One of the most common comments I receive from a client post interview with a candidate is “he/she didn’t ask any questions”. I cannot think of one circumstance where a potential employee should not ask questions at the end of an interview.
Why is it so important to ask questions? Asking intelligent and thoughtful questions can demonstrate your knowledge. Not asking questions can imply that you are not interested in the role, category, business, industry or lack enthusiasm or confidence.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Ask a question about the business that highlights the research you have done; a strategic question that shows you have investigated the industry, category, competitors and international implications. Draw parallels around your experience and what is happening industry wide. This will give your potential employer a real insight into your knowledge and capability.As an example “mobile sales are 25 percent of ecommerce sales industry wide. In a recent industry report I read, your competitors mobile sales equate to 50 percent of their revenue, while yours are just above industry standard. Is this an area of focus for your business moving forward or do you have an alternative strategy?”
- Understand expectations upfront. So many people enter into a new role without fully understanding what they are expected to achieve. Ask about what success looks like in the role in six months and 12 months? What are the KPI’s? Was the predecessor in the role able to achieve the KPIs? Are there career development and training opportunities?
- A good way to finish the interview is to ask the interviewer if you have covered everything. Are there any gaps that the interviewer needs to fill in about your experience?
The best way to build rapport with the interviewer and demonstrate your suitability for the role is to ask questions, better yet frame your questions in a way that allows conversation to flow freely.