Landing a job interview is an exciting milestone in the job search process. It means your resume and application stood out enough for the employer to take interest in you as a candidate. But the interview is not the finish line – you still need to prepare thoughtful questions to ask after an interview to leave a great final impression.
Asking smart questions at the end of the interview demonstrates your continued enthusiasm and engagement. It also provides an opportunity to gain valuable insights to help inform your decision if offered the job.
Follow this guide to the top 5 questions to ask after an interview and make sure you bring your A-game from start to finish.
Why Ask Questions After an Interview?
Before we dive into the specific questions, it’s important to understand the value of asking questions in an interview in the first place.
Here are some key benefits:
- Shows your interest and engagement – Asking thoughtful questions conveys your sincere interest in the role and enthusiasm to join the company.
- Demonstrates preparation – Well-researched, intelligent questions indicate you’ve done your homework and reflect positively on your candidacy.
- Provides insights to inform your decision – The answers give you valuable perspectives to consider if you receive a job offer.
- Creates a dialogue – Following up the interviewer’s questions with your own opens up a two-way dialogue and relationship.
- Positions you more strongly – Ending the interview by seizing the floor with compelling questions puts you in a confident, proactive position.
So don’t miss this prime opportunity to shine by neglecting to prepare some killer questions to ask after an interview. Use the following examples to help craft your own custom questions:
1. What’s the one thing I could do in this role to help you succeed?
This question shows you want to step up to the plate and knock their most pressing needs out of the park. It demonstrates you’re focused on aligning your skills with their goals for a winning impact.
Significance: Conveys your eagerness to tackle their most crucial priorities head on.
Impact: Positions you as a team player ready to hit the ground running.
2. Can you tell me a bit more about the team I would be a part of in this role?
Asking about the team’s typical day indicates you want the inside scoop on their world so you can hit the ground running. It shows you’re interested in smoothly fitting into their workflow and gelling with the group.
Significance: Reveals insights into their hours, environment, and collaboration style.
Impact: Signals you’ll integrate seamlessly into the department’s habits and ecosystem.
3. What advice would you give to the successful candidate who wants to excel in the position?
This forward-looking question demonstrates you’re interested in being a part of their long-term game plan, not just short-term wins. It conveys your mindset is beyond your own role and focused on the big-picture vision.
Significance: Shows you’re invested in their future success, not just immediate gain.
Impact: Portrays you as a team player focused on long-term growth.
4. What excited you the most when you first joined the company?
This question subtly asks for their tips and tricks while conveying you don’t have all the answers. It shows you’re open-minded and know you’ll need guidance to excel in the role.
Significance: Demonstrates receptiveness to feedback and counsel.
Impact: Makes you relatable and humble by admitting you don’t know it all.
5. What excited you the most when you first joined the company?
Asking what excites them about the company provides a peek into the values and culture that get them jazzed. It shows you’re aiming to align your passion with theirs.
Significance: Conveys your interest in shared enthusiasm and fit.
Impact: Highlights you want your values to align with the organization’s mission.
Smart Strategies for Questions to Ask
Beyond the specific questions, also keep these strategic tips in mind:
- Prepare 4-5 questions in advance – This gives flexibility in what you ask and ensures you avoid awkward silence.
- Spread questions throughout – Don’t bombard the interviewer all at once. Weave 1-2 throughout and save some for the end.
- Avoid questions with yes/no answers – Stick to open-ended questions that provide meaningful insights.
- Take notes – Jot down the key points from each answer to reference later.
- Ask follow-ups – If a response leads to another pressing question, don’t be shy to politely follow up.
- Mind your manners – Maintain your professionalism and don’t overstay your welcome once your questions wrap up.
Additional Smart Questions to Consider
While the 5 examples above provide a solid foundation, the following additional questions are also worth considering:
- What brought you to this company?
- How would you describe the leadership style here?
- What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
- What constitutes a successful first year in this role?
- What are some immediate projects I would be working on?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
Questions to Avoid After an Interview
There are also some topics better left out of your post-interview questions. Avoid:
- Questions about salary, benefits, or vacation time
- Anything overly personal about the interviewer
- Questions easily found online about the company
- Anything negative about past employers
- Questions that signal you didn’t listen during the interview
Preparing compelling questions to ask after an interview requires forethought but pays off in the long run. Following this guide will help you craft smart, strategic questions while avoiding any pitfalls or blunders.
Remember, the interview doesn’t end once the interviewer says: “Do you have any other questions for me?” Take advantage of this time to show your enthusiasm, intelligence, and preparation. The right questions could be the final step that seals the deal on you receiving a coveted job offer.
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