so that I can start my new job in the best possible way?
- How long does the induction phase take?
- How does onboarding work for you?
- How long does the trial period last?
- What would be my first project?
- How are employees supported?
- Is there a training budget?
- What further training opportunities do you offer?
- How often are feedback discussions held?
- Is it possible to work from home?
- Do you have flextime? or trust-based working hours?
- How flexible are your working hours?
- What else can I do to convince you of my abilities?
- What last doubts must I have I still clear out for you to choose for me decide?
- How will the application process proceed?
- When can I expect a decision?
inquiries for trainees
questions in Interview – these are good questions for applicants looking for a training position:
- Who can I contact if I have questions during the training?
- In which departments will I be complete the training exactly?
- Will the theoretical lessons be part-time or block lessons?
- Is it possible to shorten the training?
- How does the company offer many apprenticeships overall?
- What further training opportunities are there for trainees?
- How likely is it that trainees will be taken on after their training?
- When can I count on your answer?
Queries for interns
Questions during the interview – these are good questions for applicants who want to do an internship:
- Do I have a direct contact person during the internship?
How does the induction work?
- How are the goals of my internship defined?
- Which projects can I work on?
- Which will be my first project?
- What options are there to continue working for your company after the internship?
- When do feedback meetings take place?
- Are there other interns in the company?
Inquiries for executives
Questions during the interview – these are good questions for managers:
- How is the team composed?
- How big is my team?
- How is the atmosphere in the team and in the entire company?
- Were colleagues laid off or outsourced last?
- What major changes did my predecessor make?
- How was the relationship between the employees and my predecessor?
- How would you describe the management style of my predecessor?
- What is the budget for employee training?
- How high is the budget for bonuses, bonuses, and salary increases?
- What is the budget for layoffs?
- What major changes have there been in the last year?
- Have departments been merged or dissolved in the recent past?
- With which branches or branches does my teamwork particularly intensively?
Your reservoir of good questions during the interview should now be well filled. However, there are also a few questions that you should try to avoid in the job interview. You don’t pay into your points account but withdraw valuable credits.
For example, never ask for information that you could have found out yourself with two mouse clicks. Examples:
- What does your company produce?
- How many employees do you have?
- When was the company founded?
- Do you have branches abroad?
- Who is the CEO?
Then there are questions in the interview that show childlike naivete. Please do not ask questions such as:
- Do employees get along well?
- Is my boss nice?
- Are colleagues nice to new people?
- Do I have opportunities for advancement?
- How good are the products you make?
7 bad-questions-in-the-job interview
What exactly does your company do?
If you don’t know, don’t apply in the first place. Almost every company today has its own website. In a pinch, google or surf Wikipedia. Obtaining information is one of your duties before an interview. Don’t come completely unprepared.
How fast can you get promoted?
If you ask like this: Not at all! The question reveals that you must be an ego gamer. About someone who is only interested in getting ahead. First of all, you want to integrate yourself into the company, accept challenges, deliver performance. After that you can still talk about a promotion. Now is not the time. An alarm signal for employers because they have to assume that you will be gone in no time if you don’t get what you want immediately.
The question is from the DD category – doubly stupid. First, it makes the applicant appear greedy. You care about the money, aha. Second, you negotiate wages with your employer, you don’t just let them write a number on the contract (most of the time anyway). You should already know your market value. So: It is normal for you to talk about money at some point. But if you really want to address the issue, be more open about it. Motto: I would like to briefly touch on the subject of remuneration …
Can I come earlier and leave earlier?
Your thoughts are already finished. This is particularly fatal in the job interview. First work, then after work. Sure: the subject of working hours is fundamentally important. But you can ask about it more elegantly. Better for example: What is your work-life balance like? Or: Do you have flexible working hours?
May I surf the net privately during working hours?
The question crossed the line of audacity in the interview. You might as well say that you really don’t feel like working and that you’d rather spend your time on Facebook and Instagram. You might even think of them as lazy and stupid. Absolutely taboo! There are only exceptions to this rule if you explain seriously and specifically why you want to surf privately from time to time – for example, to check the current traffic situation on Google Maps because you have to pick up your daughter from daycare afterwards. But to be honest, such logistical problems can also be solved later …
What is your corporate culture like?
In principle, not a bad question in the interview. But it leads to excuses and ramblings. EVERY HR manager will probably answer with sentences like We treat each other very appreciatively. Our company consists primarily of people. Such empty phrases, which in truth have zero point expressiveness.
How do you handle sick leave?
Stupid question. There are legal requirements in this regard that every company must follow. In addition, with this question, applicants give the impression that they are either susceptible to illness or would like to turn blue.