Q: I never know what to say when I’m asked at the end of the interview ‘so have you any questions you want to ask us?’ I usually say no and I wonder if I am missing out on opportunity. Any suggestions? (MR, Email).
A: Do not bring up topics such as holidays, perks or your future salary, writes Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers. The interviewer is still ‘judging’ you and you still need to show the interviewer that you are interested and enthusiastic.
Remember that this is your chance to show the interviewer the research that you have done on their company or their market. It can also make you stand out from other candidates as it helps build your relationship with the interviewer.
“This is a great opportunity to set you apart in a positive way from other people being considered for the job,” says Eddie Payne, division manager of professional staffing for recruiting firm FGP International.
“Employers say they are interested in candidates who ask quality questions and make intelligent conversation based on what they know about the organization.”
Not asking questions, however, is passing up a chance to stand out from the competition. Treat this part of the interview as a chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm. Questions based on future growth and promotions within the role show that you are serious and ambitious.
For example “I was looking at your website and it said that you were looking at expanding in the next year, how are those plans coming along?” or “I saw in your website that your skincare range specialises in mainly European markets, do you have any plans to sell to the US?”
If applying for a managerial position, your range of questioning needs to seriously thought out. Asking about the existing performance appraisal system, and type of management style, are important topics to discuss.
When asking a question, it is important that it is not just for the sake of asking. Having a discussion about the interviewer’s answer shows that you have a genuine interest, and leaves an excellent impression.
Remember that your questions need to be tailored to the position for which you are being interviewed. Having a set series of questions used for all interviews is not advisable.
Liam Horan is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Ballinrobe.
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