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How to Answer the “Do You Have Any Questions for Me?” Interview Question

By Sep 29,2016 Follow Me on Google+

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Summary
It is very important that you always ask questions in an interview when given the opportunity. Here are some good questions to ask and why you should ask them.

how-to-answer-the-do-you-have-any-questions-for-me-interview-question

Generally, at the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask something along the lines of, “Do you have any questions for us?” It is very important that you always ask questions in an interview when given the opportunity. Incredibly, the most common answer to this is “no” and (not so incredibly) this is the answer most likely to prevent you from being hired. The “no” answer is passive and does not demonstrate any interest or imagination.

You should always have questions prepared prior to the interview because your questions, like your answers, are something that will determine whether you get the job.

When people ask questions in an interview it shows:

    • You are prepared. Employers love it when people seem prepared for interviews. Being prepared shows employers that you are likely to be prepared for meetings and other tasks if you work for them. This will make you stand out in the interview. You should never go into an interview and think you can “wing it” (even if you can). The more prepared you are, the better off you will be.
      See: The Best Way to Prepare for a Job Search and Interviews.
    • You are interested in establishing further rapport. When you ask questions, you are giving the interviewer the opportunity to talk about themselves. This is very important. While a good interviewer will give the opposite impression, most interviewers (and people) are far more interested in talking about themselves than listening to your answers. If the interviewer likes your questions and enjoys giving answers to them, it will help you establish rapport and get the job.
      See: You Need to Be Connected With Others at Work and You Need to Be Nice.

I also want to be clear that your objective in every interview is to get the job. Thus, when an employer answers your questions, it is important that you make certain the employer understands that their answers and description of the company match your strengths. I am not recommending you do not tell the truth; however, you need to find commonality between you and the employer.

What

 job title, keywords

Where

 city, state, zip



If you are asking questions properly, you will get the interviewer talking and enjoying the conversation. While the six questions below are important to ask, you should also feel free to include anything that properly serves to further demonstrate your interest in the job.

See: You Need to Enjoy What You Are Doing.

Here are some good questions to ask in an interview:

1. Why is this Position Open?

This is an important question to ask because it can give you a lot of information and may be very relevant to helping you decide whether (or how much) you want to work for the employer. The position could be open for the following reasons:

      • Someone got promoted.
      • Someone left.
      • Someone got fired.
      • The company is growing rapidly and needs more people.

If someone left, or got fired, you should try and understand the reasons why. For example, the employer’s expectations for the person may be unrealistic. The pay may not be commensurate with what this role. Alternatively, the company may just be a lousy place to work.

If someone has left or been fired, it also makes sense to try and figure out how many people have had the same job in the recent past. There could be a problem with the job that makes it difficult to do well.

If someone left, or got fired, it is also a good idea to try and find out how long the person was in the job before you. If someone spent several years there, this is generally a good sign and means that (all things considered) they were able to get along with others and do well there.

If someone is getting promoted, or the company is growing, this is an excellent sign. Companies that are growing and promoting people tend to have good things going on, their revenues are increasing and they are doing something right. These are good companies to be part of.

See: Choose an Employer Marching Forward.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: If the position is open because the organization is growing, or someone has been promoted, express your enthusiasm for working for a company that has opportunity for advancement.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: If the position is open because someone was fired, or has left, make sure you let the employer know that the issues the other employee had are not something that you too would have. This is an opportunity to express how you are different, more competent, more loyal and a better fit for the job.

2. Who Would I Be Reporting to and What Are They Like?

The person (or persons) you report to is a very important calculation for any job. Being a manager is something that not everyone is good at. In contrast, some people are exceptional managers.

When the interviewers starts telling you about the person you will be reporting to, you can [hopefully] get a sense of whether they are someone you could work for. For example:

      • Some bosses are micromanagers and will tell you how to do every single thing. Some people like this management style because it is predictable while others find it smothering.
      • Some bosses are completely hands-off and just expect you to be motivated and do the work. Some people like this management style while others need more direction.
      • Some bosses have zero management experience and will make lots of mistakes. Some people like this while others prefer an experienced manager.
      • Some bosses have tons of management experience. Some people like this while others prefer a supervisor more receptive to new methods and ideas.

