One of the most frequent tips I have received in researching job-interviewing skills is that the job seeker should always ask a question of his or her interviewer after the interview itself has seemingly come to a close. Your interviewer is still assessing you and drawing conclusions about you based on the questions you ask—or don’t ask. Even if you really don’t really have any questions, you should always ask something. That’s just part of the protocol of interviewing. Here are a few suggestions on questions you might ask:
- What are the biggest challenges the person in this position will face?
This question shows that you are not just caught up in the excitement about a new job; you recognize that every job has difficult elements and that you’re being thoughtful about what it will take to succeed in the position.
- Can you describe a typical day or week in the position?
Here, you indicate that you are thinking beyond just getting a job offer and really considering what you will be doing day-to-day or in the course of a week after you start the job.
- How will the success of the person in this position be measured?It never hurts to ask what your manager really values in his or her employees. This may or may not have been addressed in the interview.
- How much guidance or assistance is made available to individuals in developing career goals?
This is always a safe question and indicates that you are interested in being trained or in gaining further education to make yourself more valuable to the company. Also shows that you are thinking long-term.
Remember, employers make judgements on you based on the questions you ask. For example, it’s good to ask a question that shows you have done your homework on the organization.
Never ask about salary until the interviewer approaches the subject.
And always have a couple of questions in your pocket for whatever direction the interview takes. That is, some questions might arise out of the interview, but if you are nervous or if nothing springs to mind, it’s good to have a pre-selected question (write it down if you need to) – for good measure.