“That was it from my side, do you have any questions for me?”
This interview closing question can turn matters around for even the best interview candidate. No matter how good you performed during the rest of the interview, this one single question can still make sure you don´t get hired if you don´t prepare it well. So, this is definitely not the easiest question of all and it requires as much preparation as the rest of the interview.
Most recruiters and hiring managers agree that the worst possible answer is to respond that you don´t have any questions. The objective is to ask a few smart questions, questions that show that you have been paying attention and that you did your research about the company and the job.
What is key when asking questions at the end of the interview is that you appear genuinely interested in the job and where you can add value, and not in the benefits of this job for you.
Therefore, make sure to avoid these 7 questions at all cost:
- “How much vacation days do I get?”
Or when you will be eligible for additional vacation days. If you´re trying to convince the company you will do a good job and they need to hire you, it is probably not a good idea to focus on questions that indicate you can´t wait to get out of the work. Unless the interviewer asks, it´s probably better to not start about benefits yourself.
- “What does your company do?” / “Who are your biggest competitors?” / Anything you can quickly find on Google!
If you really want a job, then you should be properly prepared. By asking questions for which you can find the answers easily on Google, you are definitely not making a good impression.
- “Do you do background checks?”
This implies you have something to hide so just don´t ask it.
- “How soon do employees get promoted?”
Or “If I am hired, how soon can I apply for other positions in the company?”. This may come across like you´re already assuming that you deserve a promotion and you haven´t even started yet! Or that you´re just taking this job to get in and you can´t wait to move on to the next position. First show what you´re worth by adding some real value if you´re hired and then focus on your next move.
- “Do you monitor internet or email usage?”
Or “Do you monitor my social media profiles?” Again, this looks like you have something to hide. Also, it implies that you might abuse your employer´s time and computer for your own purpose.
- “Can I work from home half of the week?”
It´s better to leave this kind of questions for when you have received the job offer. Your focus during the interview should be on showing why you are the perfect candidate for this job and why they should hire you. The specifics and the benefits can wait for later when you actually made sure you have the job.
- “Will I get my own office?”
This question is not relevant because it just looks for your personal gain and doesn´t add value to your objective for this interview: showing why they should hire you.
In summary, any questions related to benefits or what is in it for you should be avoided. Focus on selling yourself instead!
So what type of questions can you ask to make a good impression? Here are some examples of questions that will increase your chances of actually getting the job.
“Why do you work for this company, what do you like most about working here?”
“Could you give some specific examples of how the company culture is manifested in day-to-day operations?”
“What are the most important things you would like me to achieve in this position in the first months?”
What other questions would you recommend to ask during an interview? Which ones would you definitely not recommend asking?