You’ve just finished interviewing for a new job. The interview has gone well, as far as you can tell.
The interviewer seemed pleased and satisfied with your answers. He or she expressed satisfaction with the experience you have. Your skillset encompasses everything they’re looking for in a potential candidate.
Then comes the final question: Do you have any questions for me?
Of course, you do. You want to know how many other people are being interviewed for the position. You’re eager to know when you’ll hear back about the role. You may even have specific salary questions you want to square away at this stage.
The problem with asking these questions at the close of your interview? It ends your job interview on a low energy point.
Why you shouldn’t end your interview this way
Ending your interview on a low energy point impacts the way your interviewer perceives you – as well as your actual interest in the role.
Asking questions about how soon you’ll hear back, how many others are in the running, or salary inquiries signifies that you’re most interested in landing a job – any job – that pays well as soon as possible, rather than showing a vested interest in the company you’re applying to work at, and the role you’re being considered for.
Not asking any questions about the team you’d be working with, the company culture, or the company’s values as a whole is a significant missed opportunity.
These kinds of questions show the hiring manager that you’re vested in the role you’re applying for and the team you’d be joining and the bigger picture of the company, and how the position you’d be taking on fits into the overall success of the company.
What to say instead
Even if some of the above has been covered during your interview, make sure your final interview question gets your interviewer to perceive you as a long-term asset to the company and reiterates why you’re the best candidate to help lead the charge in doing so.
Show the hiring manager that you’re interested in making an immediate positive change to the company by asking this as your final question: “In the next 3-6 months, what are the things that would make the biggest difference to this department if completed successfully?”
Then, listen closely to how your interviewer answers that question. Pay attention to the tasks they outline that would achieve this, and think about how your skillset and experience would lend itself well to accomplishing them.
When your interviewer has finished answering the question, take the time to respond in a way that reinforces how and why you can make a difference in that particular role.
Not only does this end your interview on a high note, but it allows you to walk away from the interview with your hiring manager, thinking of you as someone who will be successful in this open position.