The Importance of Asking Questions to your Interviewer

An interviewer will ask you if you have any questions at the end of your interview out of manners and courtesy, but did you know they are actually expecting you to give a question? Asking a question shows initiative. Once asked “do you have any questions”, the employer has seen and heard everything they need. Think of it like bonus points on an exam; it is not compulsory but every point counts towards your cause.

As an interviewer, I actually write down what the question is that was asked. Your application is your path to the interview, so once in the interview the interviewer really wants to dig deep into your passion, initiative, communication, on-the-spot thinking, etc. I could be interviewing the most qualified person for the role, however it will resonate with me in an odd way if that candidate who was terrific on paper asks a pointless question at the end of the interview (or worse, doesn’t ask a question at all!).

Now that you know the importance of asking questions, you need to prepare yourself with some typical questions to use. Here are three good questions to ask your interviewer at the end of your interview:

Is this a new position or a replacement position?

This is a fair question to ask. If you truly wanted to become a part of the company rather than just applying to any position, then you would want to know this. It might also reveal to you some turmoil about the company that is not exposed on its surface.
Note that this may have already been answered in the job ad or earlier in the interview, asking a question that has already been answered would have a huge negative effect.

What is your best selling product/service and which product/service are you currently developing further?

This is not a silly question to ask if you word it carefully. Mention that you looked on the company website in great detail noticed they offer comprehensive services and then ask the question. Asking a question like this shows great comprehension and industry insight, and demonstrates good initiative at the same time. It will also give you a good indication of the short term and possibly long term plans for the business.

How did you get into the industry?

When everything has been answered within the interview about the role and the company and you truly don’t have anything productive to ask, it is nice to ask the interviewer how they got into the industry and if their path and passion is similar to your own.
People love talking about themselves, and ending the interview in such a way creates positive emotions for the interviewer. Below is an example of an easy way you can approach this:

“No, thank-you Evan, I don’t have any questions about the role as you have covered everything in great detail. I do have a question about yourself though: how did you get into accounting? Was your path the same as mine, growing up loving numbers and processes during your schooling years? Or was it a different path like a family member or other influence?

Take an interest in the answer they give and pay full attention. Remember, an interview is an honest conversation between two professionals, and you employ people that you like. This question is a great way of demonstrating those points.

If you don’t ask a question at the end of the interview, then the interview just ends on a flat note for the interviewer. Impress them, show some initiative and be different by asking something interesting. Try think up your own unique question to ask, and remember, always give purpose to everything you do.