Job interviews are a significant part of the hiring process, and they provide an opportunity for both employers and candidates to assess each other's fit for the role. For candidates, it's essential to come prepared with questions to ask the hiring team to gain a better knowledge of the company and the position they are applying for.
In particular, questions for the HR representative can provide valuable insights into the company culture, benefits, and policies.
Here is a comprehensive list of 13 questions to ask HR during an interview. These questions are designed to help candidates learn more about the company's values, employee development programs, compensation and benefits packages, and other important aspects of the role.
We will also explore best practices for asking these questions and how to use the information gathered to make informed decisions about the job opportunity.
13 Thoughtful questions to ask HR during interview
Here are 13 most important and effective questions to ask HR during interviews.
1. How does this role contribute to the overall goals of the company?
It is not very difficult to find a candidate to fill this role. But, it is very difficult to find a candidate who also understands how it fits with the larger goals. This includes the ability to take care of yourself, prioritize valuable activities and grow your role in a direction consistent with the company's growth.
This information can be difficult to obtain if your company is not very communicative or transparent, so this is a good opportunity to use this information to guide your decisions when you receive an assignment.
2. How do the most effective new employees spend their first month here?
This question reveals that you are the sort of individual who prefers to get started right away. It also demonstrates that you identify success trends and want to imitate only the most effective performers.
Every business has its quirks, its environment and its unspoken expectations. This will help you start with a bit of inside knowledge so you don't end up with dissatisfaction in the next six month.
3. What criteria would you use to evaluate the performance in this role?
Asking this question shows that you are goal oriented and not afraid to take responsibility for those goals. You don't avoid responsibility, you accept it.
It's shocking how many people don't really know what they want from their employees, other than having a vague idea of the jobs that need to be done. Asking this question forces the boss to figure it out - and then it can be handed to you to make it happen.
4. What challenges or obstacles might I face in this role?
A question like this shows that you are already imagining yourself in the role and thinking of a plan of attack when you get to the performance.
This is also a sign that you know very well that no job is without obstacles. It shows that you are not only afraid to face these challenges, but you are ready for them.
The answer you get should help you better understand some of the less than ideal aspects of the job - bureaucratic processes, internal politics, etc. Use this information to decide if you are up for the challenge.
5. What has been the team's most difficult task in the last year?
While the interviewer may be attempting to create an image of what working in a team might entail, asking this question will help you unearth some of the realities the team is currently confronting. When you finally join, you'll inevitably hear about these challenges—and may have to help solve them, too.
It really helps to know in advance what challenges you might face yourself or your team. In some cases, this can affect acceptance of the role. Learning about these challenges can give you great insight into the steps the team has already taken to overcome them.
6. Why did you decide to work in this company?
This question allows the interviewer to do two self-serving things: talk about himself and make an accessible sales pitch to the company. Sales opportunity welcomes promising applicants. And most individuals enjoy any opportunity to brag about themselves.
This will give you an idea of what motivates your prospective colleague or boss, as well as what benefits the business provides to its workers.. If all of these match what you are looking for in a job, then you are a good fit.
7. What keeps you motivated?
If your interviewer has been with the company for a while, this insight can give you a really interesting insight into the company and its relationship with employees. How does this help you?
Depending on the interviewer's answer, you can learn something about the company's career training, management opportunities, work flexibility, internal job opportunities and more.
You can dig a little deeper by answering related questions like "What do you like most about working here?"
8. Do you organize events outside of work with the team?
This interview question is a great way to learn about a company's culture. Ideally, the balance between work and life is good, and the company creates opportunities for them to merge with each other.
Next to learning about the company culture, this is a lighter question that can calm a tense atmosphere or lead to a conversation about common interests.
9. What is your company's client care or customer satisfaction philosophy?
This is an impressive topic because it demonstrates the ability to link how a business thinks about its clients to profitability. In other words, how customers are handled on a daily basis and how this is reflected in the merchandise.
Although you may find a concise answer to this question on the company's website, it's helpful—and perhaps even eye-opening—to hear it more openly from an employee.
10. What are the less tangible characteristics of successful people on this team?
That's what hiring managers are looking for. This question shows that you understand that work is more than just going through the motions. Successful people have a particular mindset, approach, attitude, work ethic, communication style, etc.—and you want to know what that combination looks like in that company.
