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‘Do You Have Any Questions for Us?’- Managing the End of Your Job Interview

3rd July 2015 | Lynn Williams

Asking no questions can look like you have no interest, but too many can inconvenience your interviewer. Ultimate Interview author Lynn Williams explains how to get the right balance of brevity and relevance in your questions, and helps you make sure that they’re useful to you too.

‘Do You Have Any Questions for Us?’- Managing the End of Your Job Interview

Your questions should convey your interest in the job and the company, so have some ready. Look on this as your best and last chance to demonstrate your intelligent curiosity, your positive motivation and your cultural fit.

Think of the questions that you really want answered, but bear in mind that these will be different for every job. The more appropriate and relevant the questions, the more it looks like you’ve done your homework on the position and the company, and the more interested and enthusiastic you look.

How Many Questions, and What Should I Ask?

Two or three questions should be enough unless there are a lot of things you are genuinely unclear about. More than that, and the interviewer might worry about overrunning and keeping the next candidate waiting. Don’t ask the sort of thing you should be expected to know from the job specification, but do ask if you genuinely want clarification on specific aspects of the job.

Avoid Practical Questions- Salary, Hours and Holiday

Salary, hours and holiday entitlements can all be negotiated once the job is yours. For now, you’re still being interviewed, so your task is to demonstrate how keen, intelligent and committed you are. Keep in mind that you are demonstrating your eagerness to make a contribution. Focus on what you can give and not on what you hope to get.

Here are some sample questions to start you thinking:

What are the main priorities/the biggest challenges?

This question gets right to the core of the job and shows you as someone keen to take on and tackle key objectives. Even if some of this has been covered, try and find a way of phrasing the question so that you can find out from the interviewer what they consider to be the most pressing issues.

How do you see the job/company developing?

This shows an interest in the company, demonstrates a sense of long-term commitment ad also tells you what opportunities might arise in the future should you be offered the job.

I’m very interested in this job. May I ask if you have any reservations about my suitability?

If you feel confident that you can do it, this is a good question to ask. It lets you know almost immediately if you are being seriously considered at this stage. It also, of course, gives you the chance to recap your good points and reassure them about anything that they have doubts or are unclear about. You might even find they have genuinely overlooked or misunderstood something.

When can I expect to hear from you?

For your own peace of mind, find out what the next stage in the process is, and when and how you will hear from them. Not asking might make you look as if you don’t care.

For more thought-provoking advice on how to ace an interview, you can order Lynn WilliamsUltimate Interview at a 25% discount when you enter the code ULIV225 at checkout on www.koganpage.com. This code is valid until the end of August 2015.


Business, Finance, Risk, Information Management

The Kogan Page range of management and leadership books combines leading authors, practicality, detailed case studies and best-practice methodology. Our books are used by managers and leaders worldwide to make informed decisions based on the latest business thinking. Follow us on Twitter @KPMgmtLeaders.

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