Your handshake was perfect, the interview went great, and you even had a #humblebrag ready when the interviewer asked you about your ‘weaknesses’. (Like you have any.)
You’re already imagining skipping out of the room, sending them a follow-up email and awaiting their imminent offer early next week.
But hold up. You’re not out of the woods yet.
“Do you have any questions for us?” ponders one of your interrogators – and suddenly you’re stumped. You’ve researched the company inside out, so of course you don’t have any questions for them. Hell, you’ve spent so much time on their social feeds you even know some of their inside jokes (oh Alan, you cat-hater, you).
And seeing as you should always have at least one or two solid questions ready to go at the end of the interview, we’ve prepared a few to make sure you don’t fall at the final hurdle.
How would you describe the company culture?
Questions can be a great way to show-off, but more importantly they also serve to help you figure out if this is actually a place you want to work. It may seem like the ideal position but if the culture is stuffy and you prefer a more casual environment, or it involves much less travel than you’d hoped, it’s probably better to find out now.
What would be my day-to-day duties be?
It’s amazing how many people can apply for, interview for, and even successfully obtain a job in a position that they still know very little about. Obviously you don’t expect the interviewer to give you a blow by blow account of your role, but don’t risk feeling disappointed when you start the role and realize that your expectations don’t quite match up to reality. (It turns out executive assistant translates to ‘get me coffee’.)
“I read that you recently partnered with X company. Could you tell me a little more about that?”
This is simple an example of something current you can use. By digging around and finding something out about the company’s background, you’re illustrating that you’ve not only done your homework, you’re also keen to learn more about the business. Don’t ask something if you already know the answer – interviewers will see straight through that. Instead find something that you’re genuinely inquisitive about.
Who do you consider to be your biggest competitors?
Again, this will likely be something you’ve figured out in your research, but it’ll give you some important insight that simple Googling can’t do. Similarly, it’ll afford you an opportunity to interject if they miss out companies that you think may be a fellow player in the same field, and engaging them in discussion is key.
What’s the most important thing I can do to help within the first 30/60/90 days of my employment?
This shows the employer that you already envisage yourself in the position, and hopefully as they answer the question with you in mind, they’ll begin to do the same. It shows that you’re a team player who’s already committed to killing it in this role. Plus it’s another practical way for you to find out exactly what to expect from a day-to-day basis in the office.
What are some of the main challenges facing you as a business right now?
A perfect opportunity for you to slip in any credentials or skills that you may have missed – make sure that you show them how hiring you could solve any difficulties that they’re currently experiencing. Many other candidates will be as qualified as you, but they’re looking for someone who’s a good fit. Showing that you have some extra skills they didn’t even think of will confirm that you’re the right person for the job.
Is there anything that would prevent you from hiring me?
Admittedly, this one is pretty bold and may seem fairly daunting. However, it’s a must if you want to make sure you’ve left no stone unturned and guarantee that they have no reservations about you – which is basically the whole point of the ‘any questions’ section of the interview. It may seem awkward at the time, but that’s better than wondering if you didn’t get the job because they had doubts about you that you could’ve easily dispelled.
What happens next in the interview process?
This demonstrates that you’re eager to progress, and it also shows that you see yourself advancing – but without being terribly arrogant about it. Another added benefit is that you get some insight into what they need to do next, so you’ll have a rough timeline of how long the hiring process will take – so you can stop panicking unnecessarily if they haven’t called you by the end of the week.