32 unique interview questions to ask employers

32 interview questions that will impress employers and help you get hired
Andrew Fennell photo Andrew Fennell

An interview gives the hiring manager a chance to meet with you and determine whether you’re right for the job.

But it also provides you with an opportunity to decide if you’d like to work for that company.

That is why, at the end of the interview, you’ll be given a chance to ask your own questions. This will help you to dig a little deeper, but also gives you another opportunity to stand out and look inquisitive and enthusiastic.

So, you need to ask interesting questions if you want to get hired.

If you truly want to impress the recruiter, you need to think outside the box, with some unique questions like these.



1. What’s the main thing you’re hoping a new recruit can bring to this position?

This question is great because it shows that you intend to join the company ready to make a difference and focused on having a positive impact.

Not only that, but it suggests you want to bring new ideas and innovation to the role, rather than simply coming in and copying what past employees have done. It shows the hiring manager that you’re proactive and driven.


2. What’s the most challenging aspect of the role?

Let’s face it, no one wants to start a new job only to be immediately faced with a huge list of challenges.

But by asking about the most challenging aspect of the role, you show the employer that you’re realistic and you’re aware it won’t always be easy.

It also suggests that you’re ready to take on new challenges, and to top it all off, it’s not a very common question so it proves you’re different from other candidates.


3. What key piece of advice would you give to the person starting this role?

This is a broad question that gives you a chance to get some real, practical advice that will help you out if you are lucky enough to land the job.

This also gives the interviewer a chance to highlight what to do, and possibly even what not to do, if you want to impress your new employer when you join the company.



4. What personal attributes do you need to be successful in this position?

Skills are obviously important when it comes to being good at your job, but so are personal attributes.

After all, you want to make sure that you fit in with your colleagues. But this is also a good question to ask because it shows the recruiter that you care about fitting in and being a good match for the company culture.



5. How does this position contribute to the company overall?

Of course, you want to be a useful employee and contribute towards larger goals and the overall success of the business. By asking this question, it helps to build a better understanding of your possible role in the company.

But more than this, asking how you contribute towards these bigger goals and the future shows you are passionate, proactive and that you want to do more than simply complete your daily tasks. You want to use your position to make a real difference.


6. I’ve read about the company’s recent {news or product launch}  – can you tell me more about how this affects the future of the company?

How you approach this question can vary depending on the company’s latest news, products or developments, but it’s a great way to impress potential employers.

It tells the interviewer that not only have you done your research about the company, but that you’re genuinely interested in the role and the future of the business.


7. What can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?

Sure, you want to know as much as possible about the company before you take a job there, but that’s not why you should ask this question.

Like the question above, this gives you a chance to show your genuine interest in the company, which is so crucial in a new employee. The hiring manager wants to know that you care about the future of the business and its goods or services before they make you an offer.


8. What is your favourite thing about your job and working for this company?

By asking the interviewer questions about themselves, you can find out more about them as a person and their personal experience within the company. This can help to build rapport and get the conversation flowing.

Not only this, but you’ll be able to learn more about the positive aspects of the company and what makes it great from someone who has been there a while.

Plus, a passionate and genuine response from them shows that they truly love their job and it’s a good company to work for.


Interview tip



9. Why did you say yes to your current position when it was offered to you?

As with the last question, this is another way you can start building rapport and a friendly relationship with the interviewer.

It can also help to highlight the key selling points of the company and why you should say yes to the offer (if you’ve been made an offer, of course). It gives the recruiter a chance to discuss what they love about the company and what initially drew them to the role.


10. What are the most immediate challenges of this position that need to be addressed?

This question shows that you’re ready to get started making a difference right away and that you want to know where you need to start. It will also give you a chance to figure out what you’ll be doing in the first few months of the job.

Plus, this gives you an opportunity to highlight the relevant skills and experience you can put to good use if you were to start there.


11. What was it about my CV that first caught your attention?

It’s always interesting to know what it was that originally caught the recruiter’s eye, but this question is also great because it opens you up to more interesting talking points.

Once they have given you an answer based on your CV, you can go into more detail about the particular skills, experience or topics that bagged you the interview.


12. Can you give me more details about the onboarding process?

Asking about the onboarding process has a number of benefits. For one thing, it helps you to set expectations for how long the hiring team will take to make decisions, and what will be expected of you if you do join the company.

But more than that, asking questions about settling in and getting to grips with the company shows initiative. It suggests that you’ll do anything to make sure your first few weeks and months go as smoothly as possible.



13. Have other people failed in this position recently and if so, why?

Although it might seem odd to ask about the failure of others as it can seem quite negative, it shows the recruiter that you plan to succeed. By learning from the mistakes of others, you can be more successful in the role and therefore more likely to stick around for longer.

