At the end of an interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any further questions. This is very common, but can actually might quite a big difference in the outcome of your interview. Some might be quick to say ‘no, that’s all!’ but be warned, if you don’t look to follow up after the interview, you could be sacrificing the job.
Questions for the employer show that we are interested in the role – leave without any follow up, and they might wonder if you really want the job.
There are different types of questions you can ask at the end of an interview, but the most important thing to remember is that you want to appear interested in the role, and you want to make sure you have all of the information you need before you leave. Below, we’ve suggested a few questions you can ask, provided by the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs.
Ask for more details on the role
Learning more about the exact responsibilities of the role enables you to better understand which strengths and skills the employer is looking for, so you can further emphasise relevant points about yourself. Example questions for this include:
“What are the responsibilities expected of this role?”
“What does a typical day here look like?”
“Are there any extra duties which haven’t been mentioned?”
“Whom does this position report to?”
“What are the biggest challenges of this role?”
“How many people work in this particular office/team?”
Ask for more details about the company
Always research the company before the interview – you might find that you can breed some questions from doing this before you attend. Learning more about the company is a simple way to build rapport with your employer – if you can discuss the company at length, they will know you have done your homework, and are passionate about the role. Making the effort to prepare can really help you stand out.
Ask them to expand on any topics already covered
During your interview, the employer may have given you some form of insight that you want to hear more about – use your opportunity at the end of the interview to get more information. Gaining more insight to the company’s ethos, culture and direction allows you to evaluate whether you are the right fit for the role. Questions you could ask here include:
“What are the company’s ambitions for the years ahead?”
“What is the culture of the company?”
“What are the company’s plans for growth and development?”
“How has the company changed over the past few years?”
“Who is your company’s competition, and how do you compare to them?”
“What do you like best about this company?”
Ask about who they are looking for
By learning more about the ‘perfect’ candidate your employer has in mind, you can use this to expand on their expectations and tell them more about why you fit the bill. You can quickly become aware of the strengths you should highlight and which weaker areas you could develop. Use this opportunity as a learning experience that you can refer back to, to further progress your skills. Questions for this might be:
“What kind of person would fit best in your company?”
“What are the most important skills for a candidate to have?”
“What qualities would a candidate possess to excel in this role?”
“How do I compare with other candidates who have applied for the role?”
These are the sort of questions you should ask if you feel like you could be the right fit for this role. An excellent question to ask is:
“What are the next steps for the interview process?”
By asking this question you show that you are eager to move forward in the hiring process. It also gives you insight into the expected time frame for hiring so you can follow up accordingly.
One other crucial question to ask, especially if you can’t find anything else, is:
“Do you need any further information from me?
Remember that the interview is a two-way process of you becoming familiar with the company and the company becoming familiar with you. Be sincere, transparent and open with the information you share. Explain yourself clearly and comprehensively to ensure you present yourself appropriately.
Always take the opportunity to ask questions – ILSPA advises asking two at minimum to build a relationship with the interviewer. By using the advice above, you can create a lasting positive impression of the employer.