You know when you have a job interview, and at the end the person conducting the interview is like, "Do you have any questions for me?"
And you know you're SUPPOSED to ask something, but you can't think of anything, so you're sitting there trying to look calm, but on the inside you're like:
Well, here are some questions you can have ready to go for your next job interview that'll either make you look good or, you know, actually give you some valuable information about the job:
1. "What does success look like for this position?"
This question covers a lot of bases: It can give you a cue to explain how your strengths and experiences could achieve the success they describe, it shows that you're thinking about how you can be helpful in the position, and if you get the job, it helps you set yourself up for success.
2. "What has your experience been like with this company?"
This is really just a more tactful way of asking, "Do you like working here?" While this might not necessarily score you points with the interviewer, how they answer might give you an idea as to whether you want to actually work there or not.
3. "What is the biggest challenge facing this department right now?"
If you get a solid answer to this, you can think about how your experience and skills might benefit the company in tackling the challenge. It also shows that you're a problem-solver who thinks ahead.
4. "How did this position become open?"
The interviewer may or may not be forthcoming with their answer (you can decide if that's a bad sign or not), but if you do get an answer, it can help determine what your possibilities for advancement are (if the previous employee was promoted) or if the work environment is less than stellar (if the previous employee quit voluntarily).
5. "What opportunities are there for advancement in this department (or company)?"
This question hints that you plan to stay with the company for a long while, but it also will give you some insight into whether this is the right job for you. If there's little opportunity for growth, you might want to look elsewhere!
6. "How is the office culture here?"
Some interviewers might consider this to be something you should know from your own research, but it's always valuable to get insight from an actual employee on how the office dynamics are. You'll want to use their answer to decide if it would be a good fit for you, personally.
7. "What do you like about working here?"
Depending on how enthusiastically or honestly the interviewer answers this question, you should get a good idea of whether or not the work environment is enjoyable or not. If you're feeling bold, you can follow this up by asking if there's anything they don't like. Even a non-answer can sometimes give you a good idea of how things really are.
8. "If I were to start working here, what do you think the biggest challenge for me would be?"
This works as a tactful way of asking what the interviewer thinks your weaknesses are, based on your interview and your resume. Then, when you hear their response, you have an opportunity to convince them why you can overcome those challenges. Just be ready for some potentially devastating answers if the interview didn't go well...but even then, the feedback may be valuable for future interviews.
9. Sum up what you've learned about the position during the interview and during your own research, then ask, "Is that accurate?" or, "Did I leave anything out?"
This shows that you're a quick learner and a good listener, who can absorb and file away necessary information. It also provides a few more opportunities to relate your skills and experience to any more details about the position that they provide you in response.
10. "Are there any new projects coming down the pipeline that you're excited about?"
This question shows that you're eager to start, and gives you a chance to explain why you would be a perfect fit for that project. If you've done any prior research and learned about an upcoming project for the company, asking about that specifically is a good way to show that you're thorough and have given a hard look at the company and its goals.
BONUS: Do some research about the company and come prepared with a question that shows you've done that research.
Check the company's website for press releases, descriptions of company culture, or anything else you can get some solid info about. Even if your question is vague ("Can you tell me about ____? It sounded exciting"), it'll show that you've taken the initiative to do research and that you're seriously interested in this job in particular, and not just any job.