How to swing an interview your way with the parting question

By Siobhan O’Malley, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, Ballinrobe

Final question can be a trump card

Q: I always struggle with the question at the end of the interview. I usually mumble that “everything is covered, thank you”. What fallback questions should I have at the ready?

Siobhan O'Malley, Career Coach, Ballinrobe (tel 094 95 42965)
Siobhan O’Malley, Career Coach, Ballinrobe (tel 094 95 42965)

A: We put this question to three of our career coaches to seek their advice. I hope you find their replies useful.


Mark McDonald: If asked “have you got any questions for us” at the end of an interview, use this as your opportunity to prove that you have done your research into the role and organisation.

Ask questions that directly relate to the interview you have just had e.g. “can you tell me about the team I will be managing/be part of?” or “are there future plans to expand the business?” or “will there be further product launches?” or ”what is the school policy on the use of IT in the classroom?” and so on.

In simple terms, ask questions that prove your research thus proving how serious you are about the application. Don’t ask broad, generic questions: get deeper into the role to show that not only have you done your research, but that your interest in the specifics of the position is growing as the interview evolves.


Deirdre May: What types of training opportunities are available?

A classic question. It highlights that you are keen to advance your skills and add further value to the organisation.

How is performance measured and reviewed?

This question can flag up that you appreciate the importance of delivering real results. You can be seen to be someone who understands the value of commitment, reliability and returns.

Is there anything I’ve said or not said that has given you any concerns as to whether I can do the job?

This shows enthusiasm and an eagerness to get the role. It also allows you to clarify any points you may feel you didn’t address strongly enough during the interview.


Paul Aspell: If I were to start tomorrow, what would be the top priority on my to-do list?

This is the question that most concerns a lot of interviewees.  It can really worry them beforehand – as a candidate, it is important not to allow yourself to be spooked by any question, so my first advice is to take everything in your stride. No candidate has all the answers to all the questions: no candidate does the perfect interview.

In truth, there is no perfect answer to this question. The key to successfully overcoming the issue is to ensure that you are fully prepared for your interview and 100 per cent confident in your success.

It is important to fully listen to the interviewers during your interview as it is amazing how many times interviewees asked a final question which has already been covered.  If you have done your research and preparation you will have a number of questions you would like answered prior to you accepting any offer of employment.

It is important if you proffer a final question that it is relevant and showcases your suitability for the position.  It is always good to have a few questions to hand if needed, but they must be best utilised in the context of the interview.  It is your final ace to play.


Siobhán O’Malley is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers and works out of Ballinrobe. You can read more about her, and make a booking HERE for CV Preparation and Interview Training.


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