Candidates often wonder whether or not they should ask questions at the end of an interview. The answer to this question is most definitely yes! But wait, don’t go anywhere just yet… There’s a lot more to it than that.
Imagine right now; you’re coming towards the end of an interview. You prepared well for all steps of the interview process up to this point. So far, you’ve answered everything with a level of expertise that’s sufficient to be worthy of a job offer. Then the interviewer asks you;
“Is there anything you would like to ask us?”Interviewer
Many interviewees trip themselves up at this point. Whether they freeze with stage fright or think it’s impolite to question an interviewers authority, either way, they clam up and respond with something like;
“No, thank you. I think you’ve explained everything well.”Candidate
There is nothing worse for an interviewer than getting to the end of a fantastic interview and a candidate not having questions to ask. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first telephone interview or the last round of three face-to-face interviews, candidates should always have questions to ask. Here’s why.
What it Says to an Interviewer When You Have no Questions to Ask Them at the End of Your Interview
When you don’t have any questions prepared for an interview, it tells the interviewer several things about you:
- You haven’t prepared enough for your interview
- If the company hired you, you might make mistakes in your job because you’re too shy to ask others for advice
- You’re not interested in the role enough to consider what might be like working for the company
- You’re arrogant and therefore, don’t need to ask questions because you think you know everything already
- You’re not a good fit for this role
Some of the above may sound incredibly harsh. However, they are among real reasons hiring managers have given us for rejecting interviewees who didn’t ask questions.
On the flip side, having a few great questions prepared to ask at your job interview shows the interviewer that:
- You’re putting a great deal of thought into your next career move, and you are interested in this job
- You have a willingness to learn
- You’re considering whether the company culture might make this an environment where you can thrive
- You have an inquisitive nature, and you’re not afraid to ask others for advice
- You’re considering whether or not this company might be a good fit for you long term
Good Questions to Ask in an Interview
The best questions to ask in an interview are ones that will make the interviewers believe that you are considering how well you might fit in there. So exactly what kinds of questions should you be asking to achieve this? Now that’s a good question! Here’s a little insight into why certain types of questions are better to ask than others, along with a few examples.
On The Job
Be careful when asking questions about the job description or what your daily life might be like on the job. You may walk into an interview room with many questions on this subject. However, they may be answered throughout your interview.
If this is the case, don’t ask the interviewers to repeat themselves for the sake of asking questions. Doing so will give the impression that you haven’t been paying attention, which may be a red flag not to hire you.
If you specifically want to know something about your daily life in this role that hasn’t already been made clear, of course, this is your opportunity to ask. Although if all the questions you prepare are around what the job entails, you should definitely prepare a few backups.
Examples of ‘On The Job’ Questions to Ask in an Interview
- What do you think are the biggest challenges someone coming into this team would face?
- Has this position been newly created or is it to replace someone who is leaving?
- What can you tell me about the strengths and challenges within the team I will be joining?
Long Term Plans
It is not uncommon for interviewers to ask if you have a five-year plan. Not only is it fair for you to ask the same, but if you do, it shows you’re planning for your future.
Examples of Questions to Ask in an Interview Around ‘Long Term Plans’
- Can you please tell me a little more about the company’s long term growth plans?
- What are the most important business goals for the next five years and how do you expect my team to contribute towards them?
- Are you expecting to launch any new products in the near future and if so, how will my team contribute to them?
Their Personal Experience
You will no doubt want to assess whether you might achieve your career goals with this employer. However, it is wise to avoid questions surrounding specific career paths in an interview. Mentioning a particular job title could rule you out as a contender if it does not align with what the company has in mind.
However, a different way of assessing your career advancement potential is to ask the interviewers about their most significant achievements while working with the company. These kinds of questions show an interest in your career development potential while keeping your options open.
Examples of ‘Personal Experience’ Questions to Ask in an Interview
- What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
- What has been your proudest achievement during your employment here?
- How have you seen the company change in the time you have worked here?
Quiz them About their Company Culture
A great question to ask in an interview is what the people interviewing you like and dislike about working for their company. After all, they are employees of the business and will no doubt have strong opinions!
The interviewer’s answer could give you some great insider information to help you decide whether or not this is the right role for you. After all, interviewing is a two-way process. Therefore, it is as much an opportunity for you to find out about them as it is for them to find out about you.
Example Questions to Ask Interviewers About ‘Company Culture’
- What are your company’s values and what do you look for in prospective employees that will bring those values to life?
- Do you ever do anything socially as a company or within the teams?
- How would you describe the working environment within the office?
Their Ideal Candidate
Asking an interviewer about their ideal candidate may seem like a brave thing to do. Although asking questions along this line will give you an insight into what they’re looking for. This will allow you to assess how well your skills and experience align with their requirements. If you are unsuccessful this time around, the interviewer’s answer might help you improve the chances of your next interview resulting in a job offer.
Example Questions to Ask Interviewers About ‘Their Ideal Candidate’
- Can you tell me the skills and qualities you think a person must have to do well in this position?
- What do you expect the successful candidate to achieve within the first three months of accepting an offer of employment with you?
- How would you say I compare with other candidates you have interviewed for this position?
Your Last Chance To Impress
Before you leave, asking ‘wrap up’ questions will enable you to assess your chances of getting hired. Furthermore, they present the opportunity for you to fill the interviewers in on any information they may be lacking about you.
Excellent questions to ask at this point are:
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
- When can I expect to hear from you?
- Is there any other information I can tell you that might help you make your decision?
Is There Anything Else?
We hope that after reading this article, your mind is overflowing with awesome questions at the end of an interview! We wish you the very best of luck, and if there is anything we can help with, please don’t hesitate to ask!
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