Even if you nail the interview, you still might not get the job. Fortunately, there are some questions you can ask at the end of the interview that will help you figure out whether or not you’re likely to get an offer from your prospective employer and give you an idea of what that offer might look like. The interview is drawing to a close. Don’t leave without asking questions like these:
1. What is the goal you want me to achieve within 6 months?
This is a broad question, but it gives you an idea about what it is that they want you to accomplish. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions like: Are there specific expectations I need to follow? and How will I be measured? This helps clarify how you can make a positive impact in your role. Finally, it gives you insight into their plan for growing and developing your career with them.
2. Is there anything that I haven’t covered that you would like me to know?
At the end of any interview, always ask if there’s anything that you haven’t covered that you should know about. This is a great way to make sure that your interviewer doesn’t hold back on information and it also gives you an opportunity to get answers to lingering questions or clarify certain statements made during your conversation.
3. What are some challenges this role will face in the next 6 months?
By asking a question like What are some challenges that will be presented in (the next 6 months/next year/in 3 years) to X position? you can better understand whether or not you’re willing to put up with whatever difficulties might arise. If you don’t want any surprises about your role, it’s always a good idea to ask what is planned for and around your role.
4. What do you expect from your future employees?
It’s important to know if you’re a good fit for each other. If you aren’t, chances are it won’t work out. A good way to see if both parties are on board is to have them explain what they expect from their future employees and make sure that your answers align with theirs.
5. Why did you decide this job would be right for me?
Asking why you were chosen to interview for a job is an interesting way to get insight into what made your interviewer choose you. And it gives you an opportunity to convince them that they’ve made a good decision to invite you to the interview.
6. How many people can I expect to report to?
This question can help you determine whether a company is too big for your taste, or if it’s in a stage where it might be time to make room for new blood. If you’re interviewing for an entry-level position, though, don’t be afraid to ask about opportunities for growth. This doesn’t mean that you have to have all your ducks in a row from day one—but your end goal should be clear.
7. Will it be OK if I follow up with you after today's interview, if I have any more questions or clarification?
It's important to remember that an interview is a two-way street. You might be trying to gauge whether or not you want to take a job, but just as importantly, an interviewer wants to see if you're actually interested in working for them.
8. How do you like working in this environment?
This is a fantastic one since it forces the interviewer to tell their side of the story, and most of the time they will become emotional and unintentionally express their actual feelings. Someone who enjoys their job will always have plenty of positive things to say about it, and vice versa.
9. How long did the person who is being replaced work here?
If you are replacing someone who left the organization and it is not a new role, finding out how long your predecessor served will give you an idea of the turnover for the position, and if the interviewer is honest enough to tell you why your predecessor left, it will help you assess whether you can endure what they couldn't.
10. How would you describe the company culture here? What's it like to be a part of this team?
Organizations have a wide range of ethos, ideologies, and philosophies. Try to figure out how things are done in that organization. You will learn about their organizational style. Is it more official or informal? In either case, you'll be able to discover more about what you're getting yourself into before making a final decision.
11. When do you think I should hear back about my application/interview?
Do you know when someone will be making a decision about my application? When would you suggest I follow up with them if I haven’t heard anything after x days/weeks? If a decision hasn’t been made, what do you think it will come down to? Do you know any other recruiters who work in similar roles in your company or elsewhere who might be able to help me get an inside scoop on the hiring process and team dynamics?
The list of possible questions is endless but remember to be bold but not insistent or relentless when you ask questions. Remember that the interview is mostly about the job, not you or your family—sorry to say, but most employers want to hear just that.
As a rule of thumb, spend less time talking about yourself during an interview and more time explaining your value proposition (what you can bring to the table), and don't forget to ask questions like the ones above, and don't just ask for the sake of asking, use it to your advantage. Do your homework before going into an interview and have a list of questions prepared in advance so you can prove that you are genuinely interested in the job opportunity.
Is there something I missed? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and please let us know if this advise ever comes in handy during your interview.