At the end of every good interview, the interviewer is going to ask: “Do you have any questions for us.”
It looks bad if your answer is a lame-duck ‘no’.
By this point in the interview, I would hope that you have a pretty good idea about what is involved in the job. But up to this point, most of the discussion has probably been the interviewer asking questions of you. Now you’ve got your chance to steer the conversation in the direction you want to go.
So what’s a good question to ask?
* What are good measures for performance in this job?
* What particular actions or traits could I exhibit to deliver an outstanding performance in this role?
* I’m keen, so I’ve been doing my research before this interview. How is the company addressing this [industry challenge]?
Any of these types of questions show that you are already putting yourself mentally into this role, and thinking about how you can do it REALLY WELL.
* Why did the last person leave this role?
* How many people are you interviewing for this role?
* What is the procedure from here?
Approached carefully and politely, these sorts of questions show that you are are also evaluating this company as a potential employer. Interviews are a two-way street. The company wants to know that if you take the job you are going to stay and reward their investment in you. So they won’t mind polite (non-aggressive) questions that show you that when you join them, you’ll stay.
Of course, its always a great idea to also follow up with positive remarks about the company and your enthusiasm.
But NOT – What is the salary / benefits?
Assuming this is a first interview, then you should have already either determined the salary before the interview or the employer should have discussed it during the interview. If it hasn’t come up by ‘question time’, then this is not the time to raise the issue.
This part of the interview isn’t the time to sound mercenary or self-serving.
My particular favourite is to ask a question or two, then switch to a statement. As a candidate, I would always find an opportunity to say something like “You’ve asked some excellent questions about me, but I’d also like to tell you something about myself that may distinguish me from other candidates. I have [this particular characteristic], and I think that this would serve me very well in the role.”. You might follow with examples that demonstrate the behaviour/trait in action, and how it has benefited your work in the past.