Interviews: what to do when they ask ‘do you have any questions for us?’

“What questions do you have for us?” Words to chill the heart and freeze the blood.

Watch as the interviewer’s eyes glaze over. Same old, same old. Yatter, yatter, yatter. And probably answered on page 2 of the company website.

Avoid the bland, the banal, the boring. Instead:

Cut the clichés

If you have to use a hackneyed question, put a new spin on it.

Not so much “What type of training do you offer?” more “What makes your training stand out?”   Or even “What chances will I have to use my Mandarin?” rather than “What are the opportunities for travel?”  You get the picture.

Remember: it’s not about you it’s about them

Want a sure-fire killer question? Ask something along the lines of “What are three key things you would want me to achieve in my first few months with the organisation?”

Never fails to impress.

Don’t ask about the dosh

Never, ever.  The time to talk about pay is when you have reached the winning post, not when you are still in the running.  Otherwise you are giving the message I am merely here for the money. Heaven forbid.

Try the John Lewis technique

Middle England’s favourite department store is never knowingly undersold. Take a leaf out of their book. Add something to a previous answer, introduce a hidden skill that their canny questioning hasn’t yet uncovered, show an in-depth knowledge of current issues at the organisation.

Leave a lasting impression

Shake hands. Smile. Look them straight in the eye. Reiterate interest. Along the lines of “I have really enjoyed meeting you and I am more interested than ever in this job.”

This is known as a positive affirmation.  It works.

The final hurdle? Siiiimples!


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