How to answer the Interview Question, "Do you have any questions for us"?
During the interview not only does the company find out about you, this is also your opportunity to find out if this is a job, position, and company that you really want to work for. Engaging with your interviewer is the first step in forming a relationship with him/her. Starting with a smile and a firm handshake and keeping upbeat during the interview process are all the basics needed for a successful interview.
THE COMPANY NEEDS YOU
You are being interviewed because the company has a need for someone with your qualifications. Answering the interviewer's questions precisely and confidently will help put you in the driver's seat. You have the qualifications. It's important to remember that an interview shouldn't be an interrogation, if it feels like that, you need to quickly try and turn it back into a conversation between 2 people who have the same goal - filling a position in the company.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE POSITION?
The next step in the process is to show them that you are interested in the position and the company. Researching the company is always the first step before your interview. (Truthfully it should be the first step before you send in your resume.) Making a list of questions to ask during the interview process is all part of the preparation. The answers to some of these questions will come up as a natural part of the interview process. Now it is your turn to ask specific questions. Don't stall the interview by asking questions just for the sake of asking a question. Make sure your questions are going to help further your relationship with the interviewer. They need to be engaging and smart. Do not ask a question that is answered on the company webpage, this shows you didn't do your research. Try not to repeat questions that have already been answered. Break your list into 2 parts, questions likely to be answered during the interview and questions more likely to wait until the end.
QUESTIONS LIKELY TO BE ANSWERED DURING THE INTERVIEW
- What would a typical day be like for the person in this role? Do different time frames affect the position? ie does the job vary at month/quarter end?
- What is the most challenging part of this position?
- What are your future plans for this position?
- Is this a replacement for someone or a new position? If a replacement, was the employee promoted, transferred or left the company?
- Is there travel involved?
- Will I be on call? How often?
- Who is my direct report? How many members are on the team?
QUESTIONS TO END THE INTERVIEW ON
- What is the chance of advancement for this position? Does the company like to promote from within?
- Is there training/education possibilities?
- Are there team and company events?
- What do you like most about working for this company?
- Are there performance reviews? How frequently?
- What is the start date for this position?
- What are the next steps in the interview process and when should I hope to hear from you?
- Is there anything else I can provide you with?
QUESTIONS NOT TO ASK
Yes, surprisingly, there are questions you shouldn't ask during the interview - especially the first one below. These questions should be saved for the negotiation stage or discussed with your recruiter before hand.
- What is the salary?
- How do yearly bonuses and performance raises work?
- How much vacation would I get and when can I start taking it?
- What are the benefits?
Interviews are stressful. Being prepared is the first step towards relieving some of your stress and anxiety levels. When you smile your whole body relaxes and smiling is contagious, so start the interview with your smile and a handshake and end it the same way with an added Thank You to all the interviewers.