A first impression is undoubtedly important, but so is the last. End your interview on the right foot by asking thoughtful questions that show your interest in the position and help you decide if the role is right for you.
Remember that the answers to questions you ask at the end of the interview should not be easily found online or in the materials provided to you during the application process. When preparing which interview questions to ask, start with these and add others that are particularly important to you.
1. Is this a new position? This question can give you a great deal of insight on the team you’re joining. If it’s a new role, the company could be growing. If you’re replacing someone, it might be an indication of high turnover or that they promote from within.
This question is number one for me because early in my career, I accepted a position where the woman I was replacing had no job lined up, she was just getting the heck out of that role. I quickly learned why that was the case and would have seen that as a red flag if I’d had more experience at the time. Tune in to those not-so-subtle clues.
2. What are the attributes of a top performer on this team? Use this question to learn what will be expected of you to be successful on the team. Is a top performer someone who is the last person to leave at night or is it someone who works autonomously to get things done? You want to be successful, so make sure that your values align with the new team’s expectations. Consider asking this question not just of your potential boss, but coworkers, too.
3. How would you describe the team dynamics? This is another great question to ask of all of your interviewers. You’ll hear a variety of perspectives about the culture, not just of the new team, but also the company. If you’re lucky enough to interview with someone outside of your team, that view is also important to learn about the department’s reputation.
4. What are the main challenges in this position? Make sure to ask this question to get a clear picture of what tests you’ll face in the role. Every position has its challenges, and it’s far better to learn about them in the interview process so you can decide if and how you’ll tackle them. Trust your gut when it comes to which challenges excite or stretch you versus which feel heavy or filled with dread.
5. What do you like best and least about working here? From this question, you’ll get a glimpse at the reasons that people stay at the company and what may tempt them to leave. This way you can confirm whether or not you want the job.
6. What has your career path been like? Like the prior question, this one gives your interviewers the opportunity to talk about themselves and can give you lots of information about career progression. Has the interviewer risen through the ranks or stayed in the same position for several years? Has she moved around to different departments and had the opportunity to learn about other parts of the business? Listen closely to hear if she has faced any roadblocks and who has supported her along the way.
7. Do you have any concerns about my candidacy? It takes guts to ask this question. While it can feel very scary to confront the interviewers’ apprehensions head-on, it gives you the opportunity to directly address any concerns that they have and make the case for your candidacy. Stand your ground and explain why you’re the best fit!
These questions will help you end your interview with a bang, showing that you are taking special care in selecting the right role and ensuring that you will fit in with the team and company. Don’t be afraid to add others to the list. Finding the right role now means you won’t have to look again sooner than later.
Looking to ace all aspects of your interview, not just the end? Check out our comprehensive interview guide. We cover everything from what to wear, when to show up, to how to follow up (and everything in between!). Oh, and if you need to reschedule in the event of unforeseen circumstances, check out this guide.
Alyson Garrido is passionate about helping people advance their careers and find jobs they will enjoy. As a career coach, she partners with her clients to identify their strengths and create a path toward a more fulfilling career. Learn more at www.alysongarrido.com.
Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women.
Join us by reviewing your employer!