We’ve all experienced this, surely? You get to the end of the interview and the scary interviewers ask you if you have any questions for them. Studies have found that most of us say, ‘no’. But, it turns out, this is a mistake and we should really be saying something more like, “‘yes, loads, I have so many questions!”
‘Why’, you might wonder? Surely they’re merely being courteous when they ask if you have any questions for them? Well, that might be the case, but even so, it’s a gold opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the role, your inquisitive nature, the research you have done into the company and even the fact that you paid attention during the interview! And that says nothing of the fact that this question is most often asked at the end of the interview and, as such, it is a perfect way to leave a lasting impression.
And no, ‘how much will I earn’, ‘how many holidays do I get’, ‘how long do I get for lunch’ and ‘what are the perks of the job, aren’t the sort of questions you need to be asking. If you really want to impress your potential employers, keep a couple of these questions up your sleeve.
This question, and any variation on it, will signal to your potential employers that you are keen to perform well and that you are thinking long-term. It will also help you determine what is valued by the people interviewing you and what will be required of you if you wish to shine in the role. It might be that they tell you that performing well requires 12-hour days and, if that is the case, in asking this kind of question you can learn, before it is too late, if the role is really suited to you.
Starting a new job can be daunting. It doesn’t matter how similar it is to your old one, each company has its own way of doing things and the first few months will always be spent trying to adapt to them. By asking this question you pave the way for a discussion about what will be expected of you in those early stages. It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about how they might train you. Most importantly though, it demonstrates to those interviewing you that you are keen and eager to learn fast and perform sooner.
Workplace culture is becoming increasingly important, but really, getting along with coworkers has always been important. By asking this question you show your interviewers that you are keen to learn more about their colleagues, the team and to fit in. It’s also an important chance for you to learn for yourself if you think you will be a good fit after all.
If you can, pay attention to what they tell about the company, or the position, or themselves etc. during the interview and make a mental note about anything you might like to know more about. This shows that you have been engaged throughout the interview and are interested to learn more about the role and the business. It’s also a solid way to demonstrate your ‘attention to detail’, which is something rarely excluded from job descriptions these days.
Most interviews, however prepared you are for them, involve intimidating interviewers putting you on the spot with tricky questions. Asking your own questions might be your only opportunity to regain control and let them do some of the talking. It demonstrates to your potential employers that you prepared for this interview in ways beyond having bought a new outfit and rehearsed your life’s story. It indicates to them that you have been paying attention. It shows your ability to be assertive and confident in stressful situations. Most importantly, it proves to them your interest in the role. So the next time an interviewer asks if you have any questions for them, do your best Hermione and get hired!