Why You Should Ask Questions at Interview

You are almost there… the interview has gone well and you are feeling fairly confident that you have supplied the right answers to the questions asked AND THEN they ask you if you have any questions.  Your heart races as you quickly try to think of something…anything to ask!  You feebly respond no, that the interviewer has covered everything.  END OF INTERVIEW.  Not a good way to make a final positive impression.

We are all aware that a first impression is created within the first 10 seconds, but what of the final impression?  When candidates do not have any questions to ask at the conclusion of the interview, I cannot help but feel that they have not been fully engaged in the process. This raises the obvious question of their likely commitment to the role and the company, and moves them from a “yes” to a fairly weak “maybe”. 

Take 2.  When asked about any questions, you confidently ask from a pre-prepared list. The interviewer is able to delve further into the requirements of the role, giving you an additional opportunity to showcase your past experience and how this may be of value to them.  You have also demonstrated that you have actively listened throughout the interview, and have a genuine interest in the company.  You leave the interviewer with a positive last impression….and a much better chance of progressing to the next stage. 

While the type of questions you may ask will naturally depend on the role, there are a couple of general categories that can be explored. While doing your pre-interview research on the company, it is a good idea to list a couple of questions that you could ask at interview.

Here are a few general questions to get you started.

Q. “What are you looking for in the successful candidate?”

Q. “What are your growth projections over the next 3-5 years?”

Q. “Who or what do you see as your major competition and why?”

Q. “What is the management style / philosophy of the organisation?”

Q. “How do you celebrate success?”

Regardless of the role, the golden question that you should always ask concerns the process moving forward. If the role is a sales position, don’t forget to ask for the order!  By being prepared and confident in asking appropriate questions, you increase your chances of success significantly.  After all – that is why you applied for the job in the first place!

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