“And what questions do you have for me?”, asked the interviewer…
How to ask the right questions at your next job interview.
You’re interviewing for your dream job. As the interview moves toward a close, everything is going beautifully and you really feel like you’ve made a connection with your interviewer. The last thing you want to do is blow it in the home stretch. Don’t let the day’s final question trip you up—especially since this is one question you know you’ll be asked going in. A little advance preparation will let you use this final question to demonstrate to your interviewer that you are the game-changing talent that will drive their business forward.
When given the opportunity to ask a few final questions, a vanilla “no questions” response is really not an option and it’s easy to get tripped up here if you don’t have a few ideas in your pocket going in. Here are a few thoughts to get you started on what you do (and don’t) want to ask.
Don’t Make Your Last Exchange Focus on Compensation
Now is not the time to discuss salary, benefits, or other aspects of compensation. Your prospective employer should begin that conversation. An unnecessary focus on “what’s in it for me” at this stage of the game will paint an unflattering picture of you in your interviewer’s mind. Even if the interviewer begins the discussion about salary at this stage, keep it to a minimum and make it clear that your focus is on the intrinsic motivators, and not just your paycheck.
Instead of trying to pin down your salary or corner office, use your question time to get to know the company culture or attitudes.
- What sort of changes has your team undergone in the last year? What changes do you anticipate in the next six months?
- What is one trait everyone who is successful on your team shares? How do these team members differ?
Do Help Your Interviewer Visualize Your (and Their) Success
Everything that gets said during your interview contributes to the psychological picture of you that the interviewer will take away. It is vital that you use every opportunity to make sure this works in your favor, even when you’re not the one doing the talking. Try asking questions that invite your interviewer to visualize your success. Not only will you get a clearer image of what is expected of you, but they will already be picturing you as employee of the year.
- Should I be successful and get the job, how could I make sure to achieve a stellar rating on my first performance review?
- What skill set do I possess that will most benefit your company?
Show that you are committed to moving the company forward and that you equate the company’s business success with your own. You’ll come across as a team player and show your willingness to put the company’s needs first. Be honest and forthright. Demonstrating positive engagement in the interview process will signal to your new employer how you will perform once you are successfully seated in the new role.