When asked “Do you have any questions for us?” during a job interview, there are two wrong answers:
- “Not right now, but maybe I’m sure I will when I get the job.
If it’s your first interview, any questions about benefits, pay, or other perks like vacation time are also wrong.
There are good reasons for this. Consider it from the interviewer’s point of view. First, merely saying “No” is a missed opportunity to find out more about the employer’s problem and how you can help. Second, saying “I will when I get the job” is a sign of a lack of interest in the position. It’s also a presumptive statement.
The best questions to ask are in response to things the interviewers have said. For instance, “We’ve had some trouble filling this position in the past, and our growth isn’t making that easier.” You might ask later, “What are some reasons you think have made filling this position difficult?”
Absent statements from the interviewer, consider these questions on your next interview:
- What and how does the company measure me on? What are some metrics I need to hit?
- What’s the most important thing you need me to do in the first week or month on the job?
- How long have you been with the company?
- What keeps you coming back to work here?
- How long is the average tenure of employees in this position?
- Will I be training anyone? Who will train me?
- When can I expect to hear back from you?
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- What’s the anticipated start date for this job?
- How did this position become vacant?
- Is there an opportunity for me to move up in a year or two? Or sooner?
- Can you describe what a typical day in this job is like?
- Who would I be reporting to and what are they like?
- Are there any special projects or events coming up?
- Is this a new position? If so, what prompted it? If not, are you changing it from the way it is now?
- Is there anything else I can tell you about myself to help you in your decision?
- Assuming this position has been around a while, how has it changed over time?
Asking the right questions shows you’re interested in the job. It tells the interviewers you can list well.
If you think the interview may not be going well, or if you know the position just isn’t for you, take the time to gather help. During the interview is a great time to ask things like:
- Do you have any concerns about me?
- What are you looking for in a candidate?
- Are there skills you think I’m missing?
In most instances, you should take their advice seriously. It could help you improve before the next interview. It’ll save you time looking for jobs.
Before the interview is over, always ask, “Do you have any other questions you’d like to ask me?” If they say no, remember to say, “If you think of any more, call or email me.”