At the end of job interviews, after you’ve grilled the potential candidate, it’s time for the tables to turn. “Any questions you have for me?”
For some people, that’s a daunting question: they don’t want to jeopardize their chances of employment, yet they don’t want to be silent.
So, we asked managers from industry companies to share the questions they want to hear from candidates during job interviews.
1. “What was the reason you went to work for this company and what has kept you here?”
“It shows that the person is serious about wanting to get into the company,” said Betty Camenzind, marketing manager at Top 40 supplier Ennis Inc. (asi/52493). “He wants to understand the culture and get background on the folks he’d be working with.”
2. “What is the most important thing that I can accomplish in the first 60 days?”
“Something like that impresses me way more than questions about perks and benefits,” said Margit Fawbush, senior marketing and communications leader at BIC Graphic (asi/40480). “This offers the candidate and the employer an additional opportunity to dive into the role a bit deeper. Questions with yes or no responses don’t really offer the opportunity for people to get to know one another.”
3. “Can you tell me about your time at CustomInk and why you’ve stayed here?”
“It shows the candidate is thinking long term and trying to gain insight into what a future might be like with the company,” said Isaac Johnson, staffing manager at CustomInk. “It also represents a certain level of self-awareness and confidence that are great qualities in new team members.”
Drew Goldberg, director of human resources at Axis Promotions (asi/128263), broke down questions into three categories: position-specific, company-specific and personal.
4. “What have you not been getting in the role that you’d like to see more of?”
“It shows a great forward-thinking attitude when candidates almost put themselves in the role already,” Goldberg said. “There are always things organizations know they need right away when they hire someone, and these questions are a great way for candidates to make sure short-term expectations are aligned.”
5. “What are you most proud of about the company?”
“The company-specific questions are a little more broad but much better than the ‘where do you see the company in five years’ type of questions,” Goldberg said. “It’s a good way for them to try to decipher more specific company challenges and opportunities.”
6. “What do you do for fun?”
“I think cultural fit is so important, so I like when candidates want to get to know me on a more personal level,” Goldberg said. “Not that you need common interests, but it’s nice when people talk about life outside of work.”