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22 Smart & Actually Interesting Questions That Will Help You Stand Out at Your Next Interview

I can't even begin to state the importance of asking good, intelligent questions at your interview–and yet, so few people actually do it.

One young pro (who's name will remain confidential) recently told me she did not land an internship. When I asked how the interview went, she said it went great! She didn't understand why they didn't choose her.

When I asked what questions she got asked, and which questions she asked, she was surprised! "I didn't ask any questions."


Well, she probably thought it was optional. Which is just wrong.

When your interviewer asks, "do you have any questions for me", it almost sounds like a suggestion, "do you happen to have a question floating around in your mind?"–it's not.

What they really mean, is "have you been paying attention, and forming questions as we speak?", "have you done your research about the role/company?" and "do you really care about this role?"

Because that's what preparing great, thoughtful questions says about you as a candidate.

So, to help you stand out to your interviewer, here are some of our favorite, most clever and absolutely un-googleable questions:

  1. Why did you decide to take the job at the company?

  2. What keeps you at the company?

  3. What are the company’s priorities for the next 6 months?

  4. Who would I be reporting to?

  5. Is the team cross functional? If so, who are the departments I would collaborate with the most?

  6. How did you get into the role/industry you’re in now?

  7. Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do with your career?

  8. Who are your most important partners/clients?

  9. Are there official feedback / reviews given throughout the year? What are those like?

  10. What would success for this role look like in hte first 3-6 months?

  11. How are you better than competitors like x,y & z?

  12. Can you give me an example of how I’d collaborate with my manager?

  13. With my team?

  14. What steps does your company take to live up to its core values? Where could you improve?

  15. How does this position help your company grow as a whole?

  16. Could you describe your ideal candidate? And based on what you’ve learned from me, how do I compare?

  17. If there’s one thing you could change about the role to make it better, what would it be?

  18. What are productivity sites, tools, and apps do you use at your company?

  19. What does your company do to maintain a great culture?

  20. How does your company promote professional development throughout their employees’ career?

  21. I want people to know X, Y, and Z about me. Do you think my website / resume / LinkedIn / Twitter makes that clear?

  22. Do you have any ERG, BRG, or ways to participate in internal organizations?

  23. How do you promote diversity and inclusion at your company?

Be sure to pick questions that are relevant to your company and role, and to tailor every question to the company.

Happy interviewing!

Don't have an interview with your dream company lined up (yet)? Meet recruiters from amazing companies like Droga5, EILEEN FISHER, Yelp, KBS, Macmillan Publishing, Macmillan Learning, CB Insights & more at our epic networking night, Hustle Summit.

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