Top 39 Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers

Christina J Colclough

By Christina Colclough

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Before a job interview concludes, the hiring manager often inquires whether there is anything about the company that piques your curiosity.

Most job candidates assume these requests do not hold much weight and immediately answer “No.” Do not do that, though. Any questions you have for them (or lack thereof) give clear hints about your interest in the team in the long run.

Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers

Let me suggest some killer interview questions to ask employers that are sure to leave a long-lasting impression. Keep scrolling for more!

Top 39 Killer Questions To Ask At The End Of The Interview

Close up interviewer
Close up interviewer

A. Questions About Your Applied Role and Team

1. What are the most important qualities you’re looking for in a successful candidate for this position?

You can assess whether your current strengths align with the company’s expectations. Furthermore, this question is a way to demonstrate your proactive approach and desire to be successful in the role.

2. What are the biggest challenges and development opportunities your team currently faces?

A successful employee should not be interested in their role; they must also keep the team’s success in mind. Based on the manager’s answer, you should take this chance to showcase your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

3. Can you tell me more about a typical day or week working in this position?

With better, more inclusive insights into the day-to-day work, you can gauge whether your usual work style will fit the role’s demands. It is also advisable to fully understand the job before accepting any offer. 

4. What are the team’s goals for the next year, and how would this role contribute to achieving those goals? 

Best Buy team

Employees whose motivations complement the team’s objectives will be considered valuable assets to the company in the long run. It shows you are truly invested in the bigger picture and wish to play your part well. 

5. Can you describe the team dynamic and preferred collaboration style?

To fit in, you must be comfortable with both the team’s working environment and communication style. Most brands also appreciate employees with a strong teamwork spirit who can thrive well in collaborative cultures.

6. Can you describe a recent success story from this team and how individual contributions played a role?

This inquiry sheds light on the team’s collaborative dynamics while showing the value placed on individual contributions. You will learn how your skills and talents can fit into (and further extend) the team’s existing success story.

7. Who are the key stakeholders I might be working with in this role? What are their expectations?

A thorough overview of the role’s stakeholder landscape helps you navigate potential collaborations and communication channels. It also demonstrates your awareness of the bigger picture and proactive relationship-building approach.

8. What typical performance metrics are used to evaluate success in this role? How are they communicated to team members?

Beyond general responsibilities, you should also clarify specific performance expectations and review mechanisms to measure your own performance. Employees actively seeking to improve themselves are always welcome in any working culture. 

9. What are some common challenges individuals in this role face? How does the team support overcoming them? 

You should show them how you can anticipate upcoming challenges. At the same time, do not forget to express your desire for a supportive team environment.

10. Can you tell me about a time when a team member exceeded expectations in this role? What made their contribution noteworthy?

The story would spark inspiration and set a benchmark for excellence. With this question, you will show them your strong ambition to achieve high standards and learn from other successful team members.

B. Questions About Learning and Career Growth

Interview Questions

1. What opportunities exist for training and development in this role?

Show them you are committed to continuous professional development. Few companies turn down a proactive employee who always seeks opportunities for self-improvement and learning.

2. What are the typical career paths for someone in this position?

The information helps you understand your advancement opportunities and plan your future within the company. It also shows them you’re not just looking for short-term settlements; solid career growth in the long run is your biggest goal.

3. How does the company encourage innovation and new ideas?

Ambitious employees are unafraid to take initiative or suggest creative solutions. The question both indicates the company’s value on staff contribution and hints at your future potential. 

4. What are some recent examples of successful internal mobility within the company?

Another question to showcase your interest in long-term career growth. By asking for concrete evidence of potential career progression within the company, you also express your ambition to take on new challenges.

5. Are there opportunities for cross-functional collaboration or shadowing other teams to broaden my knowledge base?

It demonstrates your desire for diverse learning experiences and interest in the broader company culture. You can also gain insights into the company’s internal dynamics, the required level of teamwork, and the potential challenges you might face.

6. Does the company encourage participation in industry conferences or professional development workshops?

Although individual growth is important, employees should also seek to stay current with industry trends. This information can help you decide if the company’s values align with your own.

7. Can you share some examples of how the company has adapted to recent industry changes or technological advancements? How does the team stay ahead of the curve?

Here is the chance to show interest in adaptability while expressing your own willingness to upskill for future relevance. It also helps you envision the working environment and clarify whether you can continue to grow professionally there.

8. What opportunities exist for independent learning or taking on side projects within this role?

Companies are looking for proactive employees who can explore new areas of skill development through self-directed learning. If prompted, you may share specific projects/interests you want to pursue under the company’s support.

