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How Many Questions Should You Ask in an Interview?

how many questions should you ask in an interview

Have you finally landed an interview for your dream job?

After applying for many job positions, receiving an email to invite you to an interview is a wonderful feeling. Once the excitement passes, you may become anxious and nervous as the days approach. This is entirely normal.

To alleviate some of those feelings, the best thing you can do is be prepared. It may sound cliche, but preparation truly is key. It is vital you research and take the time needed to prepare for your interview.

So, today I’ll help answer ‘How Many Questions Should You Ask in an Interview?’ and how best to get ready!

how many questions should you ask in an interview

Preparation For Your Interview

When it comes to the interview process, there are many things you have to prepare for. The hiring manager will ask you a number of interview questions regarding yourself, your experience, and your future. These can feel quite intense, and it is challenging for those of you who are not overly confident or comfortable speaking about yourself.

However, a vital part of the interview is when you can ask questions to your potential employer. This is a great way to find out a little more about the position and just the general vibe of the company.

There is such a thing as too many questions!

You have to be careful about the number of questions you ask in an interview. You don’t want to fire questions at them constantly, avoiding speaking about yourself, but you want to seem interested and understand more about the position and the company.

Remember, when speaking conversationally with someone, questions already occur naturally. However, it’s good to come up with a list of potential questions you want to ask your interviewer.

how many question should you ask in an interview

Different Types of Interviews

The Phone Interview

Depending on the type of interview will also limit or give you more time to ask questions. For example, if you have a phone interview, you may not have time to ask as many questions as you would face-to-face. Experts still advise preparing three to five questions for a phone interview.

Remember, you must be considerate of your interviewer’s time, so only ask the question if they offer at the end. If they have no time, you can always say you have a few more questions and request their email or a follow-up phone call. Recruiters expect potential employees to ask questions, so don’t be afraid to do this.

The Face-to-face Interview

Depending on the stage of your interview also factors into the number of questions you should ask. If it is your first interview, you may want to do the same and prepare three to five interview questions. However, the stage of your interview will also affect the interview process.

If you know it is between you and one other person; you can prepare around ten questions if the manager hasn’t covered them in your previous interviews. You may wish to sit with the hiring manager and go through them.

how many question should you ask in interview

Respect Their Time

Remember, you must be respectful of your hiring manager’s time. You want to ask well-thought-through questions that are actually going to impact or help you understand the opportunity. If you are tight for time in an interview, experts suggest that you don’t ask personal questions such as; “How did you end up working here?”

These are not helpful to you when you want to learn about the job, and it may confuse hiring managers why you are spending your time on those sorts of questions instead of ones that will impact you or inform you of the job role or the company. This doesn’t give a great impression either, as it looks like you are unprepared.

Why You Ask Questions?

Questions are an essential part of the interview. You should look at it from your side as gathering information for some sort of project. You want to know the information and get a good idea about what the company represents and how it treats you as an employee.

Helps With Your Decision

You want to figure out the dynamic between you and the hiring manager. Small details such as how the company conducts the interview and how the other members of staff treat you in the lobby and the interview and the process itself reflect how the employees feel and how they work.

You want to determine whether you are a right fit for the company and getting a good vibe from the place. At the end of the day, if you are offered the job but didn’t get a good feeling in the interview, it’s up to you whether you take it or not! A job may seem like the perfect job on the outside and a desirable company, but if you don’t get good feelings from the interview and the beginning of the process, often it’s best to trust your gut.

You Stand Out

Asking a killer question may give you an edge over other candidates. They may remember you as “the person who asked that great question!” If you can demonstrate your unconventional thinking and ask something no one else has asked, as long as it’s thoughtful and proactive, it may help you stand out from your competitors!

Shows Your Interest

Asking questions also shows that you are interested in the position and want to know more. If an interviewer asks if you have any questions and you decline, it doesn’t look good on your part.

Even if you feel they have covered most things, you can instead ask a personal question such as; “Which personal qualities would you like to see in someone who works in this role?”

Include research details in your question…

Another great way to show both your interest and intelligence is to reference something you have already researched about the company in your question. For example;

“I noticed via the company website that you sell five times the amount of product A worldwide compared to product B. Both are outstanding products and are prevalent in the consumer market. Why do you think this is?”

This shows you have done your homework, and it’s also a genuine question that perhaps your hiring manager will be able to answer. If you were applying for a marketing or advertising position, in this instance, you could also offer some ideas you would give to promote the product.

Top 12 Questions To Ask A Hiring Manager

With information so readily available on the internet, asking questions such as what your company focuses on or what they do will make you look terrible. This may have been ok 20 years ago, but in our information society today, it won’t fly with most employers. It won’t make you look very intelligent either.

The Recommended Questions

1 What is the structure of the feedback process?

2 What is expected of me in this role?

3 What do you want to see me accomplish in the first six months?

4 Is there any specific training required for this position?

5 What is the history of this role?

6 What is the company’s management style like?

7 What criteria do you use to assess a person’s performance in this position?

8 What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the role look like?

9 Can you provide me with some samples of projects on which I’d be working?

10 What kind of talents does the team need, and what are you searching for in a new hire?

11 What is a typical day like for you?

12 What qualities and experiences do you seek in a perfect candidate?

Not feeling Quite Confident Yet?

That’s what we’re here for! Firstly, a few online handbooks about asking the questions in your interview with the Master The Interviewing Process: Questions To Ask The Interviewer, or how about the Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job and my favorite, The Key to Landing A Job – Interview Secrets Employers and Headhunters Don’t Want You to Know.

Next, check out my advice on the Best Questions To Ask In An Interview, as well as how to answer What Are You Most Proud Of, How Do You Handle Conflict, and Why Do You Want To Work Here, or perhaps you’d like to find out your Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews.

Lastly, we touch on the STAR Method, which is used worldwide as a proven preparation technique for all types of interviews. So, take a look at The STAR Method Explained: Succeed at Interviews, or The STAR Interview: How to Tell a Great Story and Nail the Interview, which can be used in conjunction with the STAR METHOD INTERVIEW: Notebook for interview prep all available in 2023.

Final Thoughts

There is no set number or rule on how many questions you must ask a hiring manager. Remember, depending on your interview location and time, things can differ.

A good rule of thumb is to create five to ten questions for a potential hiring manager. If you have these written down and answered in the interview already, make sure to tick them off.

In your interview, you must ask a question to make you seem interested in the role and genuine. Try to think of some out-of-the-box questions depending on the company you are applying for.

Good luck with your preparations and nailing those questions!

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