Interview 101: Do you have any questions for us

  Arielle Sandor wrote this on
February 23, 2016 | No Comments

How to respond to an interviewer when they ask "Do you have any questions for us." Follow this advice and succeed on the interview.

  • Do I ask about salary?
  • How am I supposed to come up with questions to ask them?
  • Do they want me to challenge the job description in any way to give my feedback?
  • Do they actually want me to have questions or is this just a formality?

So many questions! First let’s understand…

Why is the employer asking you this question?

Because they want to know how deeply you understand the position

There is nothing more impressive to an employer than a candidate who has sat with the job description to truly understand what they would be doing on a day to day basis on the job.

By asking questions to clarify elements of the job description – Eg. “I see that you have administrative work as 25% of my daily workload. Could you clarify to me what these administrative duties entail?” – it shows to the employer that you are genuinely interested in the role because you have taken the time to understand what it means.

Because they expect you to cleverly articulate your skills by asking them questions

Feel free to ask questions that aren’t really questions. When an employer asks you if you have any questions for them, this is your time to shine! Show off all the knowledge and experience you have through crafting questions that highlight your skills!

  • I notice your company works with XYZ accounting packages. In my last work, we migrated from XYZ to ABC and experienced much more streamlined report creation. Would this be a change your company would be open to?
  • I subscribed to your newsletter a while back and noticed you are using the XYZ platform to distribute your mail. Have you considered ABC as an option as well? I know they have really good packages for SMEs and have a very clean feel in the recipient’s inbox.

See how you sneakily showed off that you know what you are talking about through these types of questions?

Because they want you to cleverly articulate your ambition through these questions

  • What opportunities for growth do I have in this role?
  • What kind of mentorship opportunities will I be provided?
  • What kind of skills am I going to be developing as part of this role?
  • Does your company value training of it’s team?

…No better way than to show the interviewer that you are a highly ambitious, motivated candidate 🙂 But don’t just ask. Really mean it.

Because they genuinely want to give you a platform to ask your questions

These can be technical questions like –

  • When would the start date be?
  • Can you clarify this aspect of the job description?
  • What is the expected salary for this role? (Though do NOT ask this as your first or only question)
  • I have a notice period of 1 month, is this a problem? (Honesty is the best policy)
  • What would be the concrete key performance metrics of this job?

But make sure to remember –

Don’t be a robot

These are not just mantras I am telling you to spout off like a machine. These are questions you, too, should be asking YOURSELF when you apply for a role. They should be things you think about and are concerned about.

Think longterm

Think about the immediate future (yes, that paycheck feels really good), but also your long-term future: Where do I see my career in 5 years? What do I hope to gain from this role? What real value can I add to this position? What real value can this position add to me?

If you think about these things while reviewing the job description, you should be inspired with a few questions for the employer. Imagine yourself at work: What does your day to day look like? Imagine yourself after 3 years at that job: What does THAT day to day look like? What does the job after this job look like?

Be nice

Asking questions is good, and asking GOOD questions is even better. But remember to be nice. Be selective about your questions, and be respectful of the interviewer’s time. If you have any other follow up questions you weren’t able to talk about in the interview, it is never a bad thing to include them in the follow up “Thank you” email to the employer. (But don’t put any questions about salary in an email – it’s always better to discuss that in person.)

I hope this helps you succeed on the interview! If you liked this article, maybe you will like our other Interview101: How to answer when the interviewer asks you “Why did you leave your last job”

Comment below or tweet us @DumaWorks with #Interview101 for any other questions about how to respond when an interviewer asks you to tell him/her about yourself.

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