“So I think we’ve covered everything we wanted to ask, do you have any questions for us?”
“Umm no thanks, I’m happy with everything”.
In the majority of cases, a response like the one above means you aren’t going to get the job. It may sound odd, but the questions you ask your interviewer can be just as important as the questions they ask you. Firstly it shows you’ve been listening. Secondly it shows you’re interested. And thirdly, it gives you an opportunity to get to know them.
Thinking of questions on the spot isn’t easy for everyone and sometimes this part of the interview is the one that most people worry about.
Just remember that the best questions are always open-ended, they’re not ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Try not to ask anything confusing, or personal, you don’t need to know your interviewers favourite colour or what football team he or she supports.
Make sure to ask more than one question, 2 or 3 should be fine.
If you’re struggling for ideas, we’ve prepared a few example questions for you to ask at the end of your interview:
1. Can you tell me more about the responsibilities of the job?
This is your chance to learn more about the role and decide whether it’s a job you really want. Knowing more about the roles responsibilities will give you more insight into what specific skills will be needed.
2. What are the most important qualities for someone to progress in this role?
If you’re someone who wants to move up the ladder then this is a good question, it lets you know if there is an opportunity for progression within the company and the role you’re interviewing for.
3. Can you tell me about the culture of the company.
Are you a good fit at this company? Making sure you’re comfortable with the culture and the dynamic of the company is crucial, you don’t want to work somewhere you don’t feel comfortable.
4. Where do you think the company is headed in the next 5 years?
This can tell you a lot about the company you’re interviewing for. It gives a good indication of what your role will be and how you could develop.
Keep in mind that this is a question best suited for smaller or younger companies, you wouldn’t ask Apple or Google where they’re headed in 5 years.
5. What are the biggest opportunities within the company/department right now?
This question demonstrates your drive and makes it clear that you’re ready to seize opportunity. It might also allow you to learn more about what the company will be focusing on over the next several months.
6. What are the biggest challenges within the company/department right now?
This is a good follow up to the above. This question can help you identify some of the challenges you’ll be facing if you get the job.
7. What do you like best about working for this company?
Getting the interviewers personal feeling on the company is always a good idea. It helps give an indication of what the company is actually like and whether you’ll be a good fit.
8. What’s the usual career path for someone in this role?
This question shows your willingness to grow and advance. It also gives an indication of how much (if any) advancement is available. This is important to know if you have plans of moving up the ladder.
9. Do you have any feedback on my interview performance that I can take away?
This can be a risky question. If you’ve interviewed badly, prepare to hear some negative feedback. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism especially if it helps you improve. This will show your interviewer your willingness to learn.
10. What are the next steps in the interview process?
This will usually be covered during the interview, but if it’s not then it’s good to ask. You’ll want an idea of what’s coming next – a second interview, an assessment day, maybe even a job offer.
Don’t ask about salary or benefits just yet. This is best brought up during a final interview or after you’ve been offered the role. You can then begin the salary and benefits negotiation.