Do you have any questions for us?

What reply does the interviewer expect when he asks - "do you have any questions for us?"

It is important to remember that the stage of the interview where the employer puts down their pen and asks “do you have any questions for us?” it is not the end of the interview.

We all know interviews are stressful. So, by the time you reach the end of that interview, you may have already started winding down from interview mode – and are now thinking about being free at last of the interview focus and pressure.

If you just respond with, "No, I have already heard what I need to know," it makes you seem disinterested and complacent. Even worse, if you ask the wrong questions, you could immediately invalidate the rest of the interview.

So, some questions you might decide to use, assuming they haven’t already been answered in the earlier part of the interview.

Questions You Should Ask an Interviewer

You need to ask good questions at the end of the interview for two reasons: first, to further reinforce to the interviewer that you’re interested and you’re the right person for the job; and second, to obtain valuable information for yourself, so that you can make a more informed judgment about accepting a possible offer.

It is best to prepare some questions in advance and to have them noted down for quick reference during the interview. You’ll want to adapt questions to the particular role and organization, but here are some of the favorite questions to get you started.

  1. Can you tell me how you came to be at the organization and why you’ve stayed?
  2. What new skills can I hope to learn here?
  3. What are the must-have personality traits for this position?
  4. How do you expect the new hire to change or improve this position?
  5. Do you like it here?
  6. Can you tell me how your organization defines success?
  7. How would you describe a typical day on this team?
Now, let's start by answering these questions one by one. So, let's start with first question, that says

Ques1: Can you tell me how you came to be at the organization and why you’ve stayed?

We like this question because the interviewer’s answer will not only provide you with insight into the company’s workplace culture and atmosphere, but it also builds a relationship between you and the hiring manager. Remember that people always love to talk about themselves and will likely remember you as being the candidate who was genuinely interested in them — important if they are to be your line manager.

Ques2: What new skills can I hope to learn here?

This is a good question because, on the one hand, it lets the interviewer know that you don’t simply want to apply your existing skills, you also want to continue to improve and to learn new things. On the other hand, the interviewer’s answer will give you an insight into the company’s workplace culture, whether they value personal development and the sort of learning opportunities you can expect if you accept an offer.

Ques3: What are the must-have personality traits for this position?

This question will help you further fill in your forecast: Self-starting might mean you have little guidance; collaborative may mean you'll be mired in meetings.

Ques4: How do you expect the new hire to change or improve this position?

Ask this and you'll learn why the last guy lost the gig. Ha ha. :) Plus get a fuller picture of what your potential employer counts as success.

Ques5: Do you like it here?

This question might take interviewers back a bit, but their answer will be telling: If they respond with an automatic yes! Then you're probably entering into a positive culture (or talking to someone in denial), and if they look doubtful and search for meaning, chances are there's something wrong.

Ques6: Can you tell me how your organization defines success?

It would be wise to save this question for the interviewing manager, and not for a peer/technical discussion. The last part of the question can be a good barometer about how easy it will be to become a top performer. You can follow up with a discussion of how you have been successful in your previous jobs.

Ques7: How would you describe a typical day on this team?

This question is more of an icebreaker, and should hopefully lead to some banter between you and the interviewer. If the interviewer relays struggles or frustrations, be sure to note how you will help them reduce their workload and make things better. If they respond positively, be sure to reinforce that you think it sounds like a great fit and you are excited for the opportunity to contribute.

Also, please keep in mind:

  • If you are interviewing with the hiring manager, ask questions about the job, the desired qualities and the challenges
  • If you are interviewing with the human resource manager, ask about the company and the department
  • And, if you are interviewing with management, ask questions about the industry and future projections. This is your chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge

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