How to Come Up With Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers

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While you think that you may have nailed every question the hiring manager has asked so far, there is usually one more curveball. It is right before you say your goodbyes and continue with your job search. As the job interview starts to wind down, the interviewer may ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”

This is the last opportunity to leave the interviewer with a lasting impression. Asking a question shows that you’re serious about the job and interested in the company. But to set yourself apart from the crowd, you will want a list of unique interview questions to ask employers. Here’s how to come up with your unique list.

Step 1: Research the company

The unique interview questions you ask employers should validate your qualifications as a potential candidate for the job. Thoughtful questions will also demonstrate your knowledge of the company, its mission and values, as well as your grasp of the new position by studying the job description.

Step 2: Prepare a list but mentally tweak them accordingly

The opportunity to ask your potential employer questions usually occurs at the end of the interview. You should already have a list of 10 prepared questions. The goal is not to ask all of your questions, but to filter through them as needed.

Do NOT ask questions that you have already discussed the answers during the interview. If you do, you show that you were not listening, are not attentive to details, or have a terrible memory. Instead, mentally add new questions, delete already answered questions, and tweak your current questions as the interview is happening.

Step 3: Avoid asking questions with one-word answers

Asking questions that can be answered with a quick “yes” or “no” does not build rapport with the interviewer or give you much insight into the company or job. Moreover, these questions are just not memorable.

Step 4: Avoid “me” questions

While vacation time, benefits, remote options, and salary are relevant topics, it’s usually best to not to discuss these topics in the first interview. Instead, this part of the interview process is the time to evaluate whether the company culture fits your needs. It also gives the interviewer a chance to convince you to work there.

Step 5: Rehearse Out Loud

Like every other part of your interview, you should always rehearse your answers out loud. While asking questions puts you in the driver’s seat, you do not want to come off as condescending. Your questions should be thoughtful and genuine.

Consider a service that scores your tone and confidence in your answers. Interview School can help you practice real interview questions that incorporate AI technology that grades your response. Pay close attention to your word choice and tone when talking to your potential employer.


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Step 6: Take the initiative to ask questions

If the hiring manager does not ask if you have any questions, consider taking the initiative and asking a few questions anyway. Of course, be respectful and polite. Try saying, “If you don’t mind, before we end, I have a few questions I would like to ask.”

Forbes identified three things you want to achieve when you ask the right questions:

  • Make sure the interviewer has no doubts about you
  • Demonstrate your interest in the company
  • Evaluate whether the business and position is the right fit for you

Sample Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers

1. What are the key accomplishments you would like this role to achieve over the next year?

This question demonstrates that you are highly invested in this position. You want to be challenged and are motivated to accomplish these goals. Moreover, you may consider asking about short- and long-term goals for this new position.

2. Can you tell me more about _?

This is a chance to demonstrate that you have done your homework. Mention a specific fact or aspect of the company that you have researched. This statement could be a new development in the business or something featured in a press release.

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3. What is your leadership style?

You should ask this question about the interviewer or your future boss. Inquiring about the management style that you will be working under is likely equally as crucial for you to assess whether this position is right for you. If it is a good match, this question will also give you a chance to reinforce how your interviewer’s answer closely aligns with who you are and the environment that you thrive in.

4. From my research, I know your main competitors are x, y, and z. Which competitor are you most worried about?

It is important to preface your question by first stating who you think the company’s main competitors are. In fact, this may have even been a question during the interview. This statement shows that you did your research about the company before the meeting.

Afterward, you can get into discussing the company’s top competitor. This question helps put you and interviewer on the same team as if you’re already hired!

5. What is the largest challenge facing your organization and would I be in a position to help you solve this problem?

You are asking the interviewer to identify a challenge or problem facing his staff or company and how you can be the solution. This question shows that you are invested in the success of this company and you want to help them succeed.

6. What are the day to day responsibilities for a person in this position?

While you are likely to have covered a portion of this question during the interview, Indeed.com also recommends using this question to dive a bit deeper into your responsibilities, expectations, and goals. By asking about a typical day for a person in this position, you will likely learn the working hours and duties that you are required to execute daily. It will also give you a better idea if you are fit for the position.

7. How does your business support professional development and career growth?

You want to show that you are invested in this company long-term. In fact, you want this position to be on your career path. You should expect to hear about performance reviews, which gives you an idea of what to expect. Ideally, you want to see if the company promotes from within. Don’t be afraid to ask about that explicitly as well.

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Author: Kimberly Ellis
Kimberly is a researcher, content generator, and language lover. With over 15 years in the professional workplace, a Bachelors in Education, and a passion for accuracy, Kimberly is uniquely qualified to help others overcome the many struggles that come when pursuing new employment. Her mantra is, "May your coffee be strong, your lashes be long, and your Monday’s be short."