Because these qualities are often hard to explain, this question forces the hiring manager to articulate the "it" factor they're actually looking for—even if it's not in the job description.
11. What behaviors do the most successful team members exhibit?
Asking such a question shows that you are interested in a practical example of what success looks like for the leader of the team you are joining.
Instead, you force the hiring manager to think the best. Because this question encourages you to lead by example, the answer to this question will give you a strong idea of what success really looks like. Learn what it takes to impress your peers and be a candidate for stardom.
12. What kind of behavior do people who struggle the most in a group show?
Follow this up with question #9 and you'll show the recruiter that you're really trying to get a concrete idea of what you should and shouldn't be doing as an employee on the particular team you're applying to join.
First, you have a sense of what poor performance entails, which allows you to establish expectations for the job. Second, you'll learn how a hiring manager responds to a difficult query like this, which may tell you something about how workplace politics are handled in general.
13. How do you provide constructive feedback?
If you are dealing with an interviewer, this is another difficult topic that can provide insight into how the team functions.
This requires the recruiting manager to consider how to approach a slightly difficult scenario while also emphasising your self-awareness. Everyone gives and gets feedback in their own unique manner.
Asking HR the right questions during a job interview can provide invaluable insights into the company culture, benefits, policies, and overall fit for the role.
By coming prepared with a list of thoughtful and targeted questions, candidates can demonstrate their interest in the company, and gain a better understanding of what to expect from the role.
Ultimately, the goal of asking HR questions during an interview is to gain a deeper understanding of the company and the role you're applying for, which can help you determine whether it's the right fit for you.
So, whether you're just starting your career or looking for your next opportunity, take the time to prepare thoughtful questions to ask HR, and use the information you gather to make an informed decision about your future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions that people ask.
Why is it important to ask questions to HR during an interview?
It is important to ask questions to HR during an interview because it provides an opportunity to learn more about the company and the position beyond what is listed in the job description.
Asking questions can help the candidate better understand what is expected of them in the role and how they can be successful. It can also help the candidate evaluate if the company is a good fit for their career goals and personal values.
What should I consider when asking HR questions during an interview?
When asking HR questions during an interview, you should consider:
- The relevance of the question to the position and company
- The level of detail provided in the job description and other materials
- The tone and manner in which the questions are asked
- The time allotted for the interview and the number of questions being asked.
What are some red flags to look out for during an HR interview?
Some red flags to look out for during an HR interview include:
- Lack of clarity or transparency in answers to questions
- Inconsistent or contradictory responses to questions
- Poor communication or unprofessional behavior
- Negative comments about current or past employees or the company
- Unwillingness to answer questions or provide information.
How can asking HR questions during an interview impact my candidacy for the position?
Asking HR questions during an interview can have a positive impact on your candidacy for the position as it demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for the role and the company. It also shows that you are taking the interview process seriously and are trying to make an informed decision about whether the position is a good fit for you.
However, it is important to strike a balance between asking thoughtful questions and not overwhelming the interviewer with too many questions or inappropriate questions.
Should I ask the same questions to HR in every interview?
It's not necessary to ask the exact same questions in every interview, but it's a good idea to have a set of questions that you ask consistently across interviews to help you compare and evaluate different companies and roles.
You can also tailor your questions to the specific company and role you are interviewing for to demonstrate your interest and knowledge about the company.
Why should I ask HR questions during an interview?
Asking HR questions during an interview can help you gain a better understanding of the company's culture, policies, benefits, and other important information that can impact your decision to accept a job offer. It can also demonstrate your interest in the company and the role you are interviewing for.
What should I look for in HR's response to my questions?
You should look for clear and concise answers that provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about the company and the role. HR's response should be open, honest, and demonstrate the company's commitment to its employees.
How can asking HR questions during an interview impact my chances of getting the job?
Asking HR questions during an interview can demonstrate your interest in the company and the role, which can make a positive impression on the interviewer. It can also help you determine if the company is a good fit for you, which can impact your decision to accept a job offer.
As long as you ask thoughtful and relevant questions, asking HR questions during an interview is unlikely to have a negative impact on your chances of getting the job.