Most candidates use the opportunity to ask other questions to find out more about the company. Others freeze when asked this question.
But some candidates use this opportunity to ask questions that continue to sell themselves.
If you freeze when asked this question, you’ve likely just ended your chances. Even if you feel that you’ve had your most pressing questions answered, failing to ask questions when given the opportunity gives the impression that you’re either uninterested or unprepared.
On the other hand, if you use this opportunity to ask background questions, you’re giving up the opportunity to continue to sell the interviewer what a great fit you are. In addition, it’s great to have follow-up questions as a reason for continued contact with the hiring manager.
Here are 5 ways to sell yourself while answering “Do You Have Any Other Questions?”
- Do your research: If you’ve done your research, including talking to others at the company (and in the same department) before your interview, you’ll already know the answers to much of the basics. The more you know beforehand, the better you’ll be able to sell yourself through questions.
- Ask questions that uncover pain: Indirect questions can sometimes be the best way to get your interviewer to bring up problems or pain. Few hiring managers will answer “What’s your biggest problem” honestly when asked in a direct manager from a candidate they just met. As an alternative, ask how the public information (industry or corporate) affects the company, department or hiring manager. This can work wonders when combined with inside information that the hiring manager doesn’t yet have a solution to certain industry or corporate challenges.
- Ask questions where you already know the answers: Why would you ask a question when you already know the answer? It’s a great way to direct the conversation, encouraging the hiring manager to talk about areas where you know there are problems. In addition, you might be surprised – different people within an organization have different perspectives and may have very different answers to the same question. These different answers can give you clues about how the same problem can affect different parts of the organization.
- Uncover pain you can solve: By doing plenty of research via conversations with target company employees, you’ll likely hear of a number of areas where there is pain, roadblocks and goals to meet. Ask questions to direct the conversation to pain that you can solve, so the conversation doesn’t get stuck in areas where your experience isn’t as strong.
- Ask what other areas are affected: By asking questions that expand the scope of problems, you gain a number of advantages. You can increase the magnitude of pain by getting the hiring manager to discuss how far-reaching the effects are. You also can learn of other potential hiring managers who share this pain and may have related problems you can also solve – so you can find other potential opportunities … and allies.
If you haven’t done enough research to ask these types of questions – you’re hurting your chances. Few candidates go to this level of preparation, so the ones who do stand head and shoulders above the competition. Not only do they demonstrate that they can solve important problems, the demonstrate critical listening and questioning skills important to working within a team environment.
But even if you haven’t done this type of preparation, you still need to prepare questions. I’d prepare a set of standard questions, that you can customize on the fly, to use as backups – in case you don’t have any questions. You don’t have to ask dozens of questions at the end of an interview, but it’s difficult to demonstrate interest if you don’t ask a few.