How To Answer: Do You Have Any Questions For Us?By Tang Kai Long • 6 min read
“So, that’s all for the interview…”
Your interviewer looks at you and smiles. Wait for it… and here goes.
“… do you have any questions for us?”
If the interview went well and you let your instincts take over, your answer will look a lot like:
“Nope! Everything’s good! Thank you!”
And if you think there’s nothing wrong with that reply, this is the article for you. However much you want to, do not end the interview without asking a question.
Wait, what should I ask then?
In this article, we’ll walk you through how you should answer this question:
- Why do interviewers ask: Do you have any questions for us?
- What are some great questions I should be asking?
- What questions should I avoid asking?
Why do interviewers ask: Do you have any questions for us?
It is paramount we first understand the intention of the question. Only after doing so can we ask the “right questions” to seal the deal. So why do interviewers ask this question?
You are what you ask
The type of questions you ask says a lot about you. Thoughtful questions give you bonus points, and the lack thereof may suggest that you are uninterested or unprepared.
Your questions also send a signal of what’s important to you. If you immediately start asking about salary and employee benefits – they’ll take it that that’s top of mind for you.
It’s their turn to convince you
Every interview is a crucial touchpoint for interviewers to convince you to take up the offer. If you are a worthy candidate, they would want to address any concerns or doubts you may have about taking on the offer. Because they spent most of the interview asking the questions, this is their chance to address yours.
Even for candidates they know won’t get the offer, any decent company would respect the candidate’s time in coming down for the interview and clear up any questions you have. Besides, it’s good for them if you walk away with a good impression and understanding of the company – so you can tell your friends who could be potential hires.
“Tell me how I can do better”
If you get the job, this may be the last interview for you in the months or even years to come. That is not the case for your interviewer.
They interview candidates all year round and want to know how they can attract more jobseekers, get the right candidates to apply and improve the candidate experience.
From your questions, they learn what job seekers care about, concern themselves with, get confused about, or get attracted to. It’s useful information that helps them improve their recruitment process.
What are some great questions I should be asking?
About the job
Important: It has to be details of the job you can’t find online.
This shows the interviewer that you’ve put serious thought to the role. You come across as having a proactive attitude to understand the job and how to best prepare or thrive in it. This line of questions include:
- What would a typical workday look like for someone in this role?
- What are the KPIs or measures of success that this role will be evaluated on?
- What are some of the key challenges that past individuals in this role faced?
- Do you expect any changes in the responsibilities of this role in the coming future?
About the company
Use this opportunity to get a sense of the company’s culture and any red flags before you decide to join them. You also want to get a good sense of the company’s strategic direction and performance. To uncover these, you may ask:
- What is the company culture like here?
- Are there certain things that new hires tend to take a while to get used to here?
- What do employees like most about working here?
- What are the company’s priorities for the next 12 months?
- What would be the company’s greatest challenge right now?
About the ideal candidate
And how you match up to that.
This is a good chance for you to understand what the interviewer thinks of you and how you’ve fared during the interview. Most importantly, it allows you to strategically follow-up from their answer with your experiences or skillsets that weren’t already mentioned during the interview.
- What qualities and skills are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
- What would it take for someone to be really successful in this position?
- Are there any skills I should work on to be a better fit for the job?
- Do you have any feedback on my suitability for the role?
Uncover potential challenges
Besides helping you figure out whether or not this company is right for you, this is a good chance to start value-adding to the company. Understand their pain points and if possible, follow-up from their answer by sharing how you can solve their challenges.
- What are the key challenges you expect someone in this position to encounter in the next 6 months?
- What are some common mistakes made by people in this position?
- If you don’t mind sharing, why did the last person leave the job?
Discuss future & immediate next steps
It re-affirms your interest in the position and paints you in a good light by showing that you are on top of things. Such questions may sound like:
- Are there any other portfolio items or documents I can provide to help you make a better hiring decision?
- What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- When might I hear back regarding a decision?
And one last question to wow the interviewer…
Here’s a final tip that a recruiter shared with us. This is one of the best questions she’s been asked by candidates:
If I do get selected for the position, is there anything I should do to better prepare for the role?
You come across as a pro-active individual who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, and you’re raring to hit the ground running.
If you’ve already shown yourself to be a suitable candidate for the role, this question is going to get the interviewer advocating internally to have you on board.
What are some questions I should avoid asking?
Unless you’re looking to ruin your shot at employment, don’t tread on thin ice. Here’s a list of what not to ask.
- Salary: If you do want to have a conversation about salary, we recommend you do not broach this as the first question. Pad it with other questions first.
- Company perks and benefits: Companies are mindful of candidates who apply to them because of the wrong reasons (e.g. attractive perks that they offer). You don’t want to come across as being interested in the perks instead of the role.
- Interviewer’s personal life
- Office gossip
More importantly, make sure you’ve done your homework. Do not ask anything you should already know the answer to or those that you can find the answer to online.
Be mindful of the interviewer’s time as well. If you feel that the interviewer is trying to wrap things up, keep to a few questions, or keep your questions short.
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