You’re almost through with a job interview when the interviewer asks: “Do you have any questions?” What you say next may be the most important part of your interview.
As Jennifer Sievers, Director of Client Services for Acclivity Healthcare points out, “when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, it’s generally a formality, but a formality that may hurt you if you don’t take advantage of it.”
“You absolutely must ask at least two questions. Staying silent shows you haven’t done enough homework to know what to ask,” says Jennifer. “But keep in mind that just because you are encouraged to ask questions doesn’t necessarily mean you should ask a thousand of them. A few well thought out questions go a long way. They should be something you genuinely need to know. Asking silly questions is much worse than not asking anything at all.”
We’ve got the top 5 best questions to ask in your next job interview. These can help you get a better idea of whether the position is right for you and perhaps even impress the interviewer in the process!
- What do you like about working here?
When you step into an interview, it’s important to remember that the person conducting the interview isn’t just there to find out about you and your skills; he or she is also your window into the company. With this question, you can get a better sense of how the interviewer — and perhaps employees in general — feel about the company.
- What are your goals for the company in the next year?
Most of the interview is about what you’ll bring to the company so it’s a good idea to break out of that pattern when possible to get the big picture for the company and where you’ll fit into that picture.
- If I were hired, what would you like to see me achieve in my first three to six months on the job?
As with any new job, it’s important to understand expectations from the get-go. This is especially true if you are being hired for a management position.
- Why is this position vacant?
It’s important to know whether the position is vacant because someone was promoted from within, or the job has been created due to company growth or if it’s vacant because of high turnover. You don’t want to wait until you’re hired for the position to find out you’re the fourth person in six months to hold that job.
“Many times a position is vacant because the person just wasn’t right for the job. If that’s the case, you can follow up with questions like ‘If you could have changed something about that person, what would it have been?’ This line of questioning will make you more memorable to the interviewer,” says Jennifer.
- Do you have any reservations about hiring me?
If all your questions have been answered, Jennifer recommends ending the interview with this powerful line.
Just look the interviewer in the eye and say, ‘You’ve answered all of my questions. I’ve learned a lot today and I know this would be a great job for me. Do you have any reservations about hiring me?’ It forces the hiring manager to tell you what concerns they may have and gives you the chance to address them.
What Not to Ask
While what you ask during an interview is important, there are many more that you should never ask.
“Never ask questions about what you want out of the job — money, advancement opportunities — it just comes off as selfish,” says Jennifer. She also recommends holding off on asking about vacation days and salaries. That can be addressed after you get the job offer.