Important questions to ask at the end of a job interview.
by Ellie Santonato
Congratulations! You applied to a job and recently heard back from the hiring manager about an interview. You feel prepared as you have researched the organization and reviewed some of your top performance stories that you are ready to share as soon as the question is asked. However, you still feel like something is missing. You feel like you are missing a part of the preparation process.
Perhaps you do not have a list of questions to ask at the end of the interview?
Historically, we have thought of job interviews as a potential employer interviewing us. The organization is trying to gauge whether or not we would not only be a good fit for the position but for the organization.
Here’s the thing: Interviews have changed. A job interview is just as much your interview as it is their interview. Just like they prepared questions to ask you. You should prepare to ask your own questions.
To help you out, I have outlined seven questions you should ask at the end of your job interview. You can ask these questions in any order, but if you are worried about flow I think the order outlined below works nicely.
1. Can you describe your ideal candidate for this role?
This interview question works in almost any interview stage whether it is the phone screening or a final round interview. This question allows both you and the employer to discuss the organization’s values in an employee and help determine if you are truly a good fit for the position.
2. What does the growth path from this position look like?
OR What are the growth opportunities in this role, and what important skills will I learn?
Asking one of these two questions provides great insight into how an organization values their employees professional development. In other words, does this company support growing and developing their workers? In addition, it demonstrates to the organizations that you are considering working with them long term.
PRO-TIP: You might want to ask what the structure of a department or organization is first. You can always try to do your own research on this subject as well. There might not be much room for promotion depending on which level of organization structure the job is for.
3. What is the one biggest challenge an individual in this position will face?
Asking this question allows the interviewer to provide more information on what they are looking for when hiring the position. This type of question challenges the interviewer to think about the skills, strengths and experiences you have talked about throughout the interview allowing you another chance to respond with a statement about why you should be hired. Overall, this question provides more insight into the role.
4. How does the training for this position work?
Not all organizations train their employees the same way. Training can make or break your initial experience and a bad training experience can lead to you leaving an organization prematurely. By asking about how you will be trained, you will gain an understanding of how these organizations set their employees up for success and if they have strong professional development programs.
5. What do you love about working for X company?
This is a secret way to ask an organization about their company culture. Instead of asking “What is the organization culture like?” Or “how would you describe working for X organization?” You ask the employer interviewing you why they are working there and why they have stayed.
Asking this question makes the interviewer feel more personally connected to you. You have taken an interest in them personally demonstrating care for more than just the company itself.
6. Where do you see this company in 5 years?
Another question that allows you to connect more personally with the interviewer. It allows everyone interviewing you an opportunity to talk about the growth plans of the company! And it gives you a better idea of what your future with the company could end up looking like. Supply and demand changes overtime and you can prepare yourself and get creative about adapting your role to fit new needs and project areas.
7. Is there anything regarding my experience or skills that concerns you? Do you see any worrisome weaknesses or other similar feedback?
I will admit this is a very scary and vulnerable question you can ask. BUT I think it is one of the most important questions you should ask the interviewer. Asking this question provides you ONE last chance to relieve any of their anxieties and prove you are exactly the candidate they are looking for. It gives you the opportunity to state you are always eager to learn new things and work hard. I can not stress enough that by stating you are willing to learn and how you approach learning new things will change your interview outcomes exponentially!
Best of luck with your upcoming interview! One final tip: if you do not have time to ask all the questions you prepared, include them in your Thank You follow up email you will be sending to the lead interview. Adding any additional questions gets some answers in writing, plus it demonstrates your continued interest in the position after the conversation is over.
Not sure what the future holds? Need support along the way? That’s exactly where we come in. Whether you’re a freshman or an alumnus, it’s never too early (or too late) to utilize our services.
Book an appointment with Ellie, or another member of the advising community through Handshake, or by calling the front desk at (773) 325-7431.