You’ve reached the end of the interview. You’ve navigated your way through difficult questions with answers that are well-structured, evidence-based and enthusiastic (well, hopefully!) But don’t relax just yet. Almost all interviews end with the seemingly simple ‘Do you have any questions for us?’
Inexperienced candidates may fall into the trap of interpreting this literally, and say something like ‘When will I find out if I’m successful?’ Don’t make this mistake! ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ is just as much an interview question as any other. The only difference is that your answer is a question.
One good thing about this question is, since you can almost guarantee it will come up, you can prepare your questions in advance. So it’s a great opportunity to put the knowledge you’ve gained about that company or organisation to good use. Questions such as ‘How do you think X challenge will affect your company over the coming years?’ are good, but it’s even better if you can insert yourself into the scenario – for example, ‘What challenges relating to X would I be expected to deal with in this position?’ By doing this, you’re creating a connection between yourself and the job you want to get in the interviewers’ minds.
There are many other ways of approaching this question, and some may become clear to you depending on the industry you’re applying to or the experience you already have (for example, ‘Would I be able to utilise my experience with X in this position?’). The most important thing is to show enthusiasm for the role, knowledge about the company or organisation, and preferably also that you’re already imagining yourself there and thinking about what you’ll be doing. These will all create a positive impression.
Of course it’s possible that the question(s) you’ve prepared will be answered over the course of the interview, in which case you’ll have to think on your feet to find another. The best way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is to prepare at least three in advance of the interview.
The interviewer will usually make it clear whether they want just one or more than one question, but if in doubt, stick to just one. If they want more than one, a combination of a broader question (e.g. ‘What are the main challenges…’) and a more specific one (e.g. ‘What would I be expected to do on my first day?’) can work well.
The questions you ask are unlikely to ruin a good interview, or save a bad one, but they can ensure that the interview ends on a high and leaves the panel with a good impression of you.
Joe Cronin, Application Adviser
Don’t forget you can find a range of interview resources on our Knowledge Bank, including a mock interview simulator. If you have an interview lined up, you can also book a 30 minute mock interview with a Careers Consultant by calling 020 7882 8533.