In a job interview, the door swings both ways. The hiring manager assesses if you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job. You gauge if the job, the company, and the boss are right for you. At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will ask “do you have any questions for me?” Your response to this question is crucial, and failing to respond correctly could cause you to lose out on the job. Avoid answering with the following questions:
- “You answered all of my questions already.” This signals a lack of preparation. While the hiring manager may have indeed answered some of your questions, it is highly unlikely that he/she will have anticipated all of your burning questions. Opting out deprives you of the opportunity to learn more about the job, and shows the hiring manager that you are not very interested in the position.
- “What is the pay?” or any derivative thereof. It is inappropriate to ask any pay- or benefits-related questions during the interview. You will come off as only caring about collecting your paycheck or taking off for a vacation as soon as you are able.
- “Did I get the job?” This is a presumptuous question that puts the hiring manager in an awkward position. It is perfectly reasonable to inquire about the next steps after the interview, but phrasing it this way could leave a bad taste in the hiring manager’s mouth.
Instead, come prepared with a few questions that will display your confidence and demonstrate that you are ready to take on the job. For instance, ask something along the lines of:
- “What are the challenges or needs your team faces and how could I support you?” Asking a question like this gives you a heads-up about the work situation you could potentially be walking into, while also indicating to the hiring manager that you are helpful and solution-oriented.
- “If I’m hired, what could I do to impress you?” By asking this, you show that you want to know how to be successful and that you are already willing to go the extra mile to excel in the position. This question also digs deeper into what your hiring manager expects out of a star performer; knowing this will help you hit the ground running if you are hired.
- “Is there anything that makes you think I may not be a good fit for this role? If so, I would love the opportunity to address any hesitations or concerns.” This is a bold question that will give you immediate insight into the hiring manager’s potential decision about hiring you. If there is any trepidation, the hiring manager has the ability to be candid with you. In turn, you have the opportunity to offer a further explanation to alleviate the concern before it turns into a lingering doubt that costs you the job.
You are interviewing the hiring manager just as much as he/she is interviewing you. Asking thoughtful questions will help you and the hiring manager determine if you are right for the job, and if the job is right for you.
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