Your interview is about to come to an end and so far everything has gone smoothly. You covered all the bases and tactfully highlighted each of your relevant experiences. But there is still one important part of the interview that you need to cover.
“Do you have any questions for us?” your interviewer asks. With all of your background research about the organization, now is the perfect time to demonstrate that knowledge by asking meaningful follow-up questions, especially in seeking answers you can’t necessarily find online. Here are the five key questions you should ask at the end of every job interview in order to end on a positive note.
1. What does an average day on the job look like?
This is a great beginning question because its open-endedness allows the recruiters to explain many different aspects of the job at once. The answer to this question can go a number of a ways, from “well, that’s hard to say because every day is so different around here” to “your typical day starts at 9 am and ends at 5 pm.” If you’re the type of candidate who is looking for every work day to bring something new, perhaps the first work environment is ideal. If you’re a candidate who wants to get into a daily routine, the second work environment may be more preferred. If the interviewer includes the typical work hours in their answer, this is also a great opportunity to get a sense of the organization’s work-life balance.
2. What is the most rewarding part about this job? The most challenging?
These types of interview questions dive a bit deeper than the average “what do you like or dislike about this job?” While every job has its pros as well as its cons, few interviewers will want to go in depth about their dislikes when trying to get you to entertain a position there. We all enjoy a challenge once in a while, and the answer to this question will help you determine if the job offers one you can and would like to take on next.
3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Where do you see the organization going?
This type of question poses the perfect opportunity to impress your interviewers. After you have spent the past hour or so talking mostly about your own experiences, this question demonstrates that you want to know more about your potential coworkers’ experiences as well. Additionally, this is a great chance to show that you have done your research. Talk about the history of the organization and its accomplishments and then ask what direction it will take from here on out. The answer to the first question will give you prime insight into an employee’s perspective of the organization, and the answer to the second will allow you to see if there are strong opportunities for growth and advancement.
4. What qualities does it take to succeed within this job?
This question is an excellent way to ask yourself and those interviewing you “would I be a good fit here?” without openly coming out and saying those exact words. If the interviewer says the employees who stay and succeed within the organization are competitive and willing to put in long hours, but you are looking for a more collaborative environment and a focus on flexibility, perhaps this job isn’t the best fit. It’s much better to know the company culture before accepting an offer than after starting the job.
5. Ask for the job!
This one might seem silly – I am interviewing for the job, isn’t it obvious I want the job? Well, not necessarily. Recruiters know that candidates are often applying to many different organizations and going on many first, second, and even third round interviews. In order to express sincere desire to work for a given employer, do not be afraid to end the interview with a definitive gesture of interest. You could say “I believe I would be a strong and supportive fit within this organization, are there any questions I have left unanswered?” Or you can say, “Thank you so much for your consideration. I’m extremely interested in the role and organization. Do you have any more questions for me?” Ending the interview with this type of question will leave an interviewer with a good sense of your eagerness to join the team, which can only help your candidacy.
The next time you’re practicing for an interview, remember that preparing questions to ask is equally as important as preparing for questions you’ll be asked. The key is to ask open-ended questions that will allow for a more accurate overview of the position and company culture as a whole. Assuring that the role is just as good of a fit for you as it is for them demonstrates to an employer that you will be a dedicated employee.
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