If you fail to prepare, then be prepared to fail.
This couldn’t be more true when asked at the end of an interview, “Do you have any questions?”
Coming up with unique interview questions to ask employers on the spot is a challenge. It requires a level of concentration, preparation, and research. To ask a question that’s truly unique means mentioning something very specific about the company.
From our findings, there are 60+ questions from under 11 categories to ask about. Keep at least two or three of these to make a solid impression that you’re the right person to hire.
What It Means to Ask a Unique Interview Question
A unique question is one that candidates don’t usually ask. It catches the interviewer off guard and provokes a thoughtful response.
When you ask the interviewer an unexpected question, it does a few things:
- You stand out compared to other candidates
- Highlight your skills and personality as a professional
- Show genuine interest in the company and role
A unique question stems from creativity. But to come up with creative questions, you must have in-depth knowledge of the company’s current situation.
Most candidates tend to ask common questions anyone could ask.
To take it a step further, you should research a particular aspect of the company related to your role, career goals, and personality. This is how to guarantee that you won’t ask boring questions that they’ve probably already answered dozens of times in the past.
11 Types of Unique Interview Questions to Ask Employers
The questions to ask your hiring manager during an interview can range from the company’s target audience to their work culture. If we had to say the top three we’d suggest, it would have to fall under these categories:
- Entrepreneurial-Style Questions: Questions an entrepreneur might ask to prove their value and close a deal.
- Company Needs: Anything related to specific problems and goals the company wants to solve or achieve.
- Job Success: Job performance and core responsibilities.
1. Entrepreneurial Questions to Ask Employers
These are some of the top-rated and most unique questions to ask that will impress your interviewer.
Use these questions to show you have a millionaire mindset by focusing on outcomes.
- In 6-12 months time after hiring me, what would we need to accomplish for you to look back and confidently say that I was the right person for the job?
- Assuming I was hired, what would you like to see me do the most in the first few weeks?
- How can I make the most significant impact in this role in my first 30/60/90 days?
- Are there any types of results you’re expecting to see within the first 2-3 months?
Think Like an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneurial mindset is always appreciated. Get into this frame of mind by seeing the interview as more than a Q&A format.
You’re not just there to answer questions with minimal thought. You’re there to have an insightful conversation to learn how exactly you can best serve the company. So, listen carefully and reply with intention.
Your answers should be value-packed. Meaning each of your answers makes it clear how the company will benefit from your expertise.
2. Company Pain Points, Goals, and Objectives
Hiring managers love to see someone who’s done their research on the company.
Ask questions based on the company’s current situation in terms of the problems they’re looking to solve and the outcomes they’re trying to achieve.
- What would you say are the biggest roadblocks to achieving the company’s short-term and long-term vision?
- Are there any specific problems that have been ongoing for a while that you would like me to be able to solve?
- What are the biggest threats that could prevent the company from reaching XYZ results?
- How do you measure the impact or success of individual and team efforts?
- Do you see any upcoming opportunities in the market that the company could capitalize on within the next 2-3 years?
Sources for Company Research
Dig deep to find out what the company is up to. Do your research to find specific topics or mutual interests to mention.
Here’s a few places to look into:
- Company Website
- Social Media
- Customer Review Websites
3. Job Success
These questions help you prove you’re dead serious about being the best at what you do.
Use one of these thoughtful questions below to send a message to the hiring team that your mindset is in the right place and that you’re looking to make a serious impact on the company.
Another way you could prove your commitment is to come in the interview with suggested feedback. Ideally, these are actionable ideas that the company could implement to achieve growth.
- While waiting for a response, is there anything I can do to prepare myself for the role?
- How would you define the best employee for <job title> at company X?
- What traits make your most successful employees stand out?
- What would I need to do in this role to surpass your initial expectations?
- What challenges do you foresee the person in this role facing within the following year?
- Is there any particular person in the company that I would be working closely with?
- What is the most important contribution you want from an employee in this role?
4. Target Audience
These are the perfect questions to ask when your role is related to sales or marketing. Keep one of these up your sleeve to show genuine interest and expertise.
- What are the most common types of positive and negative feedback you get from customers?
- I noticed from <customer review website> that a lot of the feedback says XYZ. How does the company intend to implement XYZ feedback?
- From your ideal customer’s perspective, what makes the company different from competitors X and Y?
- How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and preferences of your target audience?
- What are some of the most creative and effective ways you've reached and engaged your target audience recently?
- How are the needs of your target audience evolving?
- Is there anything you wished you knew more about your target audience?
- What is one thing you think your target audience doesn't know about your company that you think they should know?
- Is there anything that your customer base does differently compared to other audiences?
5. Market Research
If you want to give the interviewer confidence that you know your stuff, hit them with one of these questions about the market. It shows you’re paying attention to current events in the industry, which cements your positioning as an expert.
- How does the company intend to adapt to the ABC trend?
- I recently saw that competitor X is doing ABC (e.g. a product launch or company event). Does the company intend to do anything similar to leverage potential growth?
- What are the most innovative market research methods you've seen lately?
- What’s your process for using market research to inform your product development and marketing strategies?
- Based on how the market is shifting towards the XYZ trend, how does the company intend to adjust its positioning?
6. Potential Objections or Concerns
This is a powerful one. Bringing up potential objections or concerns the employer might have about you head-on shows a degree of self-awareness and confidence.
Not everyone is comfortable with asking such a bold question, like the examples below. But being able to ask them yourself shows you’re not afraid of receiving direct feedback or criticism.
- From everything we’ve discussed, do you have any doubts about why I might not be a good fit for the role?
