What to ask an interviewer
“Do you have any questions?” Many candidates fear this part of the interview. Here is how you can maximise this opportunity!
Candidates often tell me that they worry about the point when they will be asked …“Do you have any questions?” Actually, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the company and the role and to connect more deeply with the interviewer. Here are my ideas to help you stand out from the competition. Feel free to message me your ideas about this part of an interview!
What not to ask:
Don’t ask anything that could be easily found on a google search!
Don’t ask tedious stock questions – a question for the sake of a question or a cliched question.
Don’t ask closed ended questions – the goal is to start a talking point that the interviewer is excited to talk about.
Don’t ask a wide open “lazy” question – e.g. Why is this company good? Or “Could you tell me more about the role?”
The overall idea is not just to give a question and then have the interviewer answer it. The goal is to start a conversation that is interesting to you and interesting to the interviewer and which is also related to the company and the role. This will help to build rapport with the interviewer, as well as demonstrate to the interviewer that you are a very suitable candidate. It will also show that you have put some preparation effort in.
Think about topics rather than questions:
Think of approximately 3 discussion topics that you would like to delve into at some stage in the interview. As the interview goes on some or all of these topics may come up. Then, once the interviewer asks for your question, you can pick one of the topics and ask for more details about it, or ask for clarification on a particular point.
In preparation for an interview (and the discussion topics that you wish to bring up) it’s important to thoroughly research the opportunity. Research the role thoroughly, make sure you really understand what you will have to do and if you are suited to it. Next research the company, try to go beyond just a basic google search or the first page of the company’s website. Find out about their products/services, their culture/style/values, the industry they are in, and even the company’s competitors.
So then… Which point to bring up
Firstly stick to those discussion topics that are relevant to the company and your role (whether you are in sales, marketing, operations, admin). Next, as you go through the interview, you should be reading the interviewer to see which topics are of most interest to them. Then think about which of these topics match your 3 discussion topics and then spin off the conversation from there.
How to phrase your conversation starter:
You can come back to the interest topic in a number of ways. The key is to keep it conversational, you might even have follow up points and questions to your initial question.
Examples would be…
“We were discussing [abc] what do you think about .. [insert your follow up opinion]?”
“The point you made about [def] interested me, could you tell me more about […]?”
“Earlier we discussed a successful member of your team, what was it about them that particularly stood out?”
I would love to hear how you have successfully or unsuccessfully tackled this part of the interview. Feel free to message me!