“Thanks for coming in! Do you have any questions for us?”
This is probably the most terrifying part of any job interview. Even if everything has gone well up to this point, you know that how you answer this question could decide whether you get this job. After all, you know that employers ask this to be sure of candidate’s initiative, interest, and general personality. What do you say?
Before we talk about what you should respond with, I want to briefly talk about the wrong response. When an employer asks you if you have any questions for them, ‘no’ is the absolute wrong answer. When you answer ‘no’ to this question you are communicating that you aren’t really interested in the job and didn’t do much research before this interview.
With that in mind, you can see why it’s important to have a few questions on hand when this interview moment comes. Here is a list of great questions you can ask the interviewer and never be caught off guard again.
Do you have any concerns about my resume?
This is listed first as it’s my favorite response question. When you ask this, the interviewer will likely point to one or two things giving them doubt about your qualifications for the role. This will give you a chance to clear up any worry they have on the spot.
What do you like/dislike most about working here?
Be sure to ask both of these. A lot of interviewers are prepared to talk about what they like about working somewhere, but aren’t as prepared to be asked about what they dislike. In addition to their response you’re looking to see if they check with their boss before answering or if they look evasive. Both could mean the interviewer is hiding something.
Why did (company name) do (specific thing you noticed on their website)?
Any question that shows you have done research into their specific work is a good one. By looking through the company website and noting something you like about their business practice you are demonstrating that you are someone who does their homework. This also tells the company you really want to work with them, not just at any job you can get.
How did the position become vacant?
This is something you definitely want to know before taking a job. If the person who had the role you’re interviewing for before you quit due to overwork, stress, or a hostile work environment – that should be a huge red flag.
What is the opportunity for growth within the company?
Asking an interviewer this is letting them know that you’re ambitious, and that you intend to stay with their company for a long time. Good companies want to invest in employees who are invested in their job.
How would you describe the company culture?
What the interviewer tells you about the company culture will let help you understand whether you’d be a good fit. For example, if they talk about how the team works many nights/weekends and you have family duties, you might want to rethink whether this company is a good match for you.
Can you describe a typical day in this role?
This question will let an employer know that you’re eager about the position and want to learn a lot more. Additionally it will give you insight on whether this day is something that you are really interested in.
What is the timeline for making a decision? When can I expect to hear back?
Asking about when you’ll hear back is more for your benefit than the employer’s. Businesses can vary significantly in response times to applicants, so knowing that timeline will give you peace of mind.
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