- Is there anything about my skill set or experience that you’re unsure of?
- Are you unsure about anything related to my hard or soft skills that might make you reconsider hiring me for the position?
- Is there any particular area you think I’m lacking in? If so, what would you suggest as the best way to improve?
- If you were to hire someone who isn’t exactly a perfect fit for the role, what are some of the things that would make you take a chance on them?
7. Standard Operational Procedures
Anything related to the company workflow will make for a good conversation in the interview.
Ask about the team’s approach to specific tasks and how they collaborate. Mentioning how they implement systems and processes based on different things implies you’re a team player. It also hints at your enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and ability to adapt.
- How do you ensure your SOPs are up-to-date and aligned with your current business processes?
- How do you measure the success of your current systems and workflows?
- How do you involve employees in the development and implementation of new processes?
- How do you identify and mitigate bottlenecks in your workflows?
- What are your plans for improving your systems and processes in the future?
8. Technical Job Responsibilities
The prospective employer is hunting for people with the right skill set and experience.
Asking one of these killer questions at the end of an interview makes it clear to the interviewer that not only are you a good fit for the company, but the company is a good fit for you.
- How does the company invest in its technical infrastructure?
- What are some of the things that you would like to see improved in the company's technical processes?
- What is the most challenging aspect of using the company's current tech stack, and how are you working to address it?
- What’s your current process for solving XYZ problem and is there an ideal system you’d rather implement for more efficiency? If so, what’s stopping you from implementing that ideal system?
- Is there anything else I should focus on to improve my technical application?
9. Leadership and Management
Want to show genuine interest in the company’s management style and philosophy? Reflect on how they approach team collaboration and leadership.
Besides developing your skills, it shows that you’re ambitious and career-driven. These are desirable job traits that appeal to hiring managers.
- How does your team collaborate with other teams within the company, and how does this role fit into the overall business strategy?
- How does the company define a good leader?
- How can someone become a leader at company X?
- How do you empower employees to make decisions and take full ownership of their work?
- How do you balance the need for accountability with the need to create a supportive and collaborative work environment?
10. Cultural Fit and Personality
These questions are more of a humanizing approach. It focuses on core values and personal development opportunities. This tells hiring managers you’re genuinely interested in the company itself and not just the potential job opportunity.
Some hiring managers also appreciate being asked directly about their own experiences.
- What made you decide to join < company> instead of competitors X, Y, and Z?
- What would you say are the ideal characteristics or personality traits a candidate should have to excel in this role at <company>?
- I saw on the website’s about page that X is strongly valued. Could you tell me how X is best shown in the company’s workplace?
- How has the company culture evolved over the past few years?
- What’s the biggest mistake or challenge you faced during your time at the company?
- What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at the company?
- Is there anything you would like to change or improve about the company culture?
- How does the company support employee goals and work-life balance?
Align your expectations with the company. Clarify the next steps and what to expect when moving forward. On top of showing you’re proactive and organized, these questions indicate you’re thinking ahead.
These questions also demonstrate that you’re not afraid to take an upfront approach when necessary for clarification.
- What are the next steps in moving forward?
- When can I expect to hear back from you?
- Is there anything else I can provide to you at this time that would be helpful?
- What else should I expect in terms of the timeline for the next steps?
Tips When Asking Interview Questions to Employers
Here are some of our top tips when asking a unique interview question to a potential employer:
- Have the right mindset
- Communicate with body language
- Tone of voice
- Ask follow-up questions
Have the Right Mindset
You’re not in an interview just to answer questions. You’re also there to determine if the company is a good fit for you.
While the interviewer is assessing you, you should use this as an opportunity to assess them.
Adopting the mindset of figuring out whether the company is a good fit for you just as much as you are for them allows you to come up with the right questions to ask.
Communicate With Body Language
Actions can say much more than your words. Here are a few ways to incorporate body language:
- Hold strong eye contact
- Sit with a straight posture
- Have a genuine smile
- Give firm handshakes
- Avoid fidgeting
All of this reinforces your confidence and enthusiasm, which helps you build rapport with the interviewer.
Note: If you are neurodivergent, you may disclose this to the interviewer, either before the interview via email or at the start of the interview. This can help you manage expectations and ensure an understanding of any communication difficulties you might have, such as holding eye contact.
Tone of Voice
Speak firmly when sharing your thoughts. Have an appropriate volume where you’re not speaking too loud or too quietly. Articulate your answers clearly to exert confidence. This reinforces your professionalism.
Be mindful of your tone on certain topics, especially when asking questions about potential objections or concerns.
Did you ask your interviewer a question but they mentioned something you want to clarify? Ask them a follow-up question.
This shows genuine interest. It also highlights that you’re a serious job seeker since you’re paying close attention to what they’re saying. More importantly, it shows that you’re not afraid to seek clarification when needed.
Use Rezi AI Interview to Prepare for Specific Job Interviews
The best way to prepare for the interview process is by understanding the fundamental questions a company might throw at you.
These questions could have anything to do with the following:
- Job responsibilities
- Mindset and attitude
- Technical skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Career background
Rezi AI Interview helps you examine your interview skills by giving you a realistic simulation based on your specific role. You can test out your ability to answer questions on the spot related to your background and areas of expertise.
If you want to find out the extent of your interview skills using the Rezi AI Interview feature, you can sign up here for free.
Hopefully, you now have at least 2-3 unique questions to ask employers.
While you could save some of the questions listed in this article, we recommend tailoring them to the company you’re applying to. The more specific your questions are, the better. This is why it’s essential to do your research on the company beforehand when preparing for your interview.