Here you are. You finally made it. Maybe you are at the second interview with the Managing Director or you are getting to meet your General Manager to see if you are a cultural fit for the business.
You get to the moment where you are sitting in the hot seat with the decision maker for your dream role and you are finally in front of the decision maker. You are sitting at the end of a lengthy interview and they ask you, “have you got any questions for me?”
What do you do?
Well I have had some really interesting feedback from Directors/Owners/CEO’s and Managers recently about the answer to this question and it may surprise you. No questions is a no-go in interviews and here’s why.
The person who is interviewing you for the role has made the time to sit and meet with you to intimately understand your goals, wants, desires and how you may be a fit for their business.
If they are an inspiring leader (and one you want to work for) then they will have a vested interest in their business and guess what? They want you to have that vested interest too. I understand nerves can take over and sometimes you get to that point of the interview you just want it all to be over (we’ve all been there right!) but taking the time to have a few questions put aside demonstrates a few key things
- You have an interest in the business and desire to add value beyond your role. Asking questions about the future direction of the business, some of their key challenges or what they anticipate their growth areas will be demonstrates that you are invested in their success.
- You are a strategic thinker with a hunger for knowledge. If your role is client facing or you are dealing with customers being able to ask the right questions and get powerful answers is a really insightful tool. Demonstrating this in an interview shows that you have this skill set as well as meeting the role requirements.
- You care. This one is important too. So many potential employees are looking at multiple offers which can be pretty tiring for a Hiring Manager. They have their day jobs too and recruitment is just one aspect of the job. They’ve made the time to care about your fit for their business and coming up with a few key questions demonstrates you care.
They wouldn’t be making this time for you if they didn’t see the value in the process.
I will say that you do need to read the room for the amount of questions you ask and no more than three is a good rule. Ideally 1-2 is a great place to start. If the interview has gone overtime then perhaps you mention, “I did have a couple of questions but I’m conscious of your time so happy to follow up at a later date if that suits, or I can email them through this evening.“
Otherwise a few key questions you can ask could be:
- What do you anticipate some of the challenges would be in this position?
- What are your key growth areas for the business in the next 12-24 months
- You’ve worked here for a lengthy period of time, in your mind what makes it a great place to work?
I’ve also seen it go the other way and firing 20 questions at the Hiring Manager does not bode well for anyone. Just like you in an interview, Hiring Managers don’t want to feel like they are getting the third degree.
Asking questions demonstrates interest and people want to hire someone who is as passionate about their business success as they are.
When preparing for an interview just take that extra 10 minutes to jot down some questions and you will be in a better position to present yourself well for the role and leave a lasting impression.
This is an opportunity where you can be demonstrating not only your interest in the position, but also your vested interest in the organisation as a place you really want to work for.