HR in the Field Blog

What to Ask During Interviews: Questions for Both Sides

Written by Amy Ryan

Filling an open job requires both the employer and prospective employee to agree to the same terms – it’s a joint decision. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to have questions flow in just one direction.


With that in mind I’ve got some questions for you to use, no matter what side of the conversation. Use these as a starting point to craft your full list of questions.


What to Ask During Interviews



Questions for Employers to Ask During Interviews

  • Can you walk me through your experience relevant to this role?

This question allows the candidate to highlight their relevant skills and experiences, giving you a clearer understanding of their qualifications – and what they feel are their strengths.

  • How do you handle challenges or conflicts in the workplace?

Conflict is inevitable. Understanding how the candidate deals with adversity and conflicts can give insight into their problem-solving abilities and interpersonal skills.

  • Describe a project you initiated that didn't go as planned. What were your learning lessons?

Listen for the candidate's ability to reflect on failure, adaptability, and resilience. This will provide insights into their growth mindset and learning orientation.

  • Can you provide an example of a project or accomplishment you're particularly proud of?

By asking for specific examples, you can assess the candidate's past successes and their potential contributions to your team or organization.

Questions for Job Candidates to Ask During Interviews

  • If I were to start in this role tomorrow, what would be the first thing I should focus on?

Want to stand out in the applicant pool? Asking this question shows your readiness to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact, while also gaining clarity on priorities.

  • Can you describe the team dynamics and how this role fits into the team structure?

Who you work with can make or break a good employment situation. Gain a sense of your potential colleagues and how collaboration will play out in your day-to-day work.

  • How does the company support professional development and career growth for its employees?

If this is important to you, ask about it. Showing your interest in long-term growth within the company helps you assess whether the organization invests in its employees' development.

  • If we are sitting here one year from today, and it’s been a successful year, what made it so?

I like this one because it puts the picture into the employer’s mind that you’ve been hired and successful, and it also gives insights into what is important to accomplish in the job.


In my experience these questions can lead to engaging conversations and provide both employers and employees with deeper insights during the interview process. Good luck landing that job/employee!

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