9. Beyond technical skills, what soft skills does the company prioritize for success in this role? How can I develop these skills and ensure I align with the team’s values?

The hiring manager can see how you are willing to go the extra mile for the team’s success and your own development. It is also the chance to reveal some soft skills you already excel in.

10. If I were to identify a knowledge gap or skill deficit relevant to the role, how would the company support me in bridging that gap? 

Proactiveness in identifying potential growth areas is one of the most critical attributes of an excellent employee. However, we suggest framing the question as a hypothetical scenario to avoid appearing overconfident or unprepared.

C. Questions About Company Culture And Values

Target employee

1. What unique traditions or rituals does your team/department have to celebrate achievements or foster team bonding? 

To fit into the company culture, you must show interest in the team’s dynamics beyond work. If possible, use specific examples you gleaned from the interview to personalize the question.

2. Can you share an example of a time when the company’s values were truly tested? How did the team or leadership respond, and what did you learn from it?

Learning how the company upholds its values in real-world situations will benefit both your career path and the company itself. However, instead of posing a direct question, it would be better to phrase it as a learning opportunity to demonstrate your alignment with their values.

3. How does the company encourage open communication and feedback, both upwards and downwards? Can you share an example of how constructive criticism has led to positive change within the company?

The question reflects your desire for a transparent, collaborative work environment. It goes both ways, though; you must also show your own commitment to giving and receiving feedback constructively.

4. Beyond official performance reviews, how does the company recognize and reward individual contributions or team achievements?

Inquiries about the company’s appreciation system highlight your determination in career growth. 

On another note, rather than fixating solely on the rewards, you should shift the discussion’s focus to the types of contributions valued and show the manager how you can replicate them.

5. Outside of work, what activities or events does the company organize to bring employees together and build community?

This is your chance to learn more about the company’s more casual interactions and see whether that culture suits your preferences. 

Feel free to mention your own interests and ask if there are similar group activities; it shows your determination to fit in.

6. When faced with a difficult decision, how does the company typically approach it? Is there a specific decision-making framework or emphasis on collaboration?

The main goal is to gain insight into their problem-solving process and the value placed on employee input.

On the other hand, you should also hint at your potential contribution to diverse perspectives, which explains why this question is framed as a request to understand their approach to challenges.

7. How does the company handle healthy conflict or constructive criticism within the team? What processes or guidelines are in place to ensure productive resolution?

From an HR perspective, an employee interested in the company’s communication/disagreement management dynamics will significantly contribute to healthy conflict resolutions.

8. What initiatives or programs does the company offer to support employee well-being and a healthy work-life balance?

It reveals your commitment to the team’s overall well-being, which contributes to both long-term satisfaction and productivity. Bring up some of your own priorities for work-life balance if the timing is right.

9. Can you describe a recent decision where the company had to prioritize competing values? How did they navigate this dilemma, and what did you learn from the experience?

The way you phrase the question reflects both your critical thinking and desire to adapt to complex situations. At the same time, you can also glimpse into the company’s decision-making process.

10. Looking ahead, what are the company’s biggest challenges or opportunities regarding its culture? How can someone in this role contribute to overcoming those challenges or seizing those opportunities?

A question that demonstrates forward-thinking always leaves a good impression on the hiring team. To increase your success rate, do not forget to highlight your strengths and experiences that can add value beyond the immediate role.

D. Questions About Logistics and Next Steps

Prepare for An Interview

1. To better prepare myself for potential next steps, please briefly describe the format of any additional assessments or interviews I should expect.

You should express your desire to perform well in future stages. Do not appear presumptuous, though;  you must really focus on understanding the expectations for the ongoing evaluation.

2. Beyond the standard reference checks, would you be interested in speaking with any specific individuals who could provide unique insights into my skills and qualifications relevant to this role?

Take this chance to offer extra touchpoints for the hiring manager to learn more about you. Your exuding confidence in positive assessment from your network will likely impress them! 

Before the interview, prepare a list of relevant people with their contact information. Do not forget to explain their connection to your current skills and experience!

3. I’m incredibly excited about joining the team. Is there anything else I can do in the coming days or weeks to further demonstrate my passion and qualifications for this position?

This question clearly shows your enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile. We also suggest you be more specific with your request by offering relevant actions (e.g., sending more samples and examples of projects). 

4. I understand the standard follow-up process. But if my qualifications and experience significantly exceeded expectations, is there a possibility of accelerating the timeline?

With this question, you can exude boundless confidence in your fit while subtly opening the door for a faster hiring process. 

On another note, only bring up this question if you are truly confident you have done well. Remember to phrase it politely and humbly. 

