10 Examples of Unique Interview Questions to Ask an Employer
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 15 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
When you're being interviewed for a job, it's natural for employers or hiring managers to ask you questions about yourself, your skills and any past work experience. Asking the interviewer your own questions can also be great for determining whether the job is suitable for you, and enhancing your understanding of the company culture and job responsibilities. Understanding the most effective questions to ask employers can also increase how likely you are to get the job, as it shows curiosity and creativity.
In this article, we explain why asking questions during an interview is important, outline 10 unique interview questions to ask an employer and offer tips for a successful interview.
10 unique interview questions to ask an employer
There are many unique interview questions to ask your employer that demonstrate your passion and dedication to the role. Here are some examples you may use:
1. What do you like about working at this company?
This is a good question for learning more about the company from the perspective of a current employer. It allows the interviewer to engage in an open discussion and can help you to understand if your professional values align with the company. You can also expand on their answer to explain how you would thrive in such an environment if it's appropriate to do so.
2. How is performance measured for this position?
Asking this question can help you learn how the company may track your performance if you're successful. Joining a new role may cause some to worry about their performance levels, as they may be unfamiliar with certain procedures, networks and skills. Knowing how they measure your performance within the position can help to release additional stress, as you can prepare accordingly. It can also help you determine whether the culture is a good fit for you.
3. Can you tell me more about the team that I may be working with?
With this question, you show employers that you're eager to prepare for the role. Teamwork is an essential skill within most job industries, and asking this question highlights that you're a team player. It demonstrates curiosity, which is another positive attribute of prospective employees. The question also provides a functional purpose so that you can learn more about the types of people that you may be working with in the future.
4. If I was offered this job, what could I do to prepare for it?
This question shows employers that you do your research. Preparedness is a key skill that most jobs value, so it's beneficial to display this during the interview process. Asking this also provides you with a productive insight into the next phases of the job. This is valuable information that you can use if you're successful.
5. Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
With this question, you can learn more about the daily tasks and duties assigned to this job position. This enables you to get a broader understanding of what you may be dealing with on a daily basis, which can help you to work out if this is the right job for you. You can also use the employer's answer to clarify any skills you have that are directly relevant to the day-to-day responsibilities.
6. What are the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
This question is significant for understanding the specific skills and personalities that are most suitable for the role. You can use the answer to identify whether you fit the criteria, which can help you to figure out if the job is a good fit for you. This question showcases your desire to learn more and positively contribute to the company. If you're successful in getting the job, you now know what your employers are looking for. This may ease your transition into the new job role.
7. What would my first week at work look like?
With this question, you can learn more about the general responsibilities required by the job position. You may also find out about any employee training and staff meetings. If you are successful in getting the job, you can then be more prepared for your first week.
8. What changes or innovations in the industry are you most excited about?
This is a unique question that demonstrates your keen interest in the industry. It shows that you're informed of the latest updates and advancements, highlighting your knowledge. This question also allows you to see how the company responds to these industry changes, which is essential for business longevity.
9. How would you describe the company culture?
Similar to question one, this question focuses on the company's unique culture. Knowing the values and policies associated with the company culture can help you to understand whether this is the right position for you. You can also ask this same question to multiple employees to gather a holistic overview of what the company is like.
10. What jobs have people who previously held this position been promoted to?
Asking this question shows the employer that you're ambitious and hardworking. Not only does it demonstrate that you're eager to progress and grow within the company, the question enables you to see how past employers have advanced. This can inform you on whether the company is able to facilitate promotions and career advancements.
Why should you ask questions during job interviews?
When preparing questions for your interview, try to make them unique so that other interviewees are unlikely to ask the same thing. Asking questions helps you to establish what the working environment and culture are like while learning more about your specific responsibilities and daily duties. If you already know that you want the job, asking unique questions during your interview can show the hiring manager that you're proactive, committed and curious. This can leave a lasting, positive impression that may help you get the job.
Hiring managers are likely to take notice of your eagerness and confidence, showing them that you're prepared and serious with this in-depth company research. Asking questions creates more of a general discussion, making you an active participant in the interview, rather than a passive interviewee. These questions can also highlight your creativity and lateral thinking skills, which are beneficial for nearly all job positions. It shows employers that you're capable of independent thinking and not afraid to ask questions, which is an essential part of developing your skills.
Tips for a successful interview
Below is a list of helpful tips to increase the likelihood of a successful job interview:
Come to your interview with your questions prepared
Preparing some questions to ask before the interview is going to help you to feel more relaxed and at ease. Research the company prior to the interview date and re-read the job description to identify areas where you wish to learn more. Note down a few questions and memorise these. Aim to remember more questions than you're planning to ask, just in case the interviewer answers them throughout the interview.
Related: How to Prepare for a Job Interview
Find out who is interviewing you beforehand
Ask who your interviewer is going to be and what their position is within the company. This allows you to tailor your questions to the individuals that are best equipped to answer them. For example, a VP or CEO can answer different questions to the hiring manager. By customising your questions, you invite more room for discussion. This enables you to continue showcasing your communication skills while gaining further insight into the job position and company culture.
Keep your questions to the point
Aim to ask a maximum of two to three relevant questions to keep the interview productive. It's likely that the interviewing employers are going to be under a time limit, so it's best to only ask a few. Try not to ask questions that they have already answered throughout the course of the interview to ensure that your questions seem fresh and creative.
Bring a notebook and pen or pencil to the interview. You can take notes on the hiring manager's responses to your questions. This way, you may remember what they said and show the interviewer that you sincerely want to learn from them.
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