What to ask during that "Do you have any questions to ask?" portion of the job interview
Coming out of school and hitting the job market can feel like we were thrown into the deep end when it comes to getting jobs. Writing cover letters, formatting resumes, making connections in the industry, and interviewing for jobs, are unavoidable aspects of life in your early twenties. There’s a science to each of them and getting them right is crucial to securing the future that you want.
Specifically, when it comes to interviewing, there are many easy mistakes to make.
Being poised, articulate, making eye contact, and speaking slowly are all important boxes to check, but there’s another part of the interview that’s important to stick the landing on.
You get to the end of the interview, having been composed and collected, looking them in the eye, saying all of the right things, and conveying all kinds of enthusiasm for the job. You had answers for everything, hit every curve ball, and now all you have to do is sign off.
That’s when they ask you if you have any questions for them.
The world can stop if you’re unprepared.
You say, “No… I don’t think so,” and just leave it at that. You might even throw in a chipper, “You answered all of my questions,” with a smile, but that isn’t as useful as coming up with a solid interview question to ask in return.
Asking a few thoughtful questions at the end of your interview can go a long way toward conveying your interest and engagement and shows that you are considering them just as much as they are considering you. While it might seem like a good idea in theory to pretend that they explained everything so well that you don’t have any questions, coming up with one or two insightful things to say while you still have the chance is always a better option.
So, what should you ask?
Well, don’t overthink it. Come up with prepared questions to have in your back pocket about things that you are genuinely curious about. Ask any questions that you actually have, making sure that they weren’t answered already at any point during the interview or in the listing.
If you had any follow up questions about something that was mentioned during the interview, now is the time to ask them. Any questions you may have about salary, hours, or orientation should be brought up then too.
That said, having a few go-to questions, can’t hurt.
Asking, “what does a typical workday look like in this role?” is a practical thing to ask for any position, as is “how do you measure success in this role?”
“How is feedback provided?” is also useful.
Be prepared, however, to explain any question you might have, should the interviewer be confused by it.
Asking the interviewer about their experiences working there is usually also a safe bet.
If you need more clarification on something, starting your sentences with “can you please elaborate on…” is a polite way of getting more information on a topic.
All in all, those are the positive ways of asking questions at the end of a job interview. Once you’ve said your piece, you’re free to say, “thank you, that answered all of my questions,” and leave it at that.
So, that said, I’ll ask you, “What are you going to ask at the end of your next job interview?”