Your job interview is never a "one-way street". It is an opportunity for you to understand more about your prospective employer, as much as it is about your interviewer knowing if you are the most suitable candidate for the position.
Hence your ability to ask the right questions about the work culture, employee engagement and expectations, and career development, will only help you gain information and empower you to make the right decision about the role and the company (especially if you have attended 2-3 interviews or even just one)
Below are the top 13 questions that you can ask your interviewer at the end of the interview (even if you are not asked to).
Was / Is there a person in this position? Why is he/she being replaced?
This helps you understand if the position was (1) downsized, or the person's role (2) terminated or if it is a (3) new position.
What is challenging about this role?
If this position is being restructured/downsized then why hire again (my guess is to bring in someone new at a lower salary which could mean there is the scope of a salary increase in future) if the role is being terminated then why? What did the person selected for this role lack expectations? This will help you understand if you can manage the role and also know the end result if you fail. If new, then a fresh mindset about the expectations of the role is required.
How many candidates are being interviewed and what are the most important criteria that you would consider?
You may have a better insight into the competition for this job and what did the interviewer feels about your interview and prospects. Hear the interviewer out carefully since you will get a hint of your prospects. The interviewer may also share their inability to give you feedback at this moment, but then again request for a "personal view".
What are the future plans for this position?
Career development is the essence of all hiring. Why invest in hiring from outside when there is a lot of potential, experience, and knowledge of the business inside. Promotions also help in establishing a brand image and encourage employees to work harder and smarter. You will be able to know your planned career and time frame by asking this question.
What makes you proud to work at this company?
This is the interviewer's key selling point about his/her personal experience. The enthusiasm and words that follow will tell you a lot about the company. If the interviewer does not have an answer to give you, it normally spells "danger".
How does the organization support your professional development and career growth?
You will get to understand more about training, seminars, brainstorming, etc. You may want to find an employer who supports you build the company by developing your own skills contribute more effectively.
Is risk-taking encouraged, and what happens when people fail?
Risky - Should I try something new to get better results or will I be fired if I do and fail.
Should I just play safe and continue to do what I do best. This depends on your personality as a "risk-taker" versus "safe player" and also understand the company's way of conducting business.
What role do company values play in hiring and performance reviews?
How is performance evaluated? Is it based on a professional performance review and assessment or does it depend on "one" decision-maker? Are there established KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the job description? How are performance appraisals conducted and how are the outcomes of the results measured? Are new hiring encouraged or internal promotions?
What is the one thing you would change about the company if you could?
You will know that one important factor that the interviewer feels that needs to improve. My guess is it will not be shared, but then again many interviewers are transparent. This question is the equivalent of an interviewer asking you "What is your weakness and what are you doing to correct it?"
What types of conflict arise and how is the conflict resolved?
Conflicts between employees, its customers, and its vendors exist - personal conflicts and professional conflicts. What part the company plays in resolving these conflicts gives you a lot of insight into the company management style to ensure a healthy workplace.
Are employees encouraged to give feedback, as much receive?
Feedback is essential to ensure growth and development. As much as instructions or guidelines are to set a clear structure, understanding, process, and expectations. What and who is responsible to receive this feedback, how is it evaluated and decided. You do not want to be caught in a situation where feedback is encouraged but there is no process of evaluating and measuring it. Rather not give feedback (unless your constant feedback gets the attention of decision-makers)
By asking these questions (or some of it) will help you get more answers to then enable you to make a more informed decision if this could be your future employer.