May 26, 2017
As your interview comes to a close, you can almost guarantee that the last question you’ll be asked is if you have any questions for the interviewer. This question can be intimidating if you haven’t prepared for it, but if you take some time before the interview to come up with a few questions, there’s no need to sweat it.
Steve, a hiring manager from Caterpillar, says, “This is a very important part of the interview and you should view it as if you are trying to close a sales deal. Showing the interviewer that you are thoughtful, insightful, and have done your research on the company could push you over the top.” 1
With that in mind, we’ve created a list of five great questions that you can take to almost any interview.
1. “What is the culture of the company?” Company culture is becoming an increasingly important factor to consider when interviewing, because many companies use their company culture to distinguish themselves from other companies. The company’s culture could include anything from a casual dress code, to events for young professionals, to employees often getting lunch together. While it would be impossible to fully understand a company’s culture through a few questions, you can still get a feel for if you can see yourself fitting in well with the company.
2. “What are the day-to-day responsibilities for this position?” This question can be posed many different ways, including asking about the first project you would work on if you were to be selected or the expectations they hold for this position. Any variation of this question will demonstrate your interest in the specific position while also giving you the opportunity to learn more about what would be expected of you.
Kaitlin from Textron recommends that job candidates “come to the interview prepared with questions to ask about the company based on research you have done, along with questions specific to the position you applied for. This will show the recruiter/hiring manager your interest in the company and the position.” 2
3. “What are some ways people who held this position in the past made a lasting impact or impressed you?” This is a great way to find out what qualities would make you successful at the job and what values the company views as most important. This can also be an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you possess strengths that would allow you to succeed in the position.
4. “What do you like best about working for this company?” An interview is not only a chance to advertise yourself, but also to decide if the company is the right fit for you. Talking to people who already work there is a great way to learn more about the company and determine if you would enjoy working there. Nell from Pitney Bowes says, “Take an interest in what it is that the people are interviewing you do. Even if they work in an area that you won’t be working in, it’s a great way to learn about the company, the people, and shows them that you are really interested in the position.” 3
5. What is the career path for this position? Asking what career paths are common for employees in the role you are interviewing for can help you determine several things, and will also demonstrate that you are interested in growing in the job. This is a good way to determine if employees are happy working at that company, or if there is a high turnover rate because they are leaving to work elsewhere.
By having a short list of questions ready before your interview, you will be able to impress your interview and learn more about the company. Put together a couple of well-thought out questions prepared, and you will be able to get more information about if the position is the right fit for you. You will also leave a lasting impression on your interviewer.