You need to have a very good understanding of the management style the person has who you will be reporting to. The person you work for can either make your life and job very pleasant, or they can make it hell. You need to make absolutely sure that you are comfortable with the person you are working for.

Throughout the years, I have seen numerous careers both advanced and destroyed by someone who had the fortune or misfortune to report to a given individual. You need to make sure that you are going to work for someone you feel comfortable with.

See: The People You Work and Associate With Can Either Make or Break You.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: If the interviewer does tell you about a person you believe you would do well working for, it is important that you make sure the interviewer understands this. Make sure you express why you may be a good match for working with that supervisor.

3. What Goals Would You Have for Me During the First 30, 60 and 90 Days?

This will generally explain the expectations of the company you are going to be joining and how well-organized they are.

A well-run company is going to be able to answer this question and give you milestones. When they give you the answer to this question, their objectives will be reasonable and achievable. Their answer will also give you an indication of whether you feel this is a position you can excel in.

A poorly run company may not be able to provide you with a definitive answer to this question. If the position and its responsibilities are not well-defined, this means that you may find yourself in trouble down the road. If your position is not well-defined, and others’ positions are also not well-defined, the odds are pretty good that the organization may end up experiencing problems down the road. In order to succeed and grow, most companies need to be well managed and have clearly defined jobs for their employees.

Notwithstanding, some companies do not have clearly defined roles for people because they operate in a multi-tasking environment and expect their employees to be self-motivated and get all the work done, regardless of what it is. If this is the case, the most important thing you can do is make sure that you are comfortable with the work and the environment. As long as you are comfortable with this type of situation, you may be in good shape.

See: Setting Goals is Their Attainment and The Importance of Productivity, Focus and Measurement.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: If the company has clearly defined tasks and roles, tell the interviewer that you enjoy working for a company with such structure. In many cases, the person interviewing you will have been involved in defining various roles in the company and will appreciate your comment.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: If the company has less defined roles for its employees, it is important for you to stress the fact that you willing to jump in and do whatever needs to be done.

4. What Do You Like Most About Working Here?

The answer to this question will generally tell you a lot of about the organization, its values and how the employees feel about the company. I love listening to employers’ answers to this question because they reveal so much about the business.

Some interviewers will tell you that they work really hard in the job but it is worth it because the work is rewarding. One time, I was interviewing with a big law firm in New York, and the interviewer gave me this answer.

“How hard do you work?” I asked.

“Hard” he said.

“How hard?” I asked.

“I have not had a day off in at least four months,” he told me.

These answers can tell you a lot about what it is like working for the employer. When I heard this, I decided this was not the place I wanted to work.

Other interviewers will smile when hearing this question and tell you about how much they like their colleagues, how everyone works together and the company does not feel like a competitive place to work. If you enjoy this type of comraderie, then this is the answer you want to hear.

You can develop a good picture of the organization from answers to this question. In most cases, you will learn how seriously the employer takes themselves, how much opportunity there is at the company and whether you will be happy there.

See: Plant Yourself in Good Soil and Culture Matters Most.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: Regardless of the answer, it is important that you make the interviewer feel like they are understood. If the interviewer tells you everyone likes to go out for a beer after work, you should act like you enjoy developing friendships in the office. You should make the employer feel like you identify with them.

5. What Are the Characteristics of Your Most Successful Employees?

The answer to this question will provide you valuable perspective on what it is like working in the company. I have seen interviewers give very interesting answers to this question:

      • It is important to network with a lot of people outside of work.
      • Hard work is rewarded here, and you need to show commitment.
      • If you stick it out here, you will be successful.
      • You need to bring in a lot of business to be successful.

