We often get this question from candidates:
“I know that asking questions at the job interview is important. How many questions should I expect to ask?”
Asking questions at the job interview is important. Questions show an inquisitive mind. They show interest in the company. They show the employer that you are not simply sitting there trying to get any job you can, but rather you are searching for an employer you fit with. Asking questions can be the difference between getting hired and getting ignored.
Still, your question is slightly incorrect. It is not the number of the questions that you ask. It is the quality of the questions that you ask. You want your interview questions to be genuine, intelligent questions that answer legitimate issues you have with the job. You want them to be things that require the interviewer to think, while helping you decide if the employer is right for you.
Keep that in mind when you think about questions to ask at the interview. The better your questions, the fewer you need to ask to impress an employer.
How Many Questions?
Obviously, however, you would like an answer. In general it is best to ask at least 3 excellent questions, with some hiring managers preferring five questions. Also, this number is for each interviewer. If you have 3 separate interviews with 3 separate interviewers, you should ask a total of 9 to 15 questions at minimum.
You can ask the same question to each interviewer, but only if it is opinion based and not fact based. For example, you would not want to ask “How long has this company been in business?” to each interviewer because realistically once you have an answer, you would not ask the question again. If they discuss your candidacy later and talk about the questions you asked, they are going to experience some confusion if they both mention you asked a fact based question.
Opinion based questions are still acceptable. For example “What do you feel about the future of the department?” Each interviewer could conceivably have a different opinion, so this question is okay to ask each person.
Take Away Interview Tips:
- Worry more about asking great questions than asking many questions.
- Ask at minimum three questions, preferably 5 or more.