11 Powerful Qs to Ask Before You Take the Job

"Do you have any questions for us?"

We've all been there. We finally make it to the end of the interview, and now it's our turn to ask the recruiter questions. Yet so many people freeze up at this point because they don't know what to say or fear they'll sound ignorant.

Many people don't realize this is a prime opportunity to see if the company you're considering is right for you. This is your chance to show a genuine curiosity for learning about the company's culture while also gathering clues that will support your final decision.

Notice that none of these questions below ask about salary, benefits or vacation policy. They simply set yourself up in advance for knowing whether or not the company's values align with your own.

Here are 11 powerful questions to ask the next time you are in an interview:

1) How do you encourage work/life balance?
Yes, you are allowed to have a life outside of the office. I love asking this question because it shows how willing a company is to respect that fact. If they don't have a clear answer to this question, it could signal they aren't too concerned if your 9-5 becomes a 9-9.

2) What does leadership mean at your company, and who are the leaders?
This question tells you what the company expects of its leaders. How much emphasis is placed on inspiring others, rather than controlling others? When you ask this, you'll also hear if leadership is desired only from top-ranked employees or if it's a trait they empower all individuals to develop.

3) How is feedback given?
Often overlooked, feedback has a major influence on overall job performance. You want to ask this question so you know how people are, or aren't, given acknowledgment, praise and criticism. It's essential your employer not only provides feedback, but delivers it in a constructive and practical way.

4) Why did you join the company?
This question not only gets you to understand what attracted your recruiter to join the company, but it also lets you listen to what kind of passion, if any, they still have. If they speak with no enthusiasm in their voice, decide for yourself what that could that mean about their experience working there.

5) What personal development programs do you have for employee growth?
A smart company will invest in the potential and wellbeing of its individuals. Some companies today grant employees quarterly stipends specifically for their ongoing growth and learning. If the company has no team-building workshops or employee coaching programs, you may want to look elsewhere.

6) What does flexibility look like in this office?
Notice how this question is worded. You are not asking for flexibility, you are simply probing for clues as to how much flexibility is honored at work. For those of you wanting to eventually have flex-time or work-from-home days, this is a great question to ask without sounding too needy.

7) How would you describe the feeling when you walk into the office?
This helps paint a picture for the type of environment you might be working in. Some offices uplift you and put you at ease, while others make you feel like you're walking on egg shells. A recruiter may try to sugar-coat this answer, so look for visual cues to see how their body language aligns with their words.

8) How do you keep employees engaged?
Engaged employees result in higher productivity, innovation and morale. Throw in this curveball question to find out what kind of attention is devoted to ensuring that individuals are intellectually and emotionally connected to the work they are doing.

9) In what ways does this company pay-it-forward or give back to communities?
For applicants desiring a socially conscious company, this question shows if your company focuses on more than just the bottom line. Asking this also positions yourself as someone who expects and understands corporate social responsibility.

10) What kind of value does your company place on diversity and inclusion?
Let's face it: Workplace discrimination still exists. This question reveals the company's frame of reference when it comes to making sure all voices are valued and heard, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

11) What impact does your company hope to leave on the world?
While their website may say one thing, you want to hear what comes straight from your recruiter's mouth. What does the company stand for, and how does (or doesn't) that fit in with what you stand for?

Getting a job offer does not mean you need to take it. Whereas a company sets expectations for their applicants, it's important for you to also set your own standards for who you will work for.

Before you say "yes" to a job offer, first say "yes" to a job you deserve.


Frank Macri is a Leadership Trainer and Coach who helps individuals prioritize their energy and time so they can free themselves of distractions and instead focus on what matters most. For a free leadership mastery webinar, go to www.TheFrankLife.com.