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Hiring Managers Share the Best Questions Candidates Have Asked During an Interview

Written By Nick Mendez | Jan 7, 2015

Interviews are stressful. You have to do your research, dress the part, and be prepared to eloquently defend your professional worth.

There are plenty of sources for advice on all of the above, but don’t forget that interviews are a two way street–candidates need to vet the opportunity just as thoroughly as they’re being evaluated themselves.

So we asked some creative-industry hiring managers to identify the best, most inquisitive question a candidate had ever asked them during an interview. Here’s what sprung to mind:

Lindsey Ducroz at frog

I suppose, selfishly, I always enjoy the question, “What do you like most about your job?” It’s an exercise in abundance thinking, and I never have the same answer twice. Regardless, my answer always requires me to reinforce the positives in my day to day, which has a lingering effect on my current day!

Recently, an executive candidate asked me to elaborate on a statement I made about frog’s HR approach. To be honest, I was caught off guard by his curiosity and desire to know more specifics around how he would interact with me in my role, should there be a match. He was authentically curious. Most of the time candidates are on the receiving end of the “tell me more about that” questions, not the other way around. I really appreciated the intention of his question, and the way it made me shift my thinking. I like the hot seat!

Shaunmarie Gutbezahl at Fred Meyer

The question I most like to hear is something along the lines of where the company hopes to be in the next five years, or, “What’s the five year plan?” It tells me the interviewee is forward thinking and interested in growing their skill set. Sadly, I do not get this question very often…like maybe twice.

Andrew Jimeno at T3

I think the most telling question is often one of the simpler ones to ask.

“What are some of the biggest challenges or successes facing the department currently?”

This shows they’re thinking about their future within the team, and are concerned about what lies ahead in the role.

Will Chau at GSD&M

I’d say the best question that was ever asked of me was, “Where does the client see themselves in ten years?”

This referred to my Kia Motors client, and I thought it was a great question because it showed the person was interested in not just our agency, but in the client’s long term goals. It was a very mature question for a kid out of school.

Dan Rocha at Paccess

I like questions that move beyond the general “what would my typical day look like” and show that the candidate is actually trying to understand not only the position, but the company and culture. I would rather a candidate attempt to engage me in a conversation instead of selling me on why I should hire them. You can see the gears turning as they try to picture themselves fitting into the position.

“Tell me about the team I would be working the most closely with. What is their background?”

“Tell me about a current project your team is working on and how it fits into your product offering.”

Hiring managers–what’s the best question a candidate has asked you during an interview? I’d love to hear from you.

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