When you’re preparing for your interview, you likely spend most of your time rehearsing your pitch, researching the company and prepping answers to any questions the interviewer may have for you. However, an equally important part of the interview comes right at the end, when you are asked:
“Do you have any questions for me?”
It’s easy to blow this question off, especially if you just had a great interview and feel very confident that you understand the role and opportunities with the company. However, you’re missing a chance to show a hiring manager how you think, and make yourself more memorable with thoughtful questions.
Be Forward Thinking. A question that shows you’re thinking about the future is a great option. Asking questions like, “How do you see this role growing in the future?” or “Where do you see this department in five years?” shows that you’re thinking long-term and are interested in what comes after this particular job.
Emphasize Success. Show the interviewer that you’re goal-oriented and ready to contribute to the success and future of the company. Ask for a specific task you might accomplish in your first 60 days on the job, and how that could contribute to the company’s overall goals. Asking, “How will you measure my success, and how will I know that I’ve met your expectations?” also shows that you’re ready to collaborate.
Test the Waters. Perhaps you discussed the future of your role and career in great detail, or maybe you’re unsure how the interview went. You can get a read on what a manager is looking for and how you compare with a question like, “Do you feel like my qualifications measure up to what you’re looking for in a candidate?” If you truly feel that you’re a great fit for the job, tell them.
Be Industry Aware. Show your hiring manager that you did your homework with well-informed questions about how your role and this company interface with the industry at large. You might ask a technical question such as, “With the Internet of Things consumer adoption rates at current levels, where do you see this company among its competitors in the next few years?”
Focus on Culture. You spend more time with your coworkers than with your family; it’s important to know what daily life in the office is like. Try asking the interviewer about his or her favorite and least favorite aspects of the company’s culture. Asking, “Is the company family friendly?” or “Does the company participate in and encourage community service activities?” will tell you whether the company’s priorities align with yours.
Seal the Deal. The final question you should ask in every interview is the most important. Be bold; ask for the job. This leaves no doubt with your hiring managers that you are serious and want to work there. End the interview with a question that keeps the process rolling, such as, “I would really love the chance to work here. What are the next steps?”
With a little preparation, you can be ready to use even the closing questions of an interview to continue to position yourself as a great candidate. What questions have you asked in interviews that helped leave a good impression?