How do you answer the interview question, “Do you have any questions for us?” Well, that is certainly an innocent enough question, isn’t it. But when that is the last question you are asked in an interview, it’s not so simple.
So there you sit, wondering what you are going to say now. You thought you prepared yourself for every possible question, but you forgot all about this one.
You could say “I don’t think I have any questions”, shake their hands and leave, but would that tell them that you have given a lot of thought to having a position in their company? Probably not.
But you also shouldn’t ask questions that aren’t relevant just for the sake of asking a question. That doesn’t leave the best impression either. So what are the best questions to ask? How do you use this opportunity to even further demonstrate that you are the right person for this job and for their organization.
But wait a minute. Is it just about getting them to decide that you are the right person? What about you? You should also be deciding if this is the right job for you. So maybe a couple of questions at this point will be able to help you decide if you actually want to work for this company. Will this be the job that positions you to meet your career goals?
So ask yourself, what is the purpose of asking the interviewer questions? What am I trying to accomplish with my questions? You want to ensure three things.
- That when you leave, the interviewer has no reservations about hiring you.
- That you have shown clearly that you are interested in working with their organization.
- That this company is the right fit for you.
Think about questions that will both provide them with additional information as to what you can offer them, but also help you assess your fit within the organization and what role you can play. For instance:
- What skills and attributes do you feel are the most important for the person in this position to ensure success?
- This question will give you one last opportunity to highlight any skills you have that you may not have had an opportunity to discuss earlier in the interview.
- What do you feel is the biggest obstacle that is facing your team right now and would I have an opportunity help resolve the problem should I be offered the position?
- This question demonstrates that you are interested in what is happening today within the workplace and that you don’t want to sit back and just accept things that could be improved.
- What do you enjoy most about working here?
- Everyone wants to enjoy their job, but not everyone has the same priorities in terms of what is enjoyable to them. This question gives you a chance to assess whether this job is something that you would enjoy, and then lets you elaborate on why this environment is where you will not only contribute, but thrive.
- What are the upcoming goals for the team and ultimately the organization? Will I be able to contribute to these goals?
- Again, this gives you an opportunity to see where the organization is heading in the future, and if this growth aligns with your career goals. It also demonstrates that you do not want to sit on the sidelines and watch things happen – you want to be part of it.
- How would you describe the work model here? Are employees working in a team environment or more independly?
- This question demonstrates to the interview board that you are actually interested in knowing about the environment in which you will be working, on a realistic level. Not everyone thrives in the same environment so this tells the board that you care about what you might be getting into, but also tells you what you can expect and if it’s the right environment for you.
You can also ask questions about the hiring process, to give you a sense of what the next steps will be. For instance:
- Who should I stay in touch with as this process continues?
- This will allow you to get a contact name and number, so you can follow up if you don’t hear something back. But be careful not to contact them to often; you don’t want to be pushy.
- What are the next steps in the process?
- This will allow you to prepare yourself in the event there is another interview or a follow up test.
- When do you anticipate the successful candidate will start?
- In the event you are offered a position, this will give you a sense of how quickly they are expecting someone to be in the position, and know how much time you have before you should involve your current supervisor.
Do you know someone who is faced with this challenge? Feel free to share this post by using the share links at the top of this page. Also, if you’d like more interview tips, feel free to check out the interview resource page. And if you would like to complete my free interview worksheet, please go to http://eepurl.com/m6cW1. This worksheet will help you begin the process of preparing for your next interview.