If you ask this question to enough interviewers, you are going to start to see a trend. The company may value the ability to network, hard work may be the most commendable trait, or business generation may matter most. Regardless of what their answer is, you need to make sure it is something you are comfortable with.

The more important message this sends to the interviewer, though, is that you are interested in being one of the company’s strongest performers.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: When the employer answers this question, you should stress that you share the qualities of their most successful employees.

6. What Are the Next Steps?

This is the most important question you can ask at the end of the interview. When you ask this question, it shows the employer that you are still interested in the job. It also gives you the opportunity to express that you are excited and feel you would be a good fit.

The best interviewees always ask this question with a tone that suggests they are ready to start the job right away. When you ask this question, it forces the employer to think about you as if you have already been hired.

See: Scarface and the Passion of New Immigrants to the United States.

In addition, you will be able to determine their level of enthusiasm toward you. The employer may say you seem like a “terrific fit”, and they will get back to you shortly. Other companies will be vague, say they are still interviewing, and you will hear from them once they make a decision.

INTERVIEW ADVICE: When you end an interview, always act confident. Show the employer you feel like you can do the job well. Make sure the employer feels like you are grateful for the interview and hope to get the position.

Conclusions

When you are looking for a new position, it is important that you learn as much as you can about the organization as possible. These six questions will give you the information you need to determine whether you should accept an offer from the employer. In addition, these answers will show the employer you are committed as a candidate and interested in doing the job.

See: Frustration, Rejection, Sylvester Stallone and Rocky.

Finally, when an employer asks if you have any questions, a useful strategy is to tell the employer you have written down some questions, and then open a folio with your inquiries (even if you only ask these six questions). It makes the interviewer believe that you really have taken the time to think about the interview and working there.

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  • Mary Wright

    This is great because I never know what to ask. You would think these questions would be on your mind but my mind is always blanks and I am usually ready to get out of the interview. Great info. Thank you for this.

  • Megan G.

    I agree with Mary, this is some valuable information because my normal response is “No, I think we have covered it all” when in my head I have a ton of questions. This just gave me ways to ask these questions. Thank you!

  • Angela M

    I never thought about #1. That if you are not interested in the job you don’t ask any questions? I am a shy person so that is why I usually don’t ask questions. This is great to know because now I need to get some questions together for a job interview I have coming up. Thank you for this tip!

  • Rhonda Doerman

    Hrmmm….asking why the position is open is scary. I wonder how an interviewer would take that? That is something I would like to know so I guess I will give it a
    try. I am hoping someone was promoted and the company is moving forward.

  • Brittany B.

    Rhonda,
    I have asked that question before in an interview and the person interviewing
    was eager to give me the answer. It really opened the door up for communication and I learned a lot about the company with just that one question. It turned out to be a great interview.

  • Robyn Robb

    That is interesting Brittany because I was thinking the same thing Rhonda was, “how would the interviewer feel about me asking why the position was open”. I bet you could learn a lot about the company and who you are about to go to work for with that one question. It kind of turns the table and I like that.

  • Beverly Chalmers

    I worry about gossip. If I ask about the bosses and what they are like am I encouraging gossip? I do want to understand the management style
    but I guess it all depends on how open the person that is doing the interview
    is going to be with me. This is an awesome article and really gives me some good ideas going into an upcoming interview I have

  • Carrie Tomlinson

    Ahhh, the goals! I hope the person
    that is about to interview me is ready! After reading this site I am
    so going to be setup with questions and prepared I am going to knock
    them off their feet!

  • Kathy O.

    I have researched the company I am about to interview with so much I probably know more about it than the current people that work there. I read this list before I got started and I am thankful I did. I am now prepared and ready to go!

  • Keaten Joseph

    I think I would like asking the question “What do you like most about working here” LOL. You know a lot of people are just working their job for a paycheck.
    There is another post on this site. https://www.hb.org/never-abandon-work-you-are-exceptional-at/ that talks about finding your skill and working with it. It is great! Read it if you get a chance.

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