Interviewing

So, Do You Have Any Questions?

interview question

If your job interview has been going well, it feels more like a conversation than an interrogation.

That’s great. But you may have asked so many questions throughout the hour or so interview that, as the conversation winds down, you come up empty when the manager asks, “So, do you have any questions?”

Job candidates know that question is coming, but they still can come up short. It is a great opportunity to impress the person you’re speaking to, but your overloaded brain can blow it.

Being prepared is crucial. But not with some generic question that doesn’t advance your knowledge of the job—or the manager’s knowledge of you.

Think of that last question as your chance to turn the tables. Ask the kind of questions that show that you are finished highlighting yourself and that is really is the manager’s turn to prove to you that the job is right for you.

The best way to do so is to know yourself, and be confident enough, to ask about the aspects of the job that are the most important to you. Generic questions can’t do that, of course.

But you can also ask questions that clarify not the tasks of the job—you should be past that—but those designed to help you understand how you will be evaluated. Those answers can not only give you a larger perspective on the future if you join the company, but will also reveal you as someone who expects to be a high achiever once on board. After all, those who aren’t confident in their abilities will never ask to be evaluated at all.

As Jeff Haden put it in Inc., “great candidates ask questions they actually want answered because they’re actively evaluating you and your company… they’re deciding whether they really want to work for you.”

Haden offered five options. Here are the best three:

  1. “What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?”
  2. “What are the common attributes of your top performers?”
  3. “What are the one or two things that really drive results for the company?”

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and iVillage.com, among others.