12 Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager

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When you begin a job search, you'll want to learn as much about your prospective employer as they do about you. Learn the best questions to ask a hiring manager in order to learn everything you can about the job you'll be doing as a new hire.


Brief Overview of Interviewing With a Hiring Manager

A hiring manager interview is one of the first steps in the job search process. As part of the hiring process, recruiters usually conduct job interviews with their best applicants after receiving résumés for a new position. Your potential employer will ask interview questions to understand the type of person you are and to look for any red flags that may indicate a bad fit for the work environment in order to find the ideal candidate.

Typically, you'll have an initial job interview (often over the phone) with a human resources representative. If that goes well, you'll move on to the next round of interviews with additional company representatives, such as your direct supervisor (who is often the hiring manager) and other team members. They'll ask about your job history, career path, and work style during the interview. You may also receive information about your new job, such as the daily tasks you are expected to complete.

They will ask if you have any follow-up questions about the job opportunity at the end of an interview. This is the time to ask probing questions about what you can expect if they hire you. If everything goes well and you appear to be a good fit for the company, you'll be offered a job and begin your onboarding process.


12 Questions to Ask the Hiring Manager

Asking the right questions before accepting your next job will help you find the best fit for this stage of your career. The following are examples of questions a job seeker should ask the hiring manager:

1. What would a new employee in this position do on a typical day? The majority of your job experience will come from your day-to-day activities, which will help you determine if the responsibilities match your expectations and skill set.

2. With whom will I be collaborating in this position? Inquire about your direct supervisor and whether you will be working as part of a larger team or on your own.

3. Is the position new or part of the existing company structure? Inquiring about the role's history will tell you whether your predecessor will train you or if the company expects you to forge your own path.

4. What types of projects or initiatives will I be involved in? This sample question informs you of specific projects or goals that may be of interest to you in addition to the general job description.

5. What skills will I require to carry out my responsibilities? Knowing the skills needed to do your job well will set you up for success even before your first day.

6. What are the most difficult aspects of this job? Knowing what obstacles you'll have to overcome on your most difficult days will tell you how much stress and support you can expect.

7. What is your favorite aspect of your job? A long-term employee's personal opinion gives you a good idea of the environment you'll be joining.

8. What is the company's long-term strategy? Inquire about the business goals and expectations for your specific role. This will give you an idea of what they expect you to accomplish in the next six months to a year.

9. Could you please describe the company culture and working environment? Inquire whether they will expect you to work long hours to achieve a work-life balance. You should also inquire whether employees socialize outside of work.

10. What criteria will be used to assess my performance? Inquire whether they will expect you to complete formal performance reviews or if you will receive regular feedback.

11. Are there opportunities for professional development in this role? This excellent question demonstrates that you are interested enough in the opportunity to consider working for them long term and determines whether the job offers opportunities to advance your career.

12. What are the following steps? If you want the job, asking about the next steps, such as additional interviews, shows the hiring manager that you want to work for them.


What Questions Shouldn't You Ask the Hiring Manager?

Despite your desire for more specific information, avoid asking the following questions at the end of your interview:

Information that is easily obtained: Avoid asking questions such as what the company does that you could have researched or found on the company's website before arriving. Before you arrive for your interview, you should learn as much as you can about the company.

Negative questions: Try not to ask about anything that could be considered sensitive to the company, such as recent layoffs or the company's financial situation.

Promotions or raises: Avoid asking questions about when you can expect a raise or promotion in a demanding tone. Though you can inquire about job opportunities within the company, making demands before they offer you the job may cast you in an unfavorable light. Save these questions for when you're negotiating your salary.

Online monitoring: Inquiring about whether they will monitor your online activity implies that you will be spending time on social media or other unrelated websites. Most potential employers will not want you to devote time to personal interests. Instead, concentrate on company culture, values, and management styles.

Personal questions: Avoid asking your interviewer too many invasive questions. Only ask friendly, positive questions about the potential job.

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