6 Interview Questions to Ask When You're in the Hot Seat

A candidates hands holding a list of interview questions across from an employers clasped hands

A job interview is a chance to sit back and let the hiring manager ask all the questions, right? Not if you expect to land the job. The job candidate also needs to be prepared with interview questions to ask.

Not asking any questions makes you seem uninterested in the role. Being ready with targeted interview questions will not only show your interest is genuine but also shed valuable light on some of the finer details of the position. It also create an opportunity for you to really show why you're right for the job. Here are six key job interview questions to ask the potential employer when interviewing for an administrative position:

Is this a newly created role, or did someone hold this position before?

Whether it's a newly created administrative role, or the company is experiencing growth, the answer to this interview question can give you insight into the culture of the firm that's hiring. If the interviewer says the person you'd be replacing was promoted, that's a positive sign. But if you learn that high employee turnover isn't unusual for support staff, it could be a red flag.

What skills will the ideal candidate for this role possess?

Beyond what you gleaned from the job posting, this interview question will help you learn more about what the position entails. After you've heard the hiring manager's answer, demonstrate how your administrative skills and experience — in more detail than what's listed on your resume — relate directly to the job. This is a good opportunity to show that you have what it takes to be successful in the role.

Can you tell me about the people or departments I will be working with?

This is one of the best interview questions to ask because it can tell you about who you will be interacting with on a daily basis. The interviewer may also describe the organizational structure in greater detail and how you fit into it. It's also a nice question because it helps the interviewer envision you in the role.


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What do you like most about working here?

This interview question demonstrates to the hiring manager that you are enthusiastic about working for the company — enough so that you want to get a sense of what office life would be like. Remember, the people you meet with during the interview process are among the best equipped to explain the positive points of employment with the firm, so don't miss your chance to ask them.

Can you describe the office culture here? If you could change one thing about it, what would that be?

When thinking about the interview questions to ask the hiring manager, be sure to include at least one that touches on the corporate culture. Pay close attention to the hiring manager's response and even the way in which he or she phrases it. If the interviewer says, "We are supportive when it comes to professional development, but I think we could go further in this regard; the good news is we've been making great progress recently, and opportunities are increasing," that's a good sign. But, if the answer is, "It would be great if we could put in less overtime and get more vacation days," or, "It's too difficult to be promoted here," you may want to reconsider things before accepting a job offer.

What are the next steps in the hiring process?

As your interview draws to a close, ask if there's more information you can provide to support your application. When does the firm hope to bring someone on board? Who will you hear from and when? Will you need to meet with other company representatives or do any skills testing before a decision is made? These kinds of questions will help you manage your own expectations and give you an idea of the company's hiring time frame, so you don't leave the interview waiting and wondering.

Knowing the right interview questions to ask can help you stand out and demonstrate to a hiring manager that you are excited about the company's future and your role in it.

Be ready to impress the hiring manager when you enter a job interview. Check out these job interview tips.