Whether you are fresh out of college or you have several years of professional experience under your belt, you can almost guarantee that every interview you have will most likely end the same way. The interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Some job candidates tend to treat this last question as a signal that the interview is over and they feel that they don’t need to ask any questions. But this is a mistake – it’s important to ask questions when the interview is over because this can demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the job you are seeking. By not asking any questions you could be showing your interviewer that you might not be as interested in the job or the company as you’re leading on. If you handle it right though, the end of the interview and the questions you ask can really tip the scale in your favor. Here are some ideas for how to make the most of the end of the interview.
Ask open-ended questions
Make sure your questions can’t be answered with a simple yes or no answer. The best questions will start a small conversation. Ask a question like “What do you see as the biggest challenge for this team in the next 12 months and how could the new employee fit into meeting that challenge?” or “What can you tell me about this position that wasn’t included in the job posting?” These questions can help you get a feel for what will be expected of you should you be offered the position. The answers can also help you determine if this really is the best job for you.
Research the company before the interview
Make sure that you’re prepared for the interview. Read about the company and read about the job description. It’s important to ask questions that can’t be answered in the first 30 seconds of a Google search. Ask questions like, “How would this position fit in to the company’s growth plan?” or “Where do you see this company in 5 years?” Be sure to stay away from questions such as “How much does your company make in a year?”
Tailor your questions to the interviewer
Remember who you’re talking to. “Tell me about your career path in the company,” is a great question, when you’re talking to a potential supervisor or perhaps the CEO of the company. Asking a question like this shows that you are interested in more than just job with the company for a few months. It shows that you are interested in sticking around and that you want to grow with the company.
Make sure your questions are appropriate
There are some questions that just shouldn’t be asked in an interview. For instance, you shouldn’t ask about how soon you can take a vacation or what the timeline for getting a raise may be. It is also important to note that if you are interviewing for a temporary position, you shouldn’t ask how soon you can get hired on permanently. And always avoid asking questions that are too personal.
Pay attention to the interviewer’s signals
Asking questions shows that you’ve come prepared for the interview, and that you are very interested in working for this potential company, but make sure you don’t wear out your welcome. If the interviewer checks their watch, looks disinterested or they stand up, it’s time to wrap things up. Asking questions is great, but asking too many questions could potentially leave a negative impression.
Intelligent, thoughtful questions at the end of the interview show that you are taking the interview seriously. Asking good questions can leave the interviewer with a positive impression, and is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. So when you’re getting ready for your interview, don’t forget to prepare for the last question. It might be the extra edge you need to get the job!
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