ProgramsAndDegrees

Prepare to Ask Questions at Interviews

“Do you have any questions for us?” This is the last question you will hear at an interview. It is very important that you do not say “no” or “you have already answered all my questions.” Believe it or not, this may prevent you from landing the job. Employers are looking for individuals who can think on their feet and demonstrate interest in the opportunity. You may say, “How does not asking a question make me look like I am not interested or cannot think on my feet?” Asking questions is a critical thinking skill that at times requires you to come up with questions especially when, in the case of an interview, may have already been answered. Asking questions in an interview also sparks more conversation thus giving those that do ask questions an opportunity to perhaps share more about themselves.  This extra information will resonate with the interview panel or committee. What you definitely want is to be remembered!

Therefore, be prepared to ask several questions just in case your planned questions are answered during the interview.  This often happens during the course of the interview or when the interviewers discuss a little bit about the company or business. Be sure that your questions provoke thought and discussion.

What are some good questions to ask at an interview?

1. What are the overall goals for this position?

2. What is the mission of the company?

3. What are some goals the company is trying to accomplish in the coming year?

4. What are some of the accomplishments the company has made recently?

5. When will you be making a decision?

Allowing the interviewers to talk more about the company or business shows that you are interested in what they are doing. When you ask about what their goals or mission is, it can show that you are interested in being part of meeting those goals.  Of course, these questions must be adapted for your specific interview. 

Asking when they will be making a decision shows that you are interested and anxious to find out if you are selected. Many times follow-up interviews are conducted and therefore more of a reason to want to be remembered. So, don’t forget to plan some questions! Feel free to write them down, and if necessary, pull them out. This will also show that you plan ahead and are prepared, which is a key skill all employers look for.  Only ask two or three questions.  You don't want to take over the interview and go past the expected interview time.

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