Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager

Asking informed questions about the company

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What are the Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager?

A good idea when preparing for an interview is to come up with a list of questions to ask the hiring manager. When applying for a new position, each prospective employee will sit down for an interview. It is typically done by a hiring manager, although it may be a department head or even the CEO of the company. The important thing, regardless of who’s conducting it, is that your interview shouldn’t be one-sided.

Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager

The person responsible for hiring a new employee will, of course, be asking a series of questions. Some questions will be broad and fairly generic. They help the interviewer get a better sense of who the prospective employee is and how he or she views the world. They also, hopefully, provide some insight into the interviewee’s work ethic and principles.

However, almost every hiring manager will also ask the interviewee if they have any questions to ask. Even if the interviewer doesn’t ask, it’s a good idea to speak up. Use the opportunity to find out more about the company and the position to see if it will truly be a good fit for you. Asking informed questions about the company can also boost your chances of getting the job. It shows the interviewer that you’ve done your homework on their company and indicates a real interest in getting this job, not just a job.


  • During the interview process, it is important for the hiring manager to ask questions of a prospective employee; it is equally important for the prospective employee to come up with some good questions to ask the hiring manager.
  • Understanding what, specifically, is expected of the employee, what goals they are to accomplish in a specific timeframe, and how success is measured are crucial pieces of information for a prospective employee.
  • Knowing the history of the position can be very helpful, as you will be, in a sense, filling the shoes of the individual who previously held the position.

Examples of Questions to Ask a Hiring Manager

1. What is the Purpose of the Role?

Whatever position the interviewee is applying for must serve some greater function within the company. It’s important to understand what that role is. The hiring manager has likely already gone over the duties and responsibilities that the role entails. However, it’s wise for the prospective employee to know how the duties will serve the greater good of the company – what’s important about what you will be doing in the position. Knowing how the position fits into the company enables a prospective employee to get a greater sense of his or her purpose and the skills he or she will need to fulfill the role.

2. What Needs to be Accomplished and in What Timeframe?

A prospective employee should know what is expected of him or her in terms of accomplishments. A good starting benchmark is six months. It is enough time for the employee to become immersed in their new role. Within that time frame, what will the prospective employee be expected to accomplish?

A question like this gives you an indication of what type of work ethic and speed are needed – or at least expected – for the position. It also shows the hiring manager your willingness to step up to the challenges of the role.

3. How is Success Measured?

You want to know how the company you’re going to be working for determines success at the specific position. Is it purely a numbers game, measured by tasks accomplished? Ability to stay on task and on budget? Or does the company look at things such as being able to work with others to get the job done?

This question is crucial because it helps you understand – beyond just basic duties – what is expected of you. Getting the answer to this question lets you know which of your skills to emphasize in order to increase your chances of getting hired.

Generally speaking, any information you get from asking the hiring manager questions should be helpful to you in deciding the best way to answer their questions.

4. What is the History of the Position?

The position that you’re applying for may have been in place since the beginning of the company or it may be a newly created position. Knowing the history of the position is crucial in regard to telling you what the company is really looking for from whoever is hired to fill the position. If the position has been in place for some time, you’ll be stepping into an environment that was developed by a previous employee who filled the position.

Ask about the position’s vacancy. Why did the previous employee leave? Did he/she walk away, were they fired, or did the employee get promoted within the company? The answer to such questions affects the environment that the prospective employee is walking into. This is important to understand.

For example, if the position was previously held for 20 years by a beloved employee who recently retired, it may be difficult to gain the acceptance necessary to replace that person. On the other hand, if the previous occupant of the position lost the company millions by their poor handling of key customer accounts, well, it might not be too hard for you to do a better job by comparison.

If the position is newly created, it is okay – in fact, it’s a very good idea – to ask why. Perhaps, the company determined that creating the position was necessary for the company’s growth. In any event, getting the answer to that question will help to tell you what the company is really looking for from you. In a situation where the position being applied for is not new, find out who was responsible for fulfilling its duties previously. This individual may prove to be a valuable resource for you if you’re hired for the job.

Related Readings

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