You’ve stressed all day. You’ve prepped, practiced, and preened. You’ve walked in and nailed all the necessary responses. Then, the tables turn and you’re asked that final, dreaded: “do you have any questions for me?” This portion of a job interview can seem one of the most intimidating. It is very, very highly recommended that you ask questions of your interviewer. It shows a vested interest and helps them to know more about you and what you consider important in the workplace. But you don’t want to ask questions they’ve already answered in general conversation and you don’t want to ask something that sounds overly preplanned. Have these five go to questions in your back pocket so that you don’t sweat the last hurdle and score yourself a job!
1. What is your history with this company?
They’re some form of management, right? Why? How long have they been working there? Were they an outside hire or did they rise through the ranks in house? Why have they chosen to stick with this company? This type of question allows you to learn a great deal about the quality of work life at your potential future employment. If the interviewer seems genuinely proud and excited to share why they have this particular job, maybe it’s a sign that it’s a solid place to work at length. It also informs you of upward mobility in that specific company and suggests to the interviewer that you’re interested in growth and professional development. They most likely want to hire someone long term, who has a desire to work hard enough to be promoted.
2. What does your company value in an employee? What are your expectations of an employee, specifically in this role?
Listen to their responses and try to think of examples or situations in which you’ve displayed those values, then tell them about it. This question can also give you some insight into how things operate within the company, and it can help you see if it’s the right fit for you.
3. What is the work culture like?
Is it a social atmosphere? Extremely serious? How involved is management and what is the management style? This can give you a great deal of information about day to day life with this employer, and if you’re there every day, that seems pretty important. Remember, you’re also there to see if it’s the best option for you and your wellbeing. Sometimes certain work environments don’t work for certain people. Know that about yourself and what you’re looking for in that regard.
4. Ask them about what the company has been up to.
This is a time you could even be specific and show you did your due diligence ahead of time. Ask them about a big project they have coming up, ask them about the new office expansion they’re planning, you can even ask them about something that may have been a loss for them. This gives them the opportunity to tell you about the growth and potential the company has, so you can see what your future could look like there.
5. What happens next?
Before you go, ask about their follow up procedure. Will you be receiving a phone call or email? How long will that take? If they make an offer, what happens after that? This prepares you for what to expect from the employer rather than waiting in the limbo and not knowing.
And of course, ask any questions that may come to mind based on what they’re saying while you’re in the interview. You’re feeling them out as well. Don’t ever forget that it’s your time, too. Then relax, you’ve made it to the end!