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How Many Interview Questions to Ask?

In person interviews are by far the most important step in the application process.  It is, typically, the first time you will meet with the hiring manager and will have the ability to gauge their management abilities and the requirements for the job.  When meeting with the interviewer, you may wonder how many interview questions to ask to increase your chances at getting hired.  While there is no hard-and-fast rule, generally asking three questions is enough.

Interviews typically follow a similar timeline and structure.  They are usually broken out into four separate stages.  The four stages of an interview begin with the introductory period, where you will meet with the hiring manager and be escorted to the meeting room where the interview will occur.

From there, you will begin the question and answer session.  The initial question and answer session will be questions from the hiring manager.  These will be both common and industry specific questions.  You can prepare by reviewing our comprehensive list of commonly asked interview questions.

Once the hiring manager has completed asking their questions, they will allow you to ask any that you may have.  Ideally, you should come prepared with two interview questions and an additional one during the course of the interview.  This means that you should prepare beforehand two questions and come up with an additional one while talking and discussing with the hiring manager.

What Are the Best Questions to Ask?

The best questions to ask are ones that are related to the role and the company.  While there are a number of sites which espouse different topics and questions, you will want to try to ask questions which are closely related to the position, the company, and the industry.

While we don’t discourage preparing your questions beforehand, you should try to have a question which piqued your curiosity during the course of the interview.  This will show the interviewer that you are actively engaged in the interview and that you are interested in what they are saying.

In addition, the best interview questions are asked with sincerity and a genuine attitude.  This means that you should actually care about the question you are asking and should want a serious, comprehensive answer.  No interviewer wants to be asked questions simply because the interviewee believes they have to ask a question.  Be sure to show interest and be genuine in your responses.

Conclusion

Asking questions at the end of an interview is extremely important.  It shows the interviewer that you are invested in the role and are curious as to the mechanics of the company.  Asking pointed, direct, and engaging questions can help show your sincerity and interest and can make you appear to be a more qualified candidate.

While there is no set rule for the number of questions to ask, you should aim to ask three questions. If the conversation is going well and you feel engagement from both parties, you may ask additional questions.  However, generally three questions should suffice and anything over may be too much.

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