It’s Bharat’s first job interview and he couldn’t be more excited. The interview is almost over and the hiring manager has given him plenty of valuable information about the organization. As the conversation is coming to an end, the interviewer asks Bharat, “do you have any questions for us?” He immediately responded “no”.
While Bharat genuinely didn’t have any questions to ask, he shouldn’t have said “no”. It’s a common mistake many job-seekers make. Wondering how to tackle questions and be prepared? Read on!
Interpreting “Do You Have Any Questions For Me?”
An interview is more than just an assessment of your candidacy; it’s an exchange between two individuals who break the ice and build rapport. A successful job-seeker knows when to stop answering and start asking. If you have any questions to ask in an interview, you should definitely go ahead! In fact, the majority of recruiters voluntarily ask the candidates, “do you have any questions for me?” This is your chance to impress them and stand out from the crowd.
Wondering why potential employers want you to ask questions? Here is what they’re trying to gauge.
If you’re well-suited for the role
An interview is a two-way street and both you and the recruiter get to decide whether you’re fit for the position. Only by putting questions to the interviewer can you really understand the finer aspects of the role and the organization. The interviewer assesses if your visions and goals align with the organization’s and if you can adjust to the workplace culture.
To see if you’ve done your homework
When you have a question for an interviewer, you get the opportunity to display your knowledge about the positions and the organization. Identifying the best questions for the interviewer also shows your willingness to learn about the organization. For instance, “I recently read on your website that you’re introducing a new marketing campaign this year…”
To identify your levels of engagement
By encouraging you to ask questions, recruiters want to know if you care about the role and whether you’re eager to be a part of the organization. When you ask specific questions, they see that you’ve come prepared. Attention to detail and enthusiasm are admirable qualities that employers value.
The Importance Of Having Questions To Ask In An Interview
Asking the right questions can make the difference between landing a job and getting rejected—it makes a significant difference to your candidacy. Arming yourself with a few well-thought-out queries gives you a competitive advantage and you give the recruiter something to remember you by. Let’s look at the benefits of creating a list of the best questions to ask an interviewer.
Shows That You’re Interested
When you have questions, it shows the interviewer that you’ve taken the time and given the role plenty of thought. Your questions tell them that you’ve considered the role and the organization to an extent that you’ve paid attention to finer details.
Gives You A Chance To Learn More
An interviewer learns about your past experience, qualifications and skill set. Similarly, you learn about what the organization does and how it will help you grow in your career. By asking questions, you learn more about topics that weren’t highlighted in the job description or group discussions.
Assess Potential Supervisors
More often than not, supervisors (managers or team leaders) are present during an interview. You can gauge their expectations and work style by asking specific questions. For example, “if you did hire me, how will I fit into the current team?” Pay attention to their answers and check whether they’re effective team players.
Check If You’re The Right Fit
Your questions act as a tracker—helping you figure out if you’re suitable for the position. The more details you ask about a role, the more it reveals whether you’re a good fit for the area or team or department where you would potentially work. For instance, if you’re applying for a sales manager position, you must explore the recent sales numbers, teamwork and conversion rates.
Study The Interviewers
You can learn a lot by taking note of interviewers answering your questions. If they beat around the bush, it’s safe to assume that a lack of vision or guidance would persist once you join. An upbeat attitude and relaxed body language are also good indicators of enthusiastic and well-informed employers. A negative attitude may indicate low morale within the organization.
What Questions To Ask In An Interview? Consider This List
Now that we’ve established how having a question for an interviewer is advantageous for you, let’s look at the list of top questions you can ask.
What’s the next step in the hiring process?
What are the core responsibilities of this position?
If I get the job, what would a normal day look like?
What other details can you provide in addition to the job description or listing?
Would this position require me to travel?
Will I be working in a team or independently?
What do you expect me to accomplish in the first month and the first year in this role?
How will you measure my job performance?
If there is teamwork involved, how do you define successful collaboration?
What does the career path look like for someone in this position?
There are different types of questions to ask in an interview. Here are a few broad categories of questions that are appropriate to ask.
How would you describe the organization’s culture? (You gain a broad overview of how the organization prioritizes employee engagement and satisfaction)
What is your favorite part about working in this organization? (The interviewer’s personal experience reflects an organization’s culture as well)
Where do you see the organization five years down the lane? (This shows that you’re interested in the organization’s future and how your personal growth will align with professional development)
Who will I report to if I’m offered this position? (It gives deeper insights into the team structure and management)
What’s the most challenging part of this job? (It gives you an idea about the expectations from the role i.e., your workload)
What are the most important qualities a person in this role should possess? (Provides valuable insights into the expectations that aren’t mentioned in the job description)
Wrap-Up Questions (questions to ask at the end of an interview)
Do you need me to clarify anything regarding my suitability for the position? (Helps you focus on qualities that go beyond the resume)
Is there anyone else I should meet or talk to? (Shows your interest in meeting the team, which will give you a better sense of team structure)
Are there any aspects that we may have overlooked? (Reflects your attention to details and willingness to learn more about the opportunity)
How To Prepare Your List Of Questions?
You don’t want to be caught off-guard in an interview. The best way to stay ahead of the game is to stay prepared. If you want to create your own list of questions, the PAM—Purpose, Audience & Message—Framework has your back.
Understand the interviewer’s purpose behind asking you, “do you have any questions for us?”.
Once you identify the intention, you find it easier to develop an appropriate response. The interviewer offers you the opportunity to gain insights about the organization and the role, so communicate your interest and enthusiasm by asking the right questions.
How do you tailor your response to the audience?
To put your message forward and make an impact on potential employers, you need to know your audience. Most hiring processes involve several rounds of interviews and you’ll meet different interviewers at each stage. Think carefully about the role and responsibilities of your interviewer before you ask a question. They will appreciate thoughtful and relevant questions.
What should you aim to convey with your response to the interview question?
This is your chance to reinforce your role in the organization and role. Ask organization-specific or role-specific questions and show that you’re excited about the work and culture. Your enthusiasm and drive will set you apart from the other candidates.
The biggest takeaway is that an interview is a dialogue—the recruiter has the chance to find out more about you and you have the chance to find out more about the organization, role and workplace culture. Harappa Education’s Ace The Interview course will help you get comfortable with being inquisitive and asking the right questions during an interview. Learn how to ask interesting questions with the help of the PAM Framework and project confidence as you present your questions. Make the last impression count!
Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics related to the COMMUNICATE Habit such as Self-Introduction for Interview, Guide to Answering “Tell Me About Yourself“, General HR Interview Questions and The 50 Most Common Interview Questions to ace your next interview.
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