5. Can I participate in any upcoming team events or initiatives, even before the official start date?

Such events allow you to start building relationships and familiarizing yourself with the team dynamics as early as possible. Your desire to integrate immediately into the team company culture would certainly impress the hiring manager.

6. Aside from standard reference and background checks, are there any specific skills or certifications that could expedite the hiring process if I could provide proof of possession?

Another question to highlight your confidence and pave the way for a potentially shorter waiting period. Another alternative is to mention those relevant skills/certifications beforehand and ask them if expediting based on evidence is possible.

7. Could you share your preferred communication channels for keeping candidates informed throughout the selection process?

This way, you can stay accessible and responsive throughout the hiring process. The question also reflects your eagerness to reach out. Even in the off chance of a rejection, you can also contact them for constructive feedback for future interviews.

8. I noticed the team utilizes [specific technology/tool] in its workflows. If offered the position, would there be opportunities for training or support with this technology before my official start date?

The HR will think highly of your keen observation (as you could instantly recognize the tool during the interview) and eagerness to integrate yourself into the existing workflow.

9. Please let me know if there’s anything specific I can do to clarify my qualifications or provide further information after this interview. I will ensure you have all the necessary details to make an informed decision.

The company will appreciate it if you are open to further communication and willing to address any potential concerns that they might have.

See more interview question samples:

Extra Tips With Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews

1. Be Selective

Though my list of questions is certainly inclusive, you should only select three questions to address. Scanning hundreds of resumes and interviewing dozens of candidates each day, HR professionals like me value time and tend to appreciate to-the-point inquiries.

And aside from the interview’s length, do not forget to pay attention to other nonverbal cues. For instance, if the HR seems comfortable and relaxed, allow yourself to ask more than three questions. 

2. Be Interesting

Needless to say, the topic should be thought-provoking and interesting. That’s why I strongly suggest creative questions about the role’s specifics or the team’s valued culture. Do not resort to general, boring questions anyone can easily find the answers to through the company’s official page or website. 

3. Be Confident in Yourself

Confidence is undoubtedly crucial here, just like at any other interview stage.

However, simply telling yourself to “be confident” is not enough; you must research the company and your role thoroughly beforehand. Excellent preparation does not just boost your self-confidence but also sets you apart from other less prepared candidates. 

Classic nonverbal cues like good posture, eye contact, and genuine smiles also work, even when you’re feeling really nervous inside! And remember, rambling or filler words should be avoided at all costs. Practice to speak directly and clearly before the interview.

4. Note Down All Your Questions At Home First

A common tip I have observed among successful job seekers is to prepare a written question list (at least 10 options) before the interview. That way, you will not miss any important questions due to forgetting or nervousness. 

Even better, it will be easier to prioritize the more important ones and adjust based on the conversation flow! For instance, if the hiring manager already answered some of your questions during the interview, you only need to ask the remaining ones when prompted.

5. Bring A Pen And A Notepad

Keep a pen/pencil and a notebook with you so you can jot down their answers to each of your questions. 

As you write, pay attention to any area or point that might spark further questions/clarification. It will be easier for you to remember all the information, and the hiring manager will also appreciate your professionalism.  

  • Use concise abbreviations and symbols to capture key points. No need to write everything word-for-word; you should only focus on the most meaningful insights.
  • Review the notes while your memory is fresh to process the information properly and prepare for the next steps.

6. Avoid Rephrasing Previous Questions

Rephrasing the same point over and over is a waste of time for both parties. Instead, I recommend bringing up new questions based on the conversation, as it shows the interviewer how you have been actively listening and processing all the information provided.

If possible, try to build your questions on the discussion (or according to a certain order) rather than from a random list; such a logical flow will demonstrate your ability to synthesize and connect information.

7. Be Concise With Your Questions

Make sure your questions are direct and concise. Only then can you leave room for the interviewer to provide detailed answers and open the door for more questions on your part. 

Long-winded ranting, on the other hand, is difficult to follow and may detract from the key points you want to convey! You will not be able to maximize the information you gain as a result.

And most importantly, most companies think highly of articulate employees who can organize their thoughts and communicate well. These are all valuable skills in professional settings, no matter which role you apply for.


My team has compiled all the questions to ask the employer during the interview. 

Given the long interview process, bringing up all 39 items is clearly impossible. Instead, be selective; only pick out questions that are either directly relevant or have not been discussed enough throughout the conversation! Write to me if any part still seems confusing.

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Christina J Colclough

Christina J. Colclough

Dr Christina J. Colclough is an expert on The Future World of Work and the politics of digital technology advocating globally for the importance of the workers’ voice. She has extensive regional and global labour movement experience, is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach, and strategist advising progressive governments and worker organisations.

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