A key part of any job interview is when the recruiter or hiring manager asks, “What questions do you have for me?” And word of advice: you better have at least three or four questions at the ready.
Why? Because it shows you’ve taken an interest in the organization, and are serious about working there. It’s also your opportunity to interview the organization or hiring manager and ensure it’s the right employer or leader for you.
To help you think about what kind of questions to ask during your next job interview, we turned to the Halogen HR team and asked them to share with us some of the best questions they’ve heard from job candidates.
Ask questions that uncover onboarding experiences and leadership skills
Xari Chartrand, one of our HR Business Partners:
“A question that caught me a little off guard was when a candidate asked, ‘How did you find making the move from your previous employer to Halogen?’ She caught me off guard because she actually named the previous employer!”
Why this question is important: Gaining an understanding of a current employee’s transition into the organization can help you understand its corporate culture and onboarding processes. This kind of information is key to your ability to assess organizational fit.
If you know the name of the person who is interviewing you, do some research in advance of the interview. Look this person up on LinkedIn or do a google search on his or her name. Use the information you find to tailor your questions to the work experiences of the interviewer.
Dominque Jones, Halogen’s VP of HR:
“The best questions I’ve been asked are the ones that make me think — and that really show the candidates did their homework on me and the company. It’s one thing if they have five standard questions they ask of everyone — it’s another if they have thought about who they’re talking to, done their research and ask specific questions to each person.”
Some questions job candidates have asked Dominique :
- What are you going to do as my manager to support me — either developmentally or in tough situations?
- Are you a manager or a leader?
Why these questions are important: You want to know that your future manager has the coaching and feedback skills necessary to support your success in this role. Everyone deserves to work for a good leader and the responses to these questions can help you assess what kind of manager you will be working for.
Ask questions that will
uncover personal experiences and values
John Fleischaeur, Talent Attraction Manager:
“Asking interviewers questions about their own experiences in the organization can offer some really insightful information. Consider asking questions that dig into career development experiences and the corporate culture, and really listen for specific examples from the interviewer."
Questions such as:
- How has your role evolved over the past two years?
- What would another company have to offer you to quit your job at Halogen?
- Do you guys really buy 60 pizzas every other Friday? (Yes, we do!)
Joshua Tolmie, Talent Acquisition Specialist:
“Ask questions that speak to the values of the organization and the hiring manager. Responses to these kinds of questions can offer insight into how aligned the organization is. It can also give you a sense of the hiring manager's leadership style. ”
- What do you value as a manager?
- How do your personal values align to those of the organization?
- How are these values reflected in the way you lead your team?
Why these questions are important: Responses to these question also help to convey how important (or not) employee development is to the organization, and whether career progression is a possibility. These questions also help you to understand the employer’s corporate culture, and how the hiring manager reinforces or supports organizational values with his or team.
When preparing for an interview, do your homework
When you ask these kinds of questions it shows you’ve put some thought into what you want to know about this potential employer, the hiring manager’s leadership style and why that interviewer works for the organization.
So do your homework, and really think about the kinds of questions that will help you learn more about the organization. And don’t be surprised when an interviewer asks you a thought-provoking question or two.
Happy job hunting!
For more on preparing for your next job interview, read this article on responding to interview questions.
Your Turn: What are some interesting questions you’ve heard or asked during an interview?