Not asking any questions at the end of an interview is cited as one of the most damaging and common interview mistakes. You MUST ask questions at the end. We’ve put together a few tips, some things to avoid and a few example questions to get you on the right track.
Things to consider
You want to engage the interviewer and get them talking about themselves. This will relax them and give them a more favourable view of the interview. It also takes the focus off you for a few minutes!
Ask about the job itself. This shows that you consider yourself a serious candidate for the position and are actively thinking about what will be involved if you are successful.
Try and use the opportunity to show off the research you’ve done on the company as well as demonstrate your knowledge of the industry.
Ideally you should prepare:
- Two questions that ask the interviewer about themselves.
- Two questions about the job itself.
- Two questions that shows off your impressive industry and company knowledge.
You won’t ask all six questions, but it means you have room to adapt to the tone of the interview and anything that has already been covered in the course of it.
It’s completely acceptable to write these down before hand and refer to this during the interview. It demonstrates that you’ve thought about what questions you wanted to ask and were well prepared.
Make sure you practice your prepared questions. Imagine sitting across from a stern interviewer and say them out loud. This will make sure you’re comfortable asking the questions – it’s no good preparing great questions if you’re too nervous to ask any of them.
If you do all of that, even if you’re nervous and the interview is very thorough, you won’t be stuck without anything to ask at the end.
As well as your prepared questions try and refer to something discussed in the interview. It shows you were paying attention and listening to what they were saying. Taking notes can help with this.
A few things to avoid
Make sure you stay relevant – don’t ask the interviewer their opinion on government spending cuts in the NHS when you’re interviewing for a job as a corporate events manager.
Be really careful not to ask questions that have already been covered, or ones that you should already know from your research.
Don’t get in over your head. Trying to sound like you know what you’re talking about when you don’t is just going to make you look foolish.
Finally, be wary of asking question too off the wall. It’s good to stand out and make the interviewer think but don’t ask overly personal or potentially offensive questions – you’ll be standing out for all the wrong reasons.
Here are some example questions just to give you a few ideas. Obviously they need to be expanded and adapted for your particular situation:
- How have graduates from previous schemes progressed?
- What is the typical career path from this role?
- What is your favourite aspect of your job?
- Have you worked here long?
- How did you start your career?
- Why did you choose a career in X?
- How would you describe the company culture?
- What do you value most in an employee?
- Who will I be working closely with?
- What is the make up of the team I will be joining?
- Can you describe an average day/week for this position?
- What in your opinion is the most challenging aspect of this job?
- What are the company’s core business goals?
- If I were to get the position, could I get involved with the corporate responsibility work you do with X?
- While I was researching the company I read about your work with X, could you tell me a little more about this?
- I’ve been following the developments in X closely, what is your professional opinion on the situation?
Like with every aspect of interview the more thorough you are in your preparation the better you’ll do. So prepare your questions, practice them and take them with you to the interview. Read more on interview preparation: