What To Ask At A Job Interview

At the end of every job interview, there comes a time when your interviewer turns the tables: “So, do you have any questions for me?”, he or she asks… which often causes applicants to get a little tongue tied. It's common knowledge that asking questions at the end of a job interview is a way to demonstrate whether or not you've done your homework, how invested you are in taking on the position, and more — but what questions are you supposed to ask at the end of a job interview? Well, here are a few ideas, courtesy of Reddit.

This morning, Redditor happylittledancer123 posed the following question to the AskReddit sub: “At the end of a job interview when they ask me, 'So, do you have any questions?', what are some genuinely good questions to ask?” True to form, the denizens of the content-sharing community came out in droves to offer their two cents; after a mere nine hours, there were nearly 4,000 comments on the thread — and it's still growing, too.

It's worth noting that Reddit is… well, Reddit. When it comes to this sort of information, the same caveat applies no matter what site you're on: You won't necessarily be getting answers from hiring managers or experts. Some of the response might come from them — but by and large, the answers are going to be anecdata drawn from the personal experiences of the site's users. As such, it's probably worth taking everything with a grain of salt. But hey, personal experiences can still be a valuable source of information, so don't discount it entirely.

Here are a few of the most notable responses; head on over to AskReddit to see the whole thing unfold in real time.

1. Success

Redditor 42_towel (who is likely a Douglas Adams fan) clarified exactly why this question can be so valuable:

2. Weaknesses

Most interviewers ask job candidates what they think their own weaknesses are. It's probably worth getting their perspective on it too, though.

3. A Typical Day at the Office

Although some of the responses in the thread noted that they kind of hated this question, it might still be worth considering. Bear in mind that you're not the only person being interviewed here; this is also the interviewer's chance to convince you to work for them. Asking this particular question might prevent situations like this one from happening:

I mean, sure, that sounds like fun for a while — but it's not exactly a situation that will result in much career advancement. The Redditor in question noted that at this point, s/he is just using the position as a placeholder while looking for a “real” job.

4. Or, a Variation On a Theme

Instead of asking, “What's a typical day like?”, you could go for this one. Other related followups include:

5. Turnover

Jobs with high turnover rates usually have them for a reason. When you really need a job, you might feel like beggars can't be choosers — but it's still worth bearing in mind. All the others on this list are good, too, although Au_Struck_Geologist made a useful point about the grad school question:

6. You Could Take a Gamble…

...But beware: This one could also backfire pretty badly.

7. But Enough About Me! What About You?

I suppose whether or not this question goes over well might depend on each individual interviewer, but we know at least one person digs it:

8. The One-Two Punch

Wow. Those actually are great questions. I, for one, would enjoy being on the receiving end of them.

9. From an Actual Hiring Executive:

To be fair, some of those “generic questions” are actually legit pieces of information most potential employees would want to know about before signing on for a job. Still, though, having both surface and deeper questions at your fingertips is definitely a good idea. Think Incepetion-level stuff.

10. “The Next Job”

This piece of advice may not be terribly helpful to people who are either looking for their first jobs or still early in their careers, but it's worth keeping in mind all the same.

11. Where Did the Opening Come From?

Although one response to this question noted that the information, while useful to the interviewee, might not improve your standing with the interviewer, another had this to say:

12. This:

The best questions, it seems, are always about trying to get the interviewer to sell you the job. Again, job interviews work both ways.

Bonus: What NOT to Ask

No questions are better than bullshit questions. But really…

So have at least one non-bullshit question hidden away in your back pocket. You're going to need it.

Images: Fotolia; Giphy (3)