The end of the interview has arrived and here comes the closing “Do you have any questions?” line.
Many candidates are unprepared for this part of the interview. It’s a common question and one that you should consider as part of your interview preparation. Have a list of at least 6 questions which you’ve prepared in advance of the interview. Because some will be answered during the course of the interview, have more than you think you need as back-up.
Write them down. There is nothing wrong with making notes in advance and using them during your interview. It’s not cheating – it shows an employer that you have taken the time to prepare and have given serious thought to the role and organisation.
Try not to go with run-of-the-mill questions like:
- When do you want someone to start?
- Why is this position available?
- When will I hear from you?
None of these standard questions show any kind of research or preparation or demonstrate genuine interest in the role. Don’t ask questions that make you sound as though you’re only interested in yourself, such as:
- Do you close over Christmas/New Year and will I be paid?
- What’s your policy if I use up my sick leave entitlements because my kids are sick?
- Do I have to attend networking functions outside normal business hours?
And never use the dreadful “You’ve already answered my questions”. Show some initiative!
Try to come up with questions that provoke thought and demonstrate your keen interest in the role. These will help trigger your thinking:
- If I was successful how do you see me contributing to the corporate goals you’ve mentioned?
- How do you see the first 3 months in this role?
- How will you measure my success?
- What do you like about working here?
Be careful asking questions about promotion. For instance, if you were to ask if there are possibilities for advancement, you would need to be careful not to give the employer a feeling that you wouldn’t stay in the role. So instead of asking “What are the chances of promotion and how long would it take?”, try something like “In 2 to 3 years, if I’ve met the objectives of this role, how do you see a path for advancement?”
Other questions you could ask include:
- What are your company/department goals for the next 12 months? If I was successful how do you see me contributing to these goals?
- Your values and culture are described on your website, but I am interested in how you would describe them.
- How would you describe your management style?
- Will there be an induction period? How do you see the first week in this role?
- What kind of people do really well in your company?