Not only that but asking about past failure could also lead to other important topics. For example, if people have failed due to a lack of skills, you could ask about training opportunities.


14. What do your top performers do differently from their colleagues?

By understanding what top employees do to succeed, you stand a better chance of impressing, progressing and truly thriving within the business.

But the fact you’re asking this question shows that you’re thoughtful and genuinely interested in excelling in the role and making a difference. This question can really help you to stand out from other candidates, as it proves you plan to be successful and to stand out from others.


15. What are your biggest concerns about the department right now?

Being honest in an interview is so important, whether that’s you or the recruiter and asking this question forces the interviewer to be honest about some of the downsides.

This might seem odd in an interview. After all, they want you to feel good about the company. But it does give them a chance to discuss how they want to tackle these concerns moving forward and the role you’ll play in that.

This question also shows that you’re genuinely interested in the company as it is, its future and your role within the department.


16. What would a successful first three months look like?

You understand that the probation period for lots of roles is around three months and while you might still be learning the ropes, you want to impress your new employer as much as possible.

So, by asking them what success looks like, you not only set yourself up to do well, but you also show them that you’re driven and that you care about helping the company and making an impact from day one.



17. What are you hoping I’d accomplish in my first year here?

This question is similar to the one above as it shows that you’re focused and keen to make a difference as soon as you can. But not only that, by asking about your first year, it shows that you’re planning a future with the company.

And really, that is what they want to know as they don’t want to spend time and money hiring you, for you to leave six months later. So, this question can help to prove your dedication and that you plan to grow and stay within the company.


Interview tip 2


18. Are there key metrics or targets that my performance will be measured against? And if so, what are they?

Understanding how you’ll be assessed and if there are specific metrics that you’ll be measured against shows that you are self-aware and keen to impress. It also shows that you want to be successful in the position.

Not to mention this will clarify exactly what you need to be focusing on when you first start which will help you to get noticed, quickly.


19. Do you expect the key responsibilities for this role to change much in the near future?

While the job description will set out the typical daily responsibilities of the role and these often stay the same over time, the interview is your chance to see if this will always be the case.

By asking whether your responsibilities will change any time soon, you have an opportunity to show that you’re willing to learn, be flexible and that you’re happy to embrace change.

You can also hint at the fact that you’re happy to take on more responsibilities (and possibly promotions) as you grow within the company.


20. Is there anything you think I could improve upon to be better suited to this position?

Asking if there are any ways you could improve in order to be better suited and more successful in the role proves that you are proactive. It shows the interviewer that you’re prepared to keep learning and developing your skills in a bid to be the perfect fit for the job and company.

This sounds great as it shows that you’re prepared to go the extra mile and to do your best in the role.



21. What are the most interesting training and development opportunities offered by the company?

Plenty of companies offer training and development opportunities, but it’s nice to know about some of the more unique or interesting techniques you can expect if you get the job.

After all, long presentations or wordy online courses can quickly become boring and you want to truly engage with these development opportunities. It also shows that you’re interested in growing within the company and that you want to keep learning and exceed the employer’s expectations.


22. Will there be opportunities to do external training courses?

On a smiler note, this question shows that you’re interested in future learning and development, so much so that you’re looking to external courses and opportunities.

Their answer will also give you a good idea of the types of training opportunities that will be on offer for you if you join the company, so this can be an important question for both parties.


23. Are there opportunities to shadow other employees or to get a mentor?

It’s not just training and development courses that you could be interested in. You might also wish to shadow a fellow employee or secure yourself a mentor, and it’s good to know if this is an option before you accept the job offer.

Another reason this is a good question to ask is because it shows that you’re proactive and eager to learn, but that you want to experience different ways of strengthening your skills and learning more about the company.


24. How often are people promoted internally?

When looking for a new recruit, employers want to know that you plan to stick around and grow within the company. By asking about internal promotions, it not only shows your ambition but also that you are interested in staying in the position long-term, developing and growing as part of the team.



25. How frequently are formal or informal reviews given?

Regular feedback is a huge part of career progression. These opportunities give both workers and their managers a chance to address strengths and weaknesses and tackle any issues. By asking about the review process, you show that you can take feedback on board to make positive changes.

Plus, this gives you a chance to find out how often you’ll be given an opportunity to review your work and determine how you’re getting on. If it’s not frequently enough you might want to rethink the position.


26. Which departments work most closely with this one and how?

This question is sure to impress as it shows you’re taking a wider interest in the whole company and how everyone works together for the best results.

