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Have you been scheduled for a peer interview? That’s a good sign! It may indicate that you’re seen as a strong candidate, and that the hiring committee are proud of their employees. This post will explore the purpose of the meeting, and what to ask peers in an interview.

I’ll also provide samples of questions the team may ask you.

The purpose of peer interviews:

Employers use peer interviews to get a sense of the culture fit between a candidate and the current team. They may want to ensure that you and the team will like each other and work well together.

For you, a peer interview is a great opportunity to suss out the team culture. It can even help you avoid landing in a toxic workplace.

Being scheduled for a peer interview is good sign. If there’s no peer interview, on the other hand, that could be a red flag, but it may simply mean the team are very busy. Consider asking for an opportunity to meet the team members. It’s a reasonable request, and at worst you’ll simply hear, “I’m sorry, that isn’t possible.” If they state a reason, that may well be a clue about how things work there.

What to ask peers in an interview – about themselves:

You have two goals in asking these questions: to get to know the team, and to build rapport. Most people like talking about themselves. Be a good listener!

What did you do before starting here, and what drew you to your current job?
What’s your typical day like, and what’s your favorite part of your job?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What’s something you’re passionate about?
Can you share a memorable travel experience you’ve had?
Can you share a moment when you felt really proud of yourself?
What’s something that makes you laugh?

What to ask peers in an interview – about the job, department and company:

These questions, too, are likely to build rapport, since your prospective teammates are likely to enjoy sharing their knowledge.

How would you describe the culture of this team/group/department?
How do members of this team typically interact and collaborate?
How would you describe the work-life balance here?
What do you think about the opportunities for learning, growth and advancement?
What do you like best about working for this company?
What’s one change you’d like to see the company do differently?
Is there anything else you think I should know about working at [company name] or being part of this team?

Typical questions they may ask you:

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Why are you interested in this job (and/or company)?
How do you adapt to changes and new challenges within a team?
How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within a team setting?
What do you think makes a team successful, and how do you contribute to that success?
What is your approach to giving and receiving feedback from team members?
Can you share an example of a time when you had to take initiative to solve a problem within your team?

Come to the peer interview with curiosity and a sincere desire to learn, and you’ll increase your chances of getting the offer.