“Do you have any questions for me?
The most common feedback we receive from a client post interview with a candidate is “they didn’t ask any questions”. So, why is it so important to ask questions? Asking intelligent and high impact questions can demonstrate your knowledge, but more than anything it gives an insight into your interest level in the role on offer. Choosing not to ask questions can imply that you are not interested in the role, company, industry or lack enthusiasm or confidence.
It is also important to remember, every interview is a two-way street. You should be interviewing the employer just as much as they’re interviewing you and asking questions is the one way you get all the information you need to walk away convinced that the job would be a great fit for you. So when the tables are turned and the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” take full advantage of this opportunity. It’s the best way to determine if you’d be happy working for this organisation, and whether your goals and expectations are aligned with theirs.
The following are some question ideas to get you started:
- Ask a question about the organisation that highlights the research and interview preparation you have done; a tactical question that shows you have investigated the industry and their competitors. Draw parallels around your experience and what are the latest developments industry wide. This will give your potential employer a real insight into your knowledge and capability and most of all, your interest. Take for example “Online sales are 35 percent of overall sales. In a recent industry report I read, your competitors online sales equate to over two thirds of their total sales, while yours are below industry standard. Is this an area of focus for your business moving forward?”
- Understand the key expectations of the role from the get-go. This is a mistake that many people make, entering into a new role without completely understanding what they are expected to achieve and in what time-frame. A great question to ask is “What success looks like in the role in six months and 12 months?” “What are the KPI’s?”
- Ask about the near term vision of the company. For example “This company has made great strides over the past 5 years, has the vision changed in this time? Describe the vision for this company in the short term (5 years) and longer term (10 years)?”This is a great question to ask if you’re talking to the leader or member of the leadership team of a company, because they’re the best position to tell you that. When interviewing its always important to remember that you are also seeing if the company is a good fit for you. This question is a great way to ascertain if the company vision and direction is in line with your expectations and where you would like to go.
- “If you were to hire me, what might I expect in a typical day?” Coming back to the interview being a two way street, this is a great question to get a real feeling of the role on a daily basis so you can decide whether you really want to pursue it.
- A good way to finish the interview is to ask the interviewer if you have covered everything. “Have I answered all your questions or is there anything you would like me to clarify?” There may be some gaps that the interviewer needs to fill in about your experience.
- “What are the next steps? / What’s your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?” This one tells them you’re interested in the role and eager to hear their decision. It will help you determine how and when to follow up, and how long to wait before “moving on.”
The best way to build rapport with the interviewer and demonstrate your suitability for the role is to ask intelligent, memorable and interesting questions. For more career and interview questions please get in touch with any of our recruitment consultants.