You know your interview is almost over when you hear that often dreaded phrase, “Do you have any more questions for me?”
Your interviewer wants to start wrapping things up, and they’re signaling to you that this is your last chance to really impress them. By now, you’ve probably had ample opportunities to ask a few great questions of your own, and you should never save all of your best questions right for the end. It’s wiser to disperse your questions at intervals throughout the interview process – save one or two great ones for “last call” before you close out.
As a side note, you should always have something to say when your interviewer asks. If you don’t – it looks like you haven’t done your homework on the company, job, or industry. Staying silent signals that you’re disengaged, apathetic, or already checked out. There are always questions to ask. In fact, if you don’t care about learning more about the company, industry, or profession, it may not be the right career for you.
If you’re struggling to find a few last minute talking points and questions – look no further. Here are three great questions to ask during your interview:
- Will there be opportunities for training and advancement?: This question lets you know more about the company’s structure and the long term potential for growth. At the same time, it lets your interviewer know that you are forward thinking and ambitious, while implying a serious level of commitment. Just make sure you’re not talking about taking your boss’s job! Be sure to have specific goals in mind and a well-researched background on the typical career paths for someone with that job title. It’s good to be looking for the next step, but you also want to appear knowledgeable about the profession.
- What are the company’s goals over the next year?: Steering the conversation away from yourself lets the interviewer know that you’re interested in more than just the job at hand. It shows you care about the company’s growth potential and that you are willing to align your goals with the greater needs of the organization. Again, do your research on the Internet beforehand. When the interviewer tells you the answer, you should have a follow-up question that demonstrates your knowledge. For example, “Do you think achieving that kind of growth is possible given the slow-down in the housing market?”
- How can I leverage this position to help you achieve your goals over the year?: This signals to the employer that you’re willing to embrace the position whole-heartedly in order to help your supervisors and the organization at large achieve success. It implies you understand the critical nature of your role as a smaller part within a larger functioning unit. By asking this question, you’re setting yourself apart from the self-centered masses that are just looking for a hand out. Use your knowledge of the hiring manager’s personal yearly goals to pinpoint exactly how you can be most helpful.
Remember, asking the right questions during the interview is your opportunity to subtly present yourself in a more positive light. Strive to be viewed as forward thinking, responsible, and driven my mutual growth and achievement. Additionally, don’t end the interview on these questions – state the fact that you enjoyed the interview, appreciate the scope of the position, and that you would like to move forward with the position.