When an interview draws to an end, the interviewer is likely to ask “Do you have any questions for me?” It may have been an extensive interview, and you will probably feel there’s nothing more to say, but it is better to respond. Not having any questions may indicate you are disinterested or unprepared. This is your final opportunity to leave the interviewer with a good impression.
Why it’s Important to Ask Questions
Any questions for interviewers give you an opportunity to learn more about the company and the position. You may want to cover a topic that was discussed in more detail. If you ask thought-provoking questions, this will reaffirm your interest in the position. You can show how much you know about the industry and confirm that you’re a good fit for the job.
Prepare your questions
You may become so focused on crushing the interview itself that you heave a sigh of relief when appears to be coming to an end, only to be thrown when an interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me? This question is asked so often that it makes sense to prepare some questions ahead of time.
You may want to prepare about 10 different questions so you can select ones that haven’t already been covered in the course of the interview. Choose one or two questions that will show you were engaged throughout the interview process and already have a good idea of what the role entails.
Bear in mind that your questions will be different depending on the interviewer. If you’re being interviewed by someone from human resources, you may want to ask something about the overall organization of the company. If you’re meeting with someone who will be your manager, you could ask about the responsibilities of the role.
Browse the company’s website to find out more. The information you find can help you to shape some relevant questions.
If you spend some time rehearsing your questions, it may give you more confidence. You could get a friend or family member to help you rehearse.
The Wrong Questions to Ask
Asking the wrong questions may affect your chances of being hired. Any conversations about benefits, company perks, salary and vacation time should be kept until you have been offered the position.
- Stay away from the ‘me’ questions.
Don’t ask questions about vacation time, length of the lunch break, flexibility of hours etc. Asking these questions when you have not yet been offered the job is inappropriate. All these questions are ‘me’ questions, and you should be trying to show what benefit you can provide to the company, not the other way round.
- Stay away from any gossip.
You may know some of the same people in the company as the interviewer but stay away from gossiping about them. Don’t ask the interviewer any personal questions either, such as where she bought her outfit.
- Don’t ask questions to which you can easily find the answers yourself.
If you can easily find the answers yourself by going to the company website, asking questions about this just wastes time and shows your lack of effort to find out more before the interview. One such question would be “What does the company do?”
- “Can I do this job from home?”
Is the wrong question to ask at a first interview. It may give the impression that you won’t be committed.
- Don’t ask too many questions at the same time.
You can always ask follow-up questions when the first one has been answered.
How to Answer: Do You Have any Questions for Me? The Right Way
You can go back to the aspects covered in the interview and ask for more clarity. You can ask questions about the information you found on the company website. An open-ended question is better than one that demands a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
Ask about the job
You will probably already have covered the functions of the job in the course of the interview, but you can ask more about day-to-day responsibilities.
- What does a day in the life of a person doing the job look like? Has the role grown to adapt to the growth of the company?
- Why is the position open? Is it a new position and if not, why did the previous employee leave?
- Are performance evaluations conducted and how often?
- What would I be expected to achieve within the first few months?
If you do end up accepting the position, you will have some idea that you have the right expectations and are on the same page from the start.
- What do you consider to be most important for success in the role? Perhaps this is specific soft skills, such as excellent communication or organizational skills. It may be technical skills, such as knowledge of Excel or Photoshop. Posing this question gives you added insight into what makes a person a good fit for the position.
Ask about the company
Now is your chance to find out more about the company. Perhaps you would like more clarity about some information you saw on the website.
- What are the issues facing the company and what are its goals for the future?
- If you have been interviewed by a panel of company managers, you are still likely to be asked “Do you have any questions for us?” You aren’t just trying to get a job – you also want to find out whether the company and the position will be a good fit for you. This may be a good opportunity to ask more questions about the company culture.
- Ask about the company’s management style. This tends to trickle down from the top. Is it more formal or casual? Is there an open-door policy? Are managers more hands-off or do they work closely with team members?
- Find out more about the company values. It’s difficult to be happy working for a company that has completely different values to your own.
- Ask what the best thing is about working for the company. If the interviewer raves about the leadership and the supportive culture, it’s a good sign. If the answer is that you have more vacation days than other companies, you may want to think twice.
- Ask whether there are any policies in place for helping new employees get on board.
- Ask what kind of growth the company expects to see in the next few years.
Ask about your qualifications
- Ask whether the interviewer thinks you have the right qualifications Are there are any concerns about your fitness for the position? Make sure there’s complete clarity about your qualifications and how your skills align with the role.
- Are there any reservations about your fit with the company and its culture?
Your Final Question
This could be reserved for what the next steps are in the hiring process. You may say “Thank you for sharing more about this opportunity with me. When might I hear back from you regarding the position?” Find out whether they will get in touch with everyone, whether they’re moving on to the next interview or not. You must exit the office with all the information you need.