You’ve been practicing your answers to the typical questions for your next big interview, but what about the inevitable “Do you have any questions for us?” portion? Asking the right questions gives you not only more information about the company, but it will show that you’re 1) insightful and a critical thinker and 2) eager for the job, a real team player.
Basing your questions off of how the interview is going so far is the best practice. If they’ve already gone over what your day-to-day responsibilities look like, don’t ask them about it (unless you’re asking for clarification*). Go into the interview with these questions in mind but adjust for the actual conversation that has already happened.
- What will my first 90 days on the job look like?
- Can you show me some examples of projects I’ll be working on?
- What do you think are the most important qualities for someone to excel at this job?
- What opportunities are there for professional development?
About the company
- What’s your favorite part about working for this company?
- What do you wish you knew then about the company that you know now?
- Who’s successful at this company? Who struggles?
- Can you give me a high-level SWOT analysis about this organization and/or the industry?
- What are the biggest opportunities facing this department and/or company right now? What about the biggest challenges?
- How would you describe the department’s style—more collaborative or independent?
- What was your biggest surprise that you learned only after working here for a while?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses as a candidate? Is there anything on my resume or cover letter or from our discussions that makes you question whether I’m a good fit for this role? (Do not ask “How am I doing so far?” It’s nails on a chalkboard to a lot of interviewers.)
*If you have any clarifying questions on information they’ve given you, don’t be afraid to ask it, even if the time has passed. Asking something like “Going back to what you said about project development, can you clarify what you meant by…?” shows that you’re listening to what they said and have kept it in mind. Of course, asking clarifying questions while the topic is still being discussed works too!
If you think you’ll forget your questions, write some of them down in your notes before you go in. Preparedness never hurt anyone hoping to get hired. Good luck!