Winning Candidate Interview Questions

As you already know, the candidate is expected to ask questions in an interview. Whether it’s about the organization or the job, skilled candidates ask the kind of questions designed to make the hiring manager sit up and pay attention.

When the opportunity comes, asking inquisitive questions can demonstrate your genuine curiosity and interest for the position.  In today’s competitive job market, this can be the X-factor that gets you the offer. 

Not asking any questions could make you seem unprepared or unmotivated. Draft a a list of questions ahead of time to make a good impression on the employer. I recommend formulating six to eight questions, as some of them may get answered during the interview.  It’s useful to bring your list and refer to it at the appropriate time. This is your chance to find out if the job is right for you and get all the information you need to take a decision.

Questions to ask hiring managers:

Focus on the work and the environment in which you’ll be doing it. The core of your questions should entail what you can do for the employer versus how they can benefit you. 

Here are some examples:

  • What kind of individual succeeds here and why?

  • What do you expect me to achieve in the first 90 days in the job?

  • What are the most important challenges in this role?

  • What’s the department’s and/or organization’s most urgent priority in the next three to six months?

  •  What do employees like about working here, why do they stay?

  •  Out of all the department’s recent achievements, what are you most proud of?

  • What is a typical work week like? How often is overtime necessary?

  •  Looking back on individuals in this position, what differentiated the great ones? What skills are valuable in this role? 

  •   What could I add to my competencies and skills to make me a better fit for this job?

  • What are the next steps in the process?

  • When will I know your decision, when may I expect to hear from you?

Questions not to ask hiring managers:

  • Be careful not to ask questions already answered in the job description or mundane questions about the organization, which the information is found on their website.

  • Don’t ask about salary, vacation and benefits during the first interview; the timing is not right. Wait until you have an offer to discuss and negotiate these conditions. 

  •  Don’t ask the hiring manager if they’re impressed with you at the end of the interview or for an evaluation of your interview performance.  This may create an uncomfortable situation for them. 


Wishing you much success, 




About the author

Karine Shogher Touloumjian is a bilingual Canadian Certified Resume Strategist with a background in Recruitment and Human Resources.

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