It has become the custom for job interviews to end with a question directed at the candidate – “Do you have any questions for me?” The question signals the close of the interview. While it is tempting to snap out the word “no” and escape the hot seat, doing so may result in automatic failure of the interview.
When you ask questions at the close of your job interview you show the interviewer or committee you were listening while they spoke. You convey your interest in the company and showcase what a good fit to the team you would be. Your questions garner insight into how you would fit into a specific role and where you would devote your energy. Questions are critical to the success of your interview.
Here are the top 5 essential questions to ask in an interview – no matter what the job.
- What is the best part of working here?
Asking what the best part of working at the company illustrates positivity. Companies love an employee who pays attention to the bright sides of things, boosts morale, and enjoys what they do. Also, by asking the interviewer and/or team members what they love about working at the company you will hear about perks and experiences that may not always be shared until after the hiring process is complete.
- May I meet some of the people I would be working with, or have a short tour?
While this question may seem a bit presumptuous it signals to the interviewer that you are taking the time seriously and have a vested interest in the position. Also, by getting an impromptu tour, you get to see the office firsthand, observe colleague interaction, and take note of workspace details (such as lighting, noise, and cleanliness).
- I recently read that…
This is the time to ask something specific about the company or organization you would be working for if you land the job. As a good rule of thumb, be prepared and read up on the company prior to the interview. The company website is a great place to start your research. By asking something specific about the company based on what you read, you build instant rapport with the committee members and show off your research skills.
- How would you define success for the person in this position?
This question helps you understand what the job will entail and also presents company expectations. You may be able to gain insight into the daily routine, how many hours you are expected to work, and how leadership views success.
- Do you see any reason why I might not be a good fit for the job?
While this question may be difficult to ask, it is a great way to close your questions because it allows for an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions that may have popped up during the interview. This will give you a chance to elaborate on a topic or present your skills in a positive light. You will leave the interviewer with a last tidbit of why you are the right person for the job.
+1 - Bonus Tip:
Always remember to have a list of questions to ask prior to your interview. You don’t want to show up empty-handed or forget to ask a few questions at closing. Don’t grill your interviewing committee with twenty questions, but reserve a handful like the ones listed above.