In this post we would like to move on with good questions to ask in an interview. In the traditional job interview, you will be asked if you have any questions to ask to the manager by the end of the interview. This gives you an advantage. If you are a good listener, this moment may be the final eyes opener for the manager.
But what does it mean asking good questions at the end of a job interview? You may think that any question is good as long as you ask questions, right? Let us give you a couple of hints about it and help you understand how important the quality of the questions you ask at the end of the job interview is important.
Imagine that the hiring manager has been going through perhaps 5 job interviews already, maybe 10 job interviews, only for the position you are applying for. It is possible that this same manager is also hiring for another position and therefore running additional job interviews. Now, imagine that every candidate is going to search online for what questions to ask at the end of a job interview, most of them will run their search on Google and most of them will click on the same most popular article that will get them with the most frequent questions asked at the end of a job interview. At the end, the hiring manager will most likely end up being asked the same questions many times and will most likely have to repeat the same answer.
On top of having spent his last 5 minutes times the number of job interviews he had during the week, the hiring manager just spent an hour trying to figure out if you would be a better fit for the job position that he has to fulfill and how would you make a difference in the team.
For this specific reason you need to leave a great last impression, those will be the last few minutes for you to shine before letting the hiring manager make a decision to invite you for a second interview or giving you the job.
So how do you make sure that you ask good job interview questions at the end of your conversation and how do you make sure those questions are important and impressive enough. Follow the next few steps we will describe below and make sure you practice them a few times before you go to your job interview.
1. Be a good listener
The first piece of advice we always give is to genuinely listen to all the information that the job interviewer will give you. Sometimes, you will be lucky and the person will give you a lot of information but sometimes you may not be. That is why you will need to make a pre-research of the potential topic you will want to bring.
2. Avoid to ask questions that are only for your interest
Especially in the first round, show that you are genuinely interested in the company you might be working for, the environment you will be evolving, the strategy that is currently in place or the challenges managers may have at the moment.
3. Try to connect the information you heard during the conversation with what you have read during your research
Questions that leave a great impression are the ones that bring up the hiring manager's needs and challenges. When having the opportunity of asking a question at the end of the interview, try to make the job interviewer or hiring manager feel that you understand the problem of the job you are applying for.
If you succeed in asking similar questions than those the hiring manager is trying to answer to, it is even better.
4. Don’t ask hard or tricky questions
Let us not underestimate the difficulty of this exercise, asking genuine and interesting questions is great but it is easy to cross the line where your manager doesn’t know the answer. Make sure your questions are easy to answer and bring value to the conversation.
A couple of topics you can think of in order to design your questions for the end of your job interviews:
The strategy of the company
The strategy of the team
Type of challenges the team is going through
Manager’s management style
Expectations of the manager
Those are the 5 most important topics you can think of to design your questions.
Make sure you also don’t ask questions that may be confidential, this generally gives a negative feeling and makes the hiring manager feeling awkward.
The last piece of advice we would like to share with you is not to avoid asking too many questions. In general, 2 to 3 questions are sufficient, so pick the right ones and watch out for the time, if your job interview lasts for 1 hour and you are already running out of time, ask the manager if he’d rather have you email the questions.
Here is what you need to remember when you design your interview questions:
Be spontaneous and try to adapt your questions to the conversation you had
During the first interview, only focus on topics that show your interest for the company and not your self-interest
Don’t ask too complicated the questions
Make sure you don’t ask too many
Watch out for the time, if it's too late, ask if the manager prefers you to email questions
Make sure the questions you ask are not confidential.
Asking the right question at the end of your job interview is another opportunity to stand out from other candidates, showing that you are a good listener and you know how to ask great questions. Those are all important skills that any manager would like to be able to count.
We recommend to practice this exercise as much as possible, for instance try to have a conversation with a friend or a family member and force yourself to ask at least 10 questions in your conversations, you will first experience it as a difficult exercise but the more you do it the more you will feel comfortable.
Making sure you know how to listen and ask the right question will serve you in your job but also in your personal relationships. If you want to practice this particular topic, feel free to book a session with The Ambitious, we prepare our customers to ace their job interview and feel confident to shine and get the job of their dreams. Our mission is to make coaching accessible and we believe that this starts with offering a low price.
For more job interview topics, we invite you to read out other blogs:
For more on this topic, watch our video :