It’s also good for you to know how you’ll work with others, showing that you’re flexible and happy to collaborate on projects. Both of which are great traits in a candidate.


27. How would you describe the management style?

Asking about management style shows that you’re taking a deeper interest in how things are run day to day within the business, and whether you’ll be able to thrive under those conditions.

Not only that, but hiring managers tend not to hear this question often, so it also shows you’re thinking outside the box and really trying to build a strong understanding of how the company works.


28. Based on the interview so far, do you think I would fit into this company culture?

When starting a new job, you want to meet lots of new people and genuinely enjoy your role. Of course, you do. And this question helps prove to the interviewer that you are truly interested in the job and becoming an important part of the team.

You also make them reflect on the rest of the workforce and what it is about you that they believe will make you a good match and a welcome new member of the team.



29. How does the team form strong bonds and work well together?

Asking about ways in which the team bonds, both inside and outside of work, demonstrates to the interviewer that you’re interested in being a team player. It shows that you want to integrate yourself into the existing team and form new friendships that allow you to work as effectively as possible together.

This is important in any business, as close-knit teams can be more innovative, productive and generally contribute towards a better company culture.


30. Does the team ever get together outside of work hours?

Working closely with colleagues is a big part of a company’s culture and asking about social experiences shows that you want to spend time and get to know your co-workers.

Don’t worry, despite common concerns, it doesn’t suggest that you just love a party.

Socialising is important for creating a happy, innovative and comfortable workplace. Therefore, the employer wants to know you can be social and spend time as a team or company, even outside the office.


31. Is there anything more that you would want me to clarify about my experience, qualification or personality?

The interviewer will likely have a list of questions that they plan to ask you and things they hope to find out. However, if there’s a lot to cover or the conversation really gets flowing, they might miss a topic or two in the initial meetings.

By asking them if they want to know any more about you, it gives them a chance to review what’s been said and get more details about why you’re great for the role. This is sure to impress them and ensures they know everything they need to before you leave.


32. What are the next steps for the interview process and when can I expect to hear back?

Finally, this is a strong question and can impress the recruiter as it shows that you’re keen, organised and interested in the job. It’s also very practical as it gives you a chance to find out when you’ll hear back about the position.

This can make you less anxious and impatient, particularly if you really want the role.



Why should you ask questions in an interview?

When attending an interview, it’s not just a chance for the employer to get to know you and whether you’re a good fit for the role. It’s also your opportunity to ask your own questions and determine whether the role and company are right for you.

After all, it works both ways. You need to know that you’ll be happy and fulfilled in your new position and that you’ll enjoy showing up every day.

Plus, asking questions shows that you’re enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the role and that you’ve been engaged throughout the process. All of which are qualities the recruiter wants to see.


5 tips for asking questions at the interview stage

You want to leave the hiring manager with the best impression of you, so don’t let yourself down at the final stage. When asking your own questions, confidence is key, so be sure to use the following tips to ace the interview:

  • Prepare in advance – It’s a good idea to write down (or at the very least think about) some questions you want to ask at the end of the interview. This way, you’ll be more confident and you’ll be able to decide if the role is right for you.
  • Ask open-ended questions – Be sure to avoid questions that could be answered with a simple yes or no. You want to ask open questions that help you to learn more about the role and company, plus get the conversation flowing.
  • Keep it relevant – To show your genuine interest, it’s important that you keep your questions focused on the role and/or the company and always relevant.
  • Avoid talking about money – During the interview stages, it’s best to avoid asking about salary or benefits. Otherwise, it might suggest that you only care about the money and not the role itself.
  • Show you’ve done your research – It’s a good idea to demonstrate that you’ve done your research by asking probing questions about recent projects, company news or awards.



5 questions you should not ask in an interview

We’ve briefly touched on why you should avoid asking about money, but here are five examples of other questions you should stay away from at all costs.

  • What will my daily responsibilities be? – You should have read the job description carefully before applying and familiarised yourself with the duties of the role. If you haven’t done this, you will look disinterested and frankly, a bit lazy.
  • What does the company do? – Again, you should have researched the company before applying, let alone attending the interview. So this will suggest you’re not really engaged or interested in the position.
  • Can I work from home? – Remote and hybrid work has certainly become more common, but this is usually indicated in the job description. If you immediately ask about working from home, you could appear disinterested in working in the office as a team.
  • Are you going to do a background/reference check? – The fact that you’re worried about this in the interview suggests that you have something to hide.
  • Do you like your co-workers/boss? – Although you might want to know more about the working environment, you should not ask the recruiter to judge their colleagues or managers. This can make you come across as a bit of a gossip.