5 questions to ask your potential employer

Earlier, we discussed 6 ways to stand out in a job interview. In this article, we dive deeper into your side of the conversation: what questions can you ask your potential employer to best ascertain whether this role and company is a good fit for you? We offer 5 questions to ask to obtain the relevant information you need to make your decision, while making a great impression on the hiring manager at the same time.

1. What’s the most important thing I should accomplish in this role?

This question is a great one for several reasons. First, it showcases that you have put serious thought into the role and are actively trying to picture yourself doing the job. Second, it shows determination and focus: you are result-driven (concentrating on accomplishments) and are thinking about the work in terms of goals and results. Lastly, this question allows you to get the most concrete possible picture of what the job actually entails. This is crucial for your own decision-making in regards to your fit for the role. Depending on how your interviewer answers this question, you will be able to assess more accurately whether the actual scope, responsibilities and day-to-day activities of the role are exciting to you.

2. How and when will my performance be reviewed?

There are many different ways for companies to evaluate employee performance. The more traditional style, based on KPI’s and yearly or quarterly performance reviews, suits some better than others. This is a great moment in the conversation to assess whether the company’s management style is a good fit for how you prefer to be managed. Make sure to ask not only about review metrics, but also about timing – will your performance be reviewed annually or quarterly? Will these reviews take place with your direct manager? How are KPI’s tracked internally in the company?

3. What are the biggest challenges for me in this role/for the company at this moment?

The questions section of the interview is also a great moment to gather some intel on your potential employer. This question will allow you not only to find out about the state of the team, but also the state of the larger company. Are they hiring because they are understaffed? Or are there difficult team dynamics at play? Is the company doing well financially, or are they injecting new talent in order to attract new revenue? It might not be possible to obtain all of this information without speaking to current employees – which we highly recommend as part of your orientation process – but it is a good idea to ask, if only to see what the interviewer is willing to tell you in terms of relevant company information.

4. What are common career paths for employees starting in this role?

Although this question may seem somewhat presumptuous – you are already asking about the next role before even getting this one! – it is, on the contrary, an important one to ask. Employers will be glad to see that you are considering a long term career in the company and, if they foster ambition and growth as part of their company culture, they should be able to answer this question with examples of great career trajectories within the company. Thus, the question will shed light on your own career possibilities, as well as on the level of long-term commitment from this employer.

5. Is there anything new employees find difficult or challenging when they first start?

Finally, to remove any surprises if or when you start in this role, it is a good idea to try to ask about previous new employees’ experiences. This will give you insight into the onboarding process and allow you to unearth any undiscussed (negative) aspects of the role one final time in the interview. Additionally, the question signals to the employer that you are eager to start in the role and are willing to put in effort to make your integration as smooth as possible.


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