By Jenny Marchal
You’ve finally got through to the end of the interview and your potential employer asks you the most common question – “Do you have any questions?”
Many people don’t think of this as an important question, and actually the most common reply is “no.”
Perhaps you had some basic questions in your mind but felt they were already covered during the interview?
Perhaps you didn’t think of any at all because surely an interview is more about what you’re saying than what your potential employer is saying?
If this is the case, then you may be hindering your chances of getting the job more than you realize.
Why This Simple Question Can Be Hard to Answer
If you’re particularly nervous in interviews, whether or not you felt you performed well, your mind can start to feel relief at the end of an interview and start to get into a relaxed state.
The problem here is that we believe the “do you have any questions?” is the moment where the interview is over, but in fact you’re still essentially being tested by the interviewer. They want to gauge your interest in them, the role, or the company. If you’re unprepared with interesting or information-seeking questions, you may come across as disinterested and unenthusiastic for the job.
The other problem is if we did prepare questions, but they were already answered in the interview process. It can be hard to search for new questions on the spot, and we can end up not being able to think of any.
How Asking Questions Can Prove You’re the Best Fit for the Job
Enthusiasm, interest, and a good, two-way flowing conversation are all excellent ways to come across well when meeting with a potential recruiter. While the bulk of the interview is to shine a good light on yourself and your abilities for the role, asking questions really shows your potential employer your knowledge, awareness of the role, and that you prepared fully for the interview.
It essentially shows you’re serious about the job and if you’ve done your research on the company and its values, it can be an opportunity to further show your knowledge about them and how they operate.
But it’s not all about the recruiter, it’s also a chance for you to see if they’re a good fit for your work
values, career progression, and work lifestyle.
What Types of Questions Should I Ask?
Preparation is key. It’s important to have at least two potential smart questions that can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. The best ones incorporate your interest in the employer while also eliciting essential information for yourself and whether the job is a good fit for you. In other words, your questions are focused and open-ended.
Questions to Find out About the Company
This is an opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company, but also to see if it’s somewhere that will benefit you and your career path.
- I read the company focuses on the importance of community and runs a volunteer scheme for its employees. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
- Could you tell me a bit more about the culture of the company?
- How does the company invest in its employees in terms of training?
- How does this company define and measure success?
Questions to Find out About the Role
Show more enthusiasm for the role by asking additional questions. Remember, you can pick up on something the recruiter mentioned when describing the role and ask to elaborate on it, or you can think about your future in this role and how it can help you grow.
- Can you tell me how you can potentially see this role progressing?
- What are your expectations for this role for the next month, three months, or year?
- Can you tell me what a typical day would be in this role?
- What are biggest challenges of this job?
- Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Asking the interviewer for their personal view on their role in the company and how it works for them is a good indicator for a typical work life at this company, and perhaps the team you’ll work in.
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- How long have you been with the company?
- Is there anything you would improve in terms of working here?
- What are the dynamics of the team like?
Questions to Further Clarify Your Suitability for The Role
If you feel you have more to say about yourself that could help you get the job, or you’d like to clarify something about your work history, then now can be a good time to present the information. Try not to force information if it hasn’t been asked for – this is a way for you to come across as being open. However, over-explaining a discrepancy that hasn’t been asked about will probably cause problems for yourself.
- What can I clarify for you about my qualifications?
- Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?
- Are there any other questions I can answer for you?
Questions to Find out Logistics
There will most likely be questions to do with the next steps in the process that you would like answered. It’s good to think of a few because you don’t want to leave the interview wondering what is happening next. It’s best to ask these right at the end.
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- When can I expect to hear back about the job?
- When is the anticipated starting date for this position?
- If I think of any more questions who can I contact?
Remember: Don’t ask questions about salary, benefits, taking off holiday, or whether you got the job. These will be discussed after the interview.
So, remember to have a few questions under your belt. Continue the mindset that this is still a crucial part of the interview, and you’re showing off your enthusiasm and interest in both them and the role. However, it’s also for your benefit, and having good information-seeking questions can help you know if the job fits you. Good luck!
Jenny Marchal is a freelance writer. Full Bio