You are in a job interview and you have nailed all the questions posed by the interviewer. Then, as things are wrapping up, the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” Having nothing to ask will make you seem unprepared and/or disinterested, so do spend time to come up with questions of your own and have them ready prior to your interview. This meeting isn't just you being interviewed for a job; it's also the employer being assessed by you to determine if their company and this position is the right fit.
Here are 5 suggested questions to ask the interviewer to ensure that the potential position is in sync with your qualifications and interests.
1. What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the job I'm applying for entail?
If the job description mentions a combination of administrative work and client liaising, for example, it is important to know whether 80% of your time will be spent on the admin work or if the split is more like 50/50. You don't want to end up disappointed because the part of the workload that you looked forward to developing—or that happens to be your area of expertise—only comes up once every six months. Plus, the answer to this question can help you visualise what a typical day will be like on the job.
2. How do you measure the success of the person in this position?
You might assume that the job listing has already made this clear, but what if that's just a template they've used repeatedly for the past five years? Also, what if the job posting listed 10 different responsibilities, but your success hinges on just five of them? This is why it is essential to have a conversation about the role and what it involves—it's the doorway to a deeper understanding of how a company measures success. It also shows that you, a potential employee, are meticulous and observant; your desire to comprehend more clearly what is required to succeed casts a positive light on your overall approach and your specific mindset.
3. What do you like about working here?
It’s important to get a sense of your interviewer’s opinions about working there. People who genuinely enjoy their jobs in the company will show enthusiasm when they are telling you about their experience there, because you can tell if they sound sincere. But if you get a blank stare or a long silence before your interviewer answers, consider that something to think about if you were offered the job.
4. Can you tell me a little bit more about the work culture? For example, what type of people tend to thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?
This is a neutral question that doesn't lead your interviewer to assume anything about the kind of culture you're expecting the company to have. Adding - what type of people tend to thrive versus those who tend to struggle can get you more revealing information. This is because naturally, people enjoy talking about what they like to own or have in their comfort zone. Hence, you will learn what matters most to your future boss/manager as an employee, or which traits will set you up to clash with them, or who is likely to grow under their management style.
5. What are the next steps in the interview process?
Before you leave, make sure the interviewer has all the information they need and that you are clear on the next steps. By asking this question, this shows that you are very interested in the position and that you have initiative. Plus, asking this question makes it easy for you to check in with the employer. If they tell you that they plan to decide in one week and it’s already been two weeks, you can email them for updates. This also displays a high level of professionalism.