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What to do - Do You Have Any Questions?

16 Apr 14 by William

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What do you when asked in an interview: "Do you have any questions?"

Imagine this: You’re feeling pretty good about how the job interview has been going so far. Then you hear the question that strikes terror into the heart of many interviewees: “Do you have any questions?” What should you do? Should you ask questions? Or just put on the biggest smile you can?

As recent graduates, some of us are not experienced with interview techniques. unless you have been vigorously applying for jobs and landing yourself interviews. In this case, when you have reached the end of questioning from the interviewer(s), the above scenario is your time to shine! Nothing sticks out better in an interviewer’s mind than a few polished, intelligent questions at the end of an interview. On the other hand, ending the interview with, “No, I think we’ve covered everything” means missing out on not only a chance to make a real memorable impact but the opportunity to really learn more about the role, the interviewer, company and management style.

We often forget that interview is not an one-way questioning session (i.e. getting asked questions by the interviewer), rather it is an opportunity to interview the company just like they’re interviewing us.

Here is the list of questions that you could use to ensure you’re able to ask questions and leave a good impression. It is important because let’s face it, everyone is trying to get an advantage ahead of the other candidate, and you might as well leave a long-lasting impression in the mind of the interviewer.

  1. What would a typical day be like for a new staff member?
    Asking this will normally convey a message that you’re interested in the organisation.This is an opportunity to get into what the day-to-day responsibilities and expectations of the role will be and be sure you understand the scope of what they’re asking, and what they’re expected from this role.
  2. What do you like the most about working here?
    Judging their response, how quickly they respond as well as how excited they are or aren’t’ can help you decide if it’s a place you’d like to work as well. It could also be an opportunity to get even more excited about a role you like.
  3. What is the culture of this firm? or What is the team culture like here?
    You should be able to gather the company culture from your research prior to the interview, but asking about the team culture can give you a little more insight into what the day-to-day will be like. This also tells you whether your fit is what they’re looking for.
  4. What are the qualities of a successful employee in this particular role?
    Giving interviewer an opportunity to explain their “ideal employee” helps you understand what they’re really looking for in an employee and can give you ideas about the company and team culture, as well as creating the way for success in this role with an understanding of what their expectations are right away.
  5. What are the success metrics (or performance appraisal system or KPI) in this job?
    Getting them define what success in this role, and within the company, is invaluable information for you to decide if this is a place that you would want to work and feel that you would bring value and be successful. If you do get the job, you’ll want to know what they’re looking for when it comes review time!
  6. What is the career path for this role within this firm?
    Asking this question can mean two things: employers want to know that you’re someone that will be committed for the long haul, and learning to grown within the company. This also shows that you’re ambitious and want to grow. Be careful to not focus too much attention on the “next role after this one” in the interview though! They might not want to re-hire again in a year if you decide try to promote in the company so this is where you can read them and find the balance.

  7. What is the organisation’s management style here?
    Getting a little insight into how the upper management operate will help you find out if the firm’s style is conducive to what you’re looking for and how you best work.

  8. Is it possible to transfer (either within divisions, to other cities or to other countries)?
    This question is related to point 6. A tricky question to ask but conveys good message: this means that you’re looking to grow with the firm in the long term and you’re always open to internal opportunities that may be beneficial to your growth. However, be careful to not focus strongly on this as you might be seen as uncommitted.

  9. What is the organisation’s attitude to further study?
    Asking this question usually shows that you’re open to further learning and the firm should be confident in putting you through their training programmes.

  10. Do you have any other feedback regarding my fit for this role?
    This can be a very scary question to ask, especially if it’s a role that you really want and maybe aren’t so sure how the interview is going from the hiring managers point of view. But, this is an opportunity to gain incredibly valuable feedback from the hiring manager about how they see you as a fit for this role. It also gives you a chance to speak directly to any reservations they might have about you and dispel concern they might have.

These questions don’t by all means guarantee you will land a job. However, asking them will show the interviewing team that you’re prepared and have initiative to interact further with the hiring team. Try to pick three or four questions that will give you enough insight into the firm as well as leave a good impression in the mind of the hiring team.