At the end of most interviews, you will be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer.
This is the perfect opportunity to learn even more about the job, the company, and the culture. But more importantly, the interviewer will form judgments about you based on the questions you ask. As an interviewer myself, I’ve had candidates change my mind (for better and worse) just because of the questions they chose to ask me.
Here are some good questions you can ask to learn more while also impressing the interviewer as someone who is smart, dedicated, and committed to success. (Don’t ask all ten at once! I recommend taking this list with you and then choosing the two or three that seem most appropriate given your conversation so far).
- What are the most important characteristics for success in this position?
- What do you see ahead for the company in the next five years?
- What have been the department’s best successes in the last few years?
- What are the most immediate challenges of the position that need to be addressed in the first three months?
- What do you see as the most important longer-term opportunities for improvement?
- How does upper management view the role and importance of this department and this position?
- What do you most enjoy about your work with this organization/company/agency?
- Could you describe your company\’s management style and the type of employee who fits in well here?
- How would you describe the experience of working here?
And the most important question:
- Before I leave, is there anything else you need to know concerning my ability to do this job?
This question is especially powerful because it gives you insight into the manager’s decision-making process, and gives you a chance to answer any doubts before leaving.
One more thing …. Be sure to make notes
Jot down notes on the answers to these questions as soon as you leave the interview while the information is fresh in your mind. This will give you the edge if you’re invited back for another interview, as you’ll be able to demonstrated some great insights into the job, the department and/or the company.
If you’re currently preparing for an interview, don’t miss this piece on how to beat interview nerves.