You’re in a job interview. You’ve done well so far – smiling, making eye contact, and answering questions confidently. The interview is ending, and you start feeling that sense of relief that comes when a grueling task is over. Then the interviewer says, “Do you have any questions for us?” This can be a make or break moment. Be prepared to take this opportunity to ask questions.
What asking questions tells the interviewer
Many candidates ask questions in interviews simply because it’s expected. However, interviews are a two-way process. Both you and the employer have a decision to make. It is worth your time to think about what you’d like to know about the company in order to make the best decision when an offer is made.
This can include the company structure, services and culture; and job challenges, opportunities and expectations. You may want to highlight your expertise and areas of interest that fit with this role.
Questions that make the best impression
During an interview make a strong impression by preparing to ask questions like this:
- What personality would be ideal for this position?
- What are the challenges facing this position right now?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What are the primary priorities for the company right now?
- How do my qualifications compare to the ideal requirements for this position?
- What do you think is missing from my resume for this position?
Check out this blog post for more on this topic.
Prepare more questions than you need. Consider having five questions prepared and select two or three of the most suitable questions to ask based on information you’ve learned from the interview. Bring a copy of the questions with you. Trying to memorize them in advance will just add more stress before the interview. Take notes during the interview and form questions based the notes if needed.
Timing is everything
Take the initiative to ask questions during the interview. This can make the interview more conversational. Take cues from the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer is very formal and is progressing through their questions without an opportunity for you to speak beyond providing a response, save your questions until the end.
Carefully chosen, well-informed and appropriately timed questions can have a competitive advantage in an interview, leaving a positive impression that can go a long way to influencing the final decision of a potential employer.