In any given interview there are countless questions that an interviewer can ask, but one question in particular tends to make its way into almost every interview: that is the “do you have any questions for me?” question.
This question comes like clockwork towards the end of every interview. While this serves as a great opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with the interviewer, we often struggle with coming up with questions that demonstrate our interest, eagerness, and intellect.
The last question counts
I really believe this is an important question to nail. It’s one of the last impressions you make on the interviewer before you leave. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to differentiate yourself from the rest of the candidates. While most candidates who interview will be extremely qualified, will all of them ask thoughtful and enlightening questions that make the interviewer think?
Finally, asking thoughtful questions is important because it gives the interviewer a glimpse into your character. It’s an opportunity to let the interviewer know about the topics that you are thinking about and the key interests that are on your mind.
Some of my favorite questions to ask interviewers:
What constitutes success in this position and this organization? This question demonstrates your interest in being successful. The answer should provide you with good context as to what behaviors are rewarded and valued in the organization.
Who is someone you respect and admire in your company? Why do you admire them? This question gives you the chance to learn about someone who hopefully embodies the values and culture of the organization. It also gives the interviewer to share a personal story about someone meaningful.
What’s a challenge you currently are facing? How is your company helping you tackle this challenge? I like this question because it is a way of asking someone to be thoughtful and honest about something they are struggling with. Furthermore, the way they respond about how the company is helping them should give you a good sense of how supportive the culture and resources are within the company.