by Shaunna-Marie Kerr
If you have done your research, you should know that asking questions at the end of a job interview is just as important as the questions you answered throughout. Just because the interviewer isn’t asking you questions doesn’t mean that you aren’t still being assessed. The traditional view of a job interview as a tool reserved for employers to evaluate potential employees has shifted to that of a mutually beneficial conversation between interviewer and interviewee. The job interview is your time to:
- Gain knowledge about the position you are applying for and how you can contribute to the organization as a whole,
- Demonstrate your interest in professional development and learning opportunities, and
- Determine whether you are a good fit for the role and the compatibility of your skills and values with the company culture.
Continue reading for five questions we recommend asking, and why:
1. Why is hiring for this role important right now?
This question can help you understand what aspects of the role are prioritized by the hiring manager, and what your initial project load might look like. Asking this question shows that you care about how your work will contribute to the overall goals of the organization. This question can also alert you if the company has undergone reorganization recently or if personnel changes are part of a larger initiative.
2. Is there anything I can clarify for you about my qualifications?
This is a great question that can you can use to provide more detail on why you are the right fit for the role, especially if you have international credentials and experience or are a new graduate. This question gives the interviewer the opportunity to address any hesitation they may have about how your experience can add value to their team. If the interviewer does ask for further clarification, it provides an ideal time to share your credential assessment or highlight a specific certificate that relates to the role.
3. Beyond the technical skills required to fulfill the functions of this role, what soft skills are most valued in this company?
Understanding which soft skills are most valued by your employer can be one of the most important steps on your pathway to career success. Soft skills like communication and time management are always useful, but specific soft skills such as teamwork and adaptability might be particularly appreciated in individual companies. Asking this question shows employers that you are interested in the workplace culture of their organization and that you are already making an effort to be part of that culture.
4. I read about x in an industry magazine. Can you tell me more about this initiative?
Asking about something that you read in an industry publication shows that you have done your research and are interested in the initiatives of the organization. Company websites are a great place to find basic information and you should always take time to review a company’s site before every interview. Drawing on information from industry magazines, podcasts, and business news sources demonstrate that you are aware of what is happening in the industry as a whole, and did not just find information specifically for your interview.
5. What is the next step in the process?
This is the last question you should ask in your interview. This question shows the interviewer that you are interested in moving forward with your application and provides you with the information you will need to potentially prepare for another round of interviews. Asking this question lets you know what to expect through the remainder of the hiring process and can sometimes let you know if other candidates are being considered for the role. Especially as a job seeker who may be fielding interviews with multiple companies, it is helpful to know as much as possible about where you stand with each one.
Asking thoughtful questions at the end of your interview is an excellent way to engage your interviewer and gain insight into the company culture and the role you would fill. Taking the time to prepare questions in advance will not only help you decide if this role is the right one for you, but will also help you make a positive impression with your prospective employer.