You did everything you needed to do to prepare for your interview. You ran through practice questions, researched industry happenings and even found the perfect “working girl” pants-and-blazer combo to wear on the big day. And unsurprisingly, your interview is going off without a hitch. Just when you think the interview is over and you have the job in the bag, your interviewer asks:
“So do you have any questions for me about the position?”
It’s tempting to want to let out a quick “Nope!” and get outta there. But this end-of-interview Q&A session with your potential employer is a great opportunity to let your professionalism, curiosity and initiative shine. Never walk away from an interview without asking your interviewer a few smart questions about the job.
Need some ideas? Try these five no-fail questions to ask at the end of your interview:
“How would you describe the work atmosphere?”
Getting a feel for the office environment is just as important as learning the ins and outs of the position itself.
Prompt the employer to walk you through a typical day in the office. Does everyone abide by a strict schedule or is the vibe more relaxed? How hands-on are the various roles within the company?
Every office has its own atmosphere so it’s crucial to get some insight into what your average day would look like. You want to work in an environment that motivates you to do your best work, so ask questions that will help you figure out if the company is a good fit for you.
“What do you enjoy most about working here?”
Your interviewer’s answer will give you an even better idea of company culture and a chance to learn about his or her personal success. The employer wants to get you excited about this job possibility so enjoy and appreciate this unique insight.
If your interviewer gives you a flat answer (“I like that I’m fulfilled by my work”), don’t be afraid to ask them to expand. What aspects of their job are fulfilling to them? Are there any “Wow!” moments that stick out?
“What have former employees done to stand out and succeed in this position?”
Listen closely. Internalize this information. Take notes!
If accepted for the position, these are the shoes you need to fill.
“Do you have any additional questions or hesitations concerning my qualifications?”
Nothing shows confidence quite like offering up your vulnerabilities.
While it may be nerve-wracking to hear an employer point out the holes in your resume, this is your chance to make your case. It’s unlikely an interviewer will voice his or her doubts about your qualifications without any prompting, so you may think you’re killing the interview when in reality the interviewer is mentally scratching you off the list of candidates.
You’d rather know your interviewer’s concerns and respectfully address them than have them quietly dismiss you without giving you a chance to explain.
“What’s the next step?”
And finally, the most important question for last.
A simple “What’s next?” question is the perfect mark to end an interview. When you ask about the next step, it tells the employer that you are interested in moving forward in the application process.
End your interview on a high note by asking for a timeline. When can you expect to hear back? Will there be any follow-up interviews? Keep a notepad close to jot down any important dates or information your interviewer gives you.
Always view an interview as a two-way conversation. Great post-interview questions show your future employer that you’re engaged and eager to know more about the position. So, ask away!