Interview tips: Questions you should be asking at the end of your job interview
If you’ve ever been to a job interview, you’re probably familiar with what happens at the end where the interviewer asks: Have you got any questions for us? At this point the ball is in your court, you can ask anything you want about the company. The interviewer has got all they need from you, and now you have the opportunity to learn more about them.
But, a lot of people drop the ball and just say no, and then the interview just ends there. The interviewer thanks them for coming, they shake hands, and that’s that. It’s not that you definitely won’t get the job if you don’t ask any questions. Asking questions at the end of an interview shows that you came prepared, and eager to learn more about the company and the role. When you’re looking for a job, presenting yourself as someone who is excited about the opportunity is very important.
Why should I ask questions at the end of my job interview?
As the final part of a job interview, this is where you can learn more about the role and company you’re interviewing for. It reflects to the interviewer that you are fully engaged with the role. Sure, they probably know that you are applying to other jobs as well, but showing interest and commitment are some qualities that you might want to highlight.
Remember, job interviews work both ways for you and the employer. On one level, employers want a good fit for the role, and are willing to take the time to get to know you before they make a decision. On another level, you want an employer who cares and somewhere you can learn and challenge yourself. You also probably prefer nice co-workers that you can have a good relationship with.
So not only is the interview a chance for you to show your skills and qualities, it’s also your one chance to find out more about the company before you start. A job interview is much more than your chance to why you’re fit for the role. Think of it more of a two-way conversation, where the interview should also represent the company as a place that you’d want to work at.
Things to do before a job interview
Before we get to the different questions you should be asking at the end of your job interview, let’s look at the things that can help you during your interview. In preparation for the interview, you might want to do a bit of research to help you perform your best.
Look through the job description carefully
When you read a job posting for the first time, you’re probably skimming through it to get to the required skills and qualities. That’s fine, everyone does that. But you might want to examine the job description further when you actually apply for the job. You want to be prepared for the interview.
Consider whether you’re a good fit for the position. Think about why you’re interviewing, and how you qualify for the job.
Do your research
During your job interview, you’d probably want to demonstrate a solid understanding for the job and the company. Look up the company that you’re interviewing for, and learn what they do. This may be any type of product, or a service. Get a good enough understanding of what the company does to be able to explain this from both the company and the customer / client’s perspective.
Looking through the social media of the company could also get you an idea of the cultural side of the company. The way companies present themselves on social media can really change how people see them. You may be able to find things like employee or community support on the company social media pages, or just a bit more about the brand in general.
Doing some research on the role itself would also be a good idea. Look into the responsibilities and typical day-to-day duties, so you’re ready to talk about how you’re up to the task.
Look through common interview questions
Preparing your answers for common interview questions is what you should be doing for any interview. Of course, your answers in every interview shouldn’t be the same, they should be tailored to each one. An interview should feel like a natural conversation, and not a scripted question and answer session.
A few common interview questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “can you give me an example where you demonstrated your problem solving abilities?” are a good place to start with. Obviously you won’t be able to fully predict what the interviewer is going to ask you, but try to draft out a few key points to each question that allows you to talk yourself up.
You also might be expected to talk about salary expectations during your interview. Looking up the average salary for the role and the industry should help you gauge what you’re looking for, and how you weigh up.
Follow job interview etiquette
Like we’ve mentioned before, job interviews should be like any normal conversation, just with a set agenda. It might seem scary to face, but by keeping it light and friendly, it should be a breeze for you.
Pay attention to your speaking tone and body language when you speak. Receptiveness during a job interview is a great quality to exhibit. You want to make sure you’re listening and not just answering questions accordingly.
Other than conversational things, interview etiquette also involves physical presentation like clothing and appearance. Business casual is always the right way to go in any interview situation, along with neutral plain colours with no patterns.
Video interviews are becoming a bit of a norm these days, with a whole pandemic going on. And there are things to consider with this setting as well. Most video conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have the option to set custom backgrounds. So if you’ve got a cluttered room that you might not want to show people, you can do that. Just don’t use fun backgrounds that show you on a beach or a rock concert. It does show that you have a sense of humour, but probably not that appropriate for the setting.
Questions to ask at the end of an interview
Now that we’ve done enough of prep work, you should do great in your interview. Let’s move on to the questions that you should be asking at the end of the interview. You don’t need to ask all of them, just ask the ones that seem right in the moment.
1. Will there be clear mentoring or training programs during my time here?
By asking this, you’ll get a clear idea of how the job will start out for you, and how the work environment will be like. You’ll get to know whether you’ll get some guidance, or that the company will simply let you run free on your own.
Depending on the type of work, you might want a level of freedom, or expect help from your superiors. If you are starting out on an entry-level job, proper mentoring is important. The interviewer should be able to map out how exactly this would work out, and how much training you’d be getting to work efficiently with satisfaction.
2. What’s an average day in the role?
In the interview, the interviewer should have already given you a bit of an idea about the role and what you’d be doing. So this question is just a little bit more about that. “An average day” is a little bit different from a basic overview of what you’d be doing, it’s a more detailed account.
Different roles definitely have different types of responsibilities, but by asking this question, you’ll get to know whether every day you’d be doing the same work, or that it varies a lot. If you’re someone who likes a bit of flexibility and newness, you’d probably want a job where no day is the same.
3. How long do employees usually stay in the company?
This one is about the workplace environment and company culture. You’ll get to know the average time of stay of employees. This helps you to measure whether this place would be a good place to work at long term.
If you’d like, you could also ask the interviewer themselves how long they’ve stayed at the company. It could get you the candid answer that you’re looking for.
4. Are there any hesitations about getting me on board that I can expand on?
Now this is a big question and a bit of a risk. It really puts the focus on the interviewer and puts them on the spot. They could give you a vague answer, or really give you something to try to talk your way out of.
Still, this could be a great final opportunity for you to really talk about your skills and how you’d be a good fit for the role. To prepare for this, you might want to look into possible shortcomings in your job profile. Then you can come up with ways to spin them in a way that benefits you. Or you can highlight your other strengths to prove that you’re up to the task.
5. Less serious questions about company culture
Finally, if you’re just keen to keep the conversation light, you could ask some questions about whether there are social hangouts among employees outside of work. Or about the facilities in and around the office. This still shows your enthusiasm for the role and the company, and you get to know more about whether it’s a good place to work as well.
With these interview questions, you’re all set for your next job interview! Remember, there’s no actual number 1 question that you can ask interviewers. Interviewers simply want to give you the opportunity to learn more about the company before you get on board, so they’re happy to answer any questions that you might have.
So how can you stand out as a job candidate? It really depends on the situation and who you’re talking to. During the interview, try to determine how the conversation is going and ask the right questions. You might not be able to stand out all the time, but employers don’t just look for people who stand out during an interview. They also look for the certain qualities that fit their hiring needs the most. So learn to build and tailor your job profile to their needs.
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