The day of the long-awaited job interview arrives, and you’re feeling as confident as can be. That is, until you panic, realizing you did not prepare for the big finale of the interview.
What? There is a big finale to an interview? Absolutely! The big finale is when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” To set yourself apart from other candidates in the running, you have to ask questions—and smart ones. By doing this, you prove to your interviewer that you are a prepared and enthusiastic potential employee who is the right person for the job.
After acing the whole interview process, the last thing you want to do is ruin your great impression with an 11th hour faux pas. So, what questions fall in the category of NEVER ask? Here are some examples of what NOT to say (and really, people have asked these things):
- So, I’m curious how much money will I make here and do I get paid for the Holidays?
- I’m newly single. What is your policy on workplace dating?
- What exactly does your company do?
- Do you track Facebook usage and Internet shopping at work?
- How many breaks can I take throughout the day?
All kidding aside, you want to ask questions that convey your passion for the company, genuine interest in working there (and for this manager), and your industry expertise. Here a couple of appropriate questions that you could ask at your next interview:
- What about your company sets you apart from other companies in the space?
- How can the person in this role help you be successful in your position?
- What does a typical day consist of for this position?
- How would you describe the workplace culture here?
- What is your favorite project you worked on this past year and what projects are you excited to work on in the future?
Also, pay attention to what the interviewer is saying throughout the meeting, and use his/her comments about the company to formulate thoughtful questions on the spot. Bottom line: Don’t be that girl who looks like a deer in headlights when asked, “Do you have any questions?” You can always fall back on this fail-safe option: “I’m curious, how did you arrive in your current position?” (People do love to talk about themselves!).
For even more suggestions on smart interview questions, click here.
– Erin Lucido