“Do you have any questions for me?”
Silence. Total silence. Then prolonging into an awkward silence, followed by an "umm" and a mental show reel of face palms.
Every job hunter has been there at some point and hasn’t come fully prepared to an interview. Best case scenario: You pull a rabbit out of a hat and win them over with your ad-libbing powers. Worst case Scenario: You stammer a “no thank you” and run screaming for the hills.
According to The Interview Guys, a job interview is a bit like a first date – you wouldn’t want one person to do all the talking the entire time, boring right? The guys say, that not asking questions is such a missed opportunity as it provides a better insight into what life with your date (new job) might look like. It also shows the hiring manager that you’re serious and will go the extra mile to find out more.
So how do we find out more about our date? Ask good questions.
Here are some to add to your repertoire. Ask them at your next interview and watch how the conversation opens up.
What do successful hires do during their first month here?
Some jobs make you fill out HR forms and watch videos for the first week; others want you to hit the ground running. This question shows that you have a get-up-and-go attitude and aren’t likely to treat this as “just another job”. The answer should provide you with a bit of direction as to what the roles major priorities are, so you don’t suffer a case of “if only I knew then what I know now”.
What is the largest issue facing the team, and would I be in a position to help you solve it?
This question shows that you are a team player and would take the initiative to improve the status quo. It also forces the hiring manager to imagine you being in the role in order to provide you with an answer.
You’ve been here X number of years, what keeps you motivated?
Well done, you’ve researched. Firstly, this is a major tick in their book and shows you haven’t just done a quick Google search before the interview. Secondly, if the hiring manager has been at the company for a while, this will give you a deeper insight into the company culture, training and opportunities, and the main goals the manager would like to achieve.
How will you measure the success of this role?
Doing work without an end-goal can make staff feel purposeless in their jobs. This question will allow the interviewer to think seriously about what the ideal candidate should achieve and how they will measure it. As for how it helps you? It shines a light on the fact that you like to be accountable and will be the person to achieve the goal.
Can you tell me more about the team I will be working with?
Usually, interviewers can be vague about the team, only providing you with the idea that it’s a “big team” or “small team”. Considering you could be seeing these people a number of days per week, it’s helpful to get an understanding of what they are like as people. Pay close attention to how the interviewer talks about the rest of the team. Are they being diplomatic with their true feelings or are they quick to talk about how great they are? The answer should provide you with a clearer picture of how the team dynamics work.
Do you have any concerns about my qualifications?
Always leave this one till last. It’s a bit of a gutsy question that makes the interviewer go “woah!” Regardless of their reaction, it will help you to clear up any niggling concerns the interviewer may have picked up throughout the interview and leave them reassured that you are the right person for the job. It also sets up realistic expectations for you as to where you stand with them.
Readers: We want to hear from you! Do you have a go-to question you use in interviews when a hiring manager asks: Do you have any questions for me? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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