Feeling confident that things have gone well. You’ve developed some sense of connection with the interviewer. There’s positive energy and you’re encouraged by the body language and general tone of the conversation. Wrapping up, they ask if you have any questions. Surprisingly, the most common answer is, no. What?? More than one business owner has shared that this lack of response would eliminate the candidate from moving forward or at least tip the scales negatively.
Asking questions is as important, if not more so than only providing answers. Interviewing is stressful. The candidate may have spent hours interacting, and responding to various styles while simultaneously maintaining composure and relatability. However, the interview is not an interrogation, rather a two-way process for information gathering on both sides. When seen from this perspective it helps in framing your questions. As a career coach and consultant, a significant part of our work with candidates is preparing for the interview. The client may want to focus on typical questions, scripting responses, managing time and hopefully moving to the next phase. However, we always advise our clients to be prepared with 5-10 questions relevant to the job, the company and/or the industry. One successful candidate wrote her questions on color coded index cards associated with the role of the interviewer; hiring manager, human resources manager or management/business owner. This technique helped her as a strong visual but there are any number of ways to capture information and demonstrate knowledge and curiosity about your role, potential challenges and industry/company trends.
Missed opportunities will influence your impression and may lead to elimination from the pool of candidates. On the other hand, with preparation and practice, you can have a notable impact when you propose the questions, underscoring your goal to join the team!