For many candidates, there’s one job interview moment that can spark a lot of dread: when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” The mind inevitably races. What should you ask? Will your questions raise red flags for your potential new employer?

It’s a tough section of the typical job interview to navigate. We spoke with several experts to find out what you should ask, what you shouldn’t ask, and what makes for killer interview questions to ask employers, and how to ask those questions professionally.

“The best way to impress in an interview is to show you have done your homework,” says Eva Steortz, Executive Coach at Vita Creative. “Most applicants miss that the most important part of the interview is at the end when you are asked if you have any questions. You need to spend a lot of prep time to nail this. Do your research and ask an insightful question about something that was recently in the news about the company, or something that you observed on their website, at retail or in their social media posts.”

Why you should ask questions in an interview

“Asking good questions helps you demonstrate your interest in the role and understanding of the company,” Tim Toterhi, Talent Consultant at Plotline Leadership, tells Dice. “It also offers the interviewer insight into how you think.

“It’s best to work them in naturally during the course of the conversation. If you wait until the end you create a lopsided dynamic and may run out of time.”

Interview coach Tali Shlafer adds: “The most important thing about picking questions to ask your interviewer is to get really specific about what you’re looking to learn and craft your questions accordingly.

“So many job seekers end up asking vague questions that show no insight into their own values and result in answers that don’t give [potential employers] any useful information. For example, ‘Tell me more about the company culture’ or ‘how do you ensure work-life balance?’ are not specific enough.”

Shlafer also notes the questions you ask are meant for you to interview your potential employer, too. “The purpose of asking questions during your interview is twofold: information gathering first, impressing the employer second. Yes, your questions will serve to impress your potential employer, but you want to prioritize gathering information that’ll ultimately help you decide if the role is a good fit for you. By asking questions that genuinely matter to you in the decision-making process rather than just trying to schmooze your potential employer, you actually make yourself more desirable by showing that this is a decision you don’t take lightly.”

According to Shlafer, the information you gather should help you decide if you’re going to enjoy the company culture and thrive in the role, should you get the job.

Toterhi advises you work your questions in during the interview. This makes the interview more conversational, which has a few benefits:

  • It helps keep the answers top-of-mind to the recruiter or hiring manager, and conversational interviews help your potential new employer get a better sense for how you communicate.
  • It also helps you gauge the company’s culture; if you ask a question and are asked to hold all of your questions until the end, that might be a sign the company culture is a bit more dictatorial and hierarchical than you’re looking for.

Unique interview questions to ask an employer

There’s no shortage of interesting, engaging questions you can ask in a job interview. This is a list of questions our panel of experts suggest:

  • What are your greatest concerns, and what problems could I help solve?
  • What could I do in my first 30 days to add the most value?
  • What are your expectations in the first ninety days?
  • How will the responsibilities of the position expand over time?
  • Can you describe a typical workday for someone in this position
  • Can you tell me about the people I’d be working with?
  • What are the typical milestones or achievements that indicate success in this position?
  • What are the traits or values that someone needs to have in order to do well in this company?
  • What type of person would NOT be successful in this role and why?
  • What are some of the big challenges this role faces?
  • Of all the responsibilities we discussed, what would be the biggest win for this role in the first year?
  • Looking back to when you joined the company, how did you ensure your first 90 days were successful?
  • How can the selected candidate make your life easier?
  • Where are you in the hiring process, and what is the next step for me?


Our experts advise avoiding questions that seem more geared to what you can get from the company (“How soon can I expect a raise?”). Don’t ask about tuition reimbursement or paid time off early in the interview process, for example. This signals to employers you haven’t researched the role or the company and may be more interested in what you can get from a company rather than the job itself.

After the interview, don’t be afraid to ask if they think you’re a good candidate and what the next steps might be. Being cordial and professional and know direct questions posed appropriately can show you’re interested in the job. The response lets you know the interviewer’s gut reaction to you, which can signal if you should put effort into expanding your job search elsewhere.