Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Interviewers

Picture this.


You’re in a job interview with a senior manager, and you’ve spent 45 minutes pushing through nerves to cogently answer some absurd curveballs, whilst somehow trying to build a warm rapport as if it’s just a regular human social interaction.


Then the tables turn.


“Any questions for me?” they say…


Wait, shit, I have no idea what to ask.


Jobseekers can get so caught up in preparing interview answers that they lose sight of the interviews being a two-way process.

Now let’s be real here, asking questions at the end of your interview is:


1. A ‘test’ to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and degree of research into/interest in the role at hand.


But equally, it’s:


2. A chance for you to see whether this company and role is actually the right fit for you.

That’s why we decided to compile 10 of the most useful initial questions to ask interviewers, draw from the real-world interview experiences of our team.


Example Role - Product Manager @ Boogle (a miscellaneous sexy tech company that does not operate a search engine)


  1. How do you measure success for a product manager at Boogle?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a desire to help the company and performance-focused mindset.
    💡Helps you to better understand why the company needs you, and at a cultural level, what the company values.


  1. How does Boogle measure success as a company?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a curiosity in the overall business model and a performance-focused mindset.
    💡Helps you to get an insight into the underlying values of the company.


  1. What’s the biggest thing you think Boogle needs to get better at?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a curiosity in the business model + eagerness to understand where you can help the company.
    💡 Helps you to identify key weaknesses of the company that may affect the attractiveness of the role or prospects of the company’s success.


  1. How does Boogle approach product management compared to other places you’ve worked at?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a strong curiosity in your specific craft.
    💡 Helps you to understand whether the company approaches the skill in a way that aligns with your learning goals and values.


  1. What do feedback processes look like at Boogle?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a mindset of continuous improvement.
    💡 Helps you to assess how formalised and frequent feedback will be, and from whom it will come (a critical factor in your learning path as a junior employee).


  1. What is the biggest value or practice that distinguishes the culture at Boogle compared to other places you’ve worked at?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates how you value the ways in which people work together.
    💡 Helps you to assess how formalised and frequent feedback will be, and from whom it will come (a critical factor in your learning path as a junior employee).


  1. What do you see as the biggest competitive advantage of Boogle vs. competitors like Microslop and Crapple
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a curiosity in the dynamics of the industry.
    💡 Helps you to solidify your hypothesis on whether the company is well-placed to succeed.


  1. What is the most common mistake you see people make when they first start as a product manager?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates a proactive mindset to building good practices of working.
    💡Helps you to understand common challenges for new starters.


  1. What resources do you use to keep learning and sharpening your skills as a product manager?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates an interest in continual improvement & learning, and hints that you’re a more coachable employee who’s open to change.
    💡 Helps you to get insights from a more experienced industry professional on the best ways to learn.


  1. What are the growth pathways that exist for someone starting as a product manager at Boogle?
    Why we like this:
    💪 Demonstrates an interest in longer-term tenure at the company + desire to perform highly.
    💡 Helps you to understand whether there are feasible progression opportunities that match your career goals.


😧😧😧 AN IMPORTANT CAVEAT:

These 10 questions are all great starting points to think about the flavours of queries you can explore.

However, beyond these, the key differentiators between you and other candidates will be in:


- More targeted questions around company/industry/product-specific considerations that demonstrate a deeper understanding of what the company is working on, and aren’t just a generic question you could ask to any company.

- Nuanced follow-up questions to the answers to your initial questions that demonstrate your ability to critically consider information that is presented to you and engage in meaningful conversation about how the company works.


Hope you’ve had a good chance to reflect on what the heck to ask!

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