Interview advice

Have you got any questions?

8 months ago by Claire Smith

​Following on from our article about answering the difficult interview question 'what is your biggest weakness?', another one that can catch people out is 'Have you got any questions?'

We've all been there - you can tell the end of the interview is in sight and you just want to wrap it up and get out of the door. But there's one thing stopping you: the dreaded Q&A.

If you don't have questions ready when the panel asks, you risk giving out the message that you're not really interested in the job or haven't bothered to sufficiently prepare, neither of which are great scenarios.

In fact, there have been many cases in which employers have been found to be automatically rejecting interviewees who don't have questions of their own to raise.

The simple truth is that you should aim to have at least two questions primed and ready to go. But they have to show your interest in the position and the company - you shouldn't ask them where the canteen is and if they finish early on a Friday, for example.

So, what kinds of things are acceptable and demonstrate that you're an A+ candidate?

A great example is 'can you tell me what my day-to-day responsibilities would be?'. This proves that you've thought ahead and could envisage yourself in the role, but it will also help you to gauge if it's the right sort of job for you as a person.

Another good one is asking the person or panel to describe the company culture, as it suggests you're interested in their values and the wider world.

You might want to query the biggest opportunities the company faces at present and how their previous employees have progressed in their careers, too.

When you're satisfied that you've asked enough to look engaged, wrap things up by asking 'when can I expect to hear back from you?'.

Remember to avoid questions that result in yes or no responses - and don't go the other way and get out a reporter's notepad full of material with which to grill your panel either. They don't want to be in that room any longer than you.

As you can see, with just a little preparation you can stroll right through what some people see as the most awkward parts of an interview - and that could help you race ahead of your competition.