No one likes the dreaded “Do you have any questions for us?” at the end of an interview. You have just been through, what feels like, an interrogation, and the last thing you are thinking about is: ‘what can I ask that won’t make me below my chances?’. This is when you go blank and run the risk of leaving a potentially disastrous last impression before departing the interview. I thought it would be helpful to set out what I have found to be some good advice to prepare yourself for this part of an interview.
Firstly, remember that although the interview is assessing your fit for the company, you also need to ensure that this is the right move for you. Asking questions shows how serious you are and what really matters to you, meaning if you prepare properly it should impress the interviewer and leave a positive last impression, especially since most people handle this part relatively poorly.
So when thinking about questions you are seeking (and the answers you would like to hear), consider what you need to try to achieve. You want to:
Bearing those objectives in mind, here are some questions you can ask:
This will help you understand if the person has left and possible for what reasons, is it a newly created position which shows company is growing or has the person before you possibly been promoted which shows potential future career opportunities.
This will allow you to understand the culture of the company depending on the interviewer’s response or if they take a while to respond then this may ring alarm bells.
This is a great question as it demonstrates your confidence and gives you the opportunity to answer any concerns they might have.
This will give you an idea as to how the company progress their staff and if they will offer any formal qualifications or development opportunities, or if they invest in their staff.
This question will enable you to understand the team, how you may manage and/or who will manage you. It will also give you a better feel for seniority given job titles and salary bandings can vary significantly across industries and companies, therefore meaning it is hard to benchmark the size of a role in any given company.
This demonstrates confidence that you will secure the position and will allow the interviewer to envisage you in the role. You will also gain a deeper understanding of the challenges ahead.
This question should always be asked. If you feel the interview has answered all the questions you may have then this is a great finisher as it shows you are interested in proceeding further. It also puts you mind at ease if they tell you they have other interviews next week so you know you have a timescale as to when you will hear back rather than waiting nervously by the phone or your emails.
There are plenty of other questions you can ask that are industry, company or organisation specific which shows the research you have undertaken, for example, what are the challenges that the business faces in the coming three to five years? Just make sure you are meeting your objectives of the interview and get the information you need to make an informed decision. Although, be careful not to ask too many questions as it is your interview, not theirs!
I hope this helps you during the interview and provides you thorough understand of what kind of organisation you could potentially be working for.
*Emma Alkirwi is the Managing Director of the CV Guru which is a leading service provider of professionally written CVs, LinkedIn Profiles, cover letters and they also provide specialist consultancy services. Emma has over 10 years experience in recruitment and employment related services covering a wealth of industries. Having been a professional employment consultant for several years, she has provided professional advice covering everything from professional CV/LinkedIn writing, effective job searching, interview skills and preparation, presentation techniques, and general professional coaching.