It’s the end of the interview and after nearly an hour of pouring your heart (and work experience) out to a potential employer, the hiring manager asks if you have any last questions before finishing.
It’s meant to be a formality, of course—a way to end the conversation but it’s also an opportunity, to make one final impression and give your interviewer something to remember you by.
It’s especially noteworthy when you do manage to pull that off, since so many other candidates, having already asked many questions throughout the session, mindlessly shrug off this little last thing at the end.
So, the next time you’re struggling for something to say in those awkward few moments before the door closes with you on the other side, maybe these questions will help.
I’ve come up with five thoughtful and interesting questions to pose during your next interview. Not only will you get some good insights, but you’ll be more memorable as well.
1. Which experience prepared you the most for your job? and why?
What this says about you: You’ll learn quickly. Rather than starting from scratch, you’ll be actively focusing on applying what you’ve learnt to your new role.
What this tells you: From the hiring manager’s answer, you should get a better sense of the office environment and how your future team operates.
Let’s say they respond, “I spent three years working for a small start-up—that experience has come in handy, because even though this company is much bigger, we’ve got that start-up, ‘ethos.’”
Well, that very plainly tells you this company values autonomy, humility, and initiative.
2.I know one of your company values is [value here]. How does that show itself in the workplace?
What this says about you: You want to work somewhere with integrity and you understand the difference between intentions and actions. Also, you did your research!
What this tells you: If the hiring manager can’t give you a good answer, that’s a clue the organisation is, well, talking the talk without walking the walk.
Here’s what a good answer might look like:
“Yes, one of our core values is openness and openness definitely influences much of how we do things. Every Friday, our entire team gets together for a meeting where anyone can ask anything they’d like. I can’t remember a single time our CEOs have rejected a question.
3. What makes this office special?
What this says about you: You’re not just looking for any job. You care about finding the right fit.
What this tells you: Whether or not this company would be good for you, day in and day out.
Maybe the hiring manager says, “We’re all huge sports fans. Each month, the entire company attends a local game.” If you’d rather clean your bathroom than sit through a football/ rugby game this probably isn’t the company for you
4. Why are you excited about hiring a new person in this role?
What this says about you: You care about your boss’ goals and how your work will drive the organisation forward.
What this tells you: Whether the hiring manager’s vision of the job aligns with yours as well as what he or she prioritises.
For example, you might be excited about this project analyst position because you want to identify and solve inefficiencies. But the hiring manager says he’s looking forward to having someone be a liaison between multiple departments.
5. What’s the typical leadership style here?
What this says about you: You’re looking for a productive, mutually beneficial relationship between you and your supervisor.
What this tells you: Whether or not your working style will match with your (maybe) boss.
To give you an idea, perhaps you’re a big fan of regular feedback and would rather have too much direction than too little. If the hiring manager says, “We spend a lot of time getting new employees up to speed and making sure they have all the tools necessary to be successful,” you’re probably going to get along swimmingly. However, if she says, “We believe people do their best when they’re working independently and don’t have someone constantly looking over their shoulder,” then you might want to reconsider.
With these tips and using our great careers website you are bound to make a great impression and be on the way to a fab job. Good luck!