And then there are the interview questions that cause anxiety even for the most confident. Especially the one we’re all sure to encounter, but very few prepare for adequately:
“Do you have any questions for me?”
This question is a challenging one to answer. Some candidates think they’re doing the interviewer a favor when they say that they don’t have questions. After all, isn’t asking that a signal that the interview is over? And might not the interviewer have something more important on the schedule for the next hour?
No! This question signals only one thing: the interviewer doesn’t have any more prepared questions… and it is your turn to run the conversation! This is a perfect opportunity to show off the analytical insight you can bring to the job… and your chance to finish the interview on a high note.
Keeping in mind you goal is to add no more than five to 10 minutes of talking (more and you might overstep the time budgeted for the interview; less and you may not appear to be invested in the conversation), here’s how to answer “Do you have any questions for me?” at your next interview:
Ask One Analytical or Big Picture Question
Start your questions by connecting with the interviewer’s goals. This is where great questions such as “How does this role contribute to the success of the company?” come into play.
When you ask a big picture question at your interview, be sure to modify it to relate to the specifics of your field. For example, if you’re interviewing for a position as a teacher, your big picture question might relate to the school’s standardized testing scores. Research the scores before the meeting. If the scores are low, politely ask the interviewing principal’s opinion on the score and what strategies the school is using to raise them. If the scores are high, ask to what the principal credits the school’s ongoing success.
Make One Question Personal or Intimate
No, we’re not recommending you ask the interviewer about his most recent date… but appropriate personal or intimate questions can help you establish a common ground for a relationship.
Questions such as “What makes the best employee on your team right now the best employee?” and “Which company achievement are you most proud of?” give your interviewer an opportunity to express a personal opinion or reaction. In turn, this allows you to connect with the team and workplace on a more personal level than the quantities and qualities on your resume.
From an Important Point in the Interview: Improvise One Question
Remember when we said that you’ll need to stay engaged throughout the interview? This is where your attention pays off. Show the interviewer that you can think on your feet by generating at least one question based on a unique topic from the interview.
For example, the interviewer may go into more detail about the responsibilities and duties of the position that were not included in the online job description. Keep an eye out for questions you can ask about how others have performed in this role or what kinds of experiences they hope the newest hire will have had in order to succeed in this new position.
Are you ready for your big interview? Remember that the final question is just as important as the first one. Go into it prepared with pre-brainstormed questions, an engaging attitude and an inquisitive mind… and impress!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired!
About the Author: Sarah Greesonbach a career transition specialist and freelance writer. Her work has been featured on AOL Jobs, YAHOO! Small Business, and Brazen Careerist. She released Life After Teaching, the career transition book for teachers, in 2013, and provides content and strategic communication consulting services through Greesonbach Creative.
Image courtesy of theoatmeal.com. Thank you!