40+ Smart Questions to Ask at the End of Any Job Interview

Pamela Skillings | Big Interview

Asking smart questions at the end of an interview can really make it or break it for you — it will show you’re eager, engaged, and genuinely curious.

So, before you go with your initial impulse and say: No, we’ve covered everything, here’s a story a coworker recently told me.

While interviewing people, she came across a candidate who had solid experience, seemed like a great fit, and was ecstatic about the job. But when she asked him if he had any questions, he just politely declined and said no. She even asked: Are you sure, we have a couple of minutes?, but the candidate insisted that he didn’t. They didn’t even consider hiring him after this.

So you need to be ready. But you already know that. So let’s see what you should and shouldn’t ask when given the floor.

This article will show you:

  • A list of the best questions to ask at the end of an interview.
  • Tips for which questions to choose depending on how the interview went.
  • How to ask questions at the end of an interview in a professional manner.

Why Does Asking Questions at the End of an Interview Matter So Much?

Apart from building rapport with the recruiter and making the interview more conversational, asking questions is important because:

  • Curiosity is a sign that you care and that you’ve done your research. Learning as much as possible about the company and its future shows you’ll be engaged at work and invested in your job. Not having anything to ask could be interpreted as lack of interest and passivity.
  • It’s the employer litmus test. Don’t forget you’re not the only one being evaluated and scrutinized for compatibility — identifying whether the employer is a good fit for you is part of why you’re here. Asking questions will give you the opportunity to unearth some not-so-obvious details about the company, its culture, and your prospective role.
  • First impressions are the most lasting. The idea is to demonstrate to the interviewer you’re proactive, confident, and genuinely interested in joining this company and working in this particular role.

Now let’s get into the smartest questions to ask at the end of the interview and why they work.

40 Smart Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview

1. Why is this position open?

Seemingly obvious, this question will offer you a deeper insight into the company’s structure, culture, and expectations for the role you’re applying for.

For example, if the previous employee(s) quit, you’ll be able to catch a whiff of a bad management style and a potentially toxic workplace.

If they were fired, you can use the information to avoid making the same mistakes. Similarly, if the position is open because the previous person got promoted, it could mean that there are internal advancement opportunities.

There’s also a possibility that the company is growing and expanding into a new market, so you can ask additional questions that will help you prepare better.

Alternatives to try:

  • Is this a new position? If not, why did the person before me leave this role?
  • Why are you hiring for this role?
  • How has this position evolved?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

2. A year from now when you’re looking back on this hire, what would I have done to exceed every expectation?

If you want the hiring manager to know you’re not only looking to meet the minimum requirements but excel in the job, this is the question to ask. The answer will help you understand what success looks like and plan how to achieve it.

Or you could ask: 

  • What are the KPIs or metrics that you use to evaluate this role? How would I go above and beyond them in the first year?
  • How do you envision this role evolving or growing in the next year? What would I need to do to exceed your expectations in that process?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges or opportunities that this role will face in the next year? How would I tackle them in a way that impresses you?

Learn how to stand out from other candidates by taking this free interview course.

Read the full article here.


By MIT Sloan CDO