During my interview coaching sessions with professionals, I am often asked – “ When the interviewer asks me Do you have any questions, what should my response be? Should I ask a few questions? If yes, then what kind? Or should I just say no, but would that reflect well on me as a candidate?”
The kind of questions you as a candidate can ask would depend upon whether it is your first interview or your final interview. Since my goal is to help you get shortlisted or assist you in picking up job offers with good career prospects, let me share with you what kind of Questions will impress the interviewer in the first interview. You may pick and choose from the lot depending upon the situation. If the interviewer offers an opportunity to ask questions, it is great for you to capitalise on it. Alternatively, you can politely ask “Can I ask a few questions ?”
Seeking answers is advisable because you achieve two things – one is good questions impress the interviewer reflecting your interest level and secondly you gain further knowledge to be better prepared for a good decision or the next round of interview if shortlisted. A word of caution, however, is that a silly question gets a silly answer, so it is critical that one prepares well or else, it can boomerang.
Question 1] What are the most critical business pain points of the role?
Objective: You’ll understand what the challenge is and can prepare better to provide solutions if shortlisted further.
Question 2] How does the company reward top performers and what is the criteria for evaluating outstanding performance?
Objective: You strike a rapport with the interviewer because who does not like top performers? And it is a better way than asking What system does the company follow to evaluate performance?
Question 3] Is it a newly created position or a replacement position?
Objective: For new positions, there are no benchmarks to go by in the organisation. So for you as a selected candidate it means a good opportunity to prove your mettle faster. Also, you need to ensure that the role should be elaborately defined with the JD in writing so as to reduce chances of a mismatch in terms of expectations at both ends.
Question 4] What are the good qualities of the individual currently performing this role? Is there anything you as a leader think should be delivered better in this position?
Objective: You will learn what to do and what not to do. Also, it builds a rapport with the interviewer because you come across as open-minded and wanting to deliver results.
Question 5] ‘I have done some research on the product and it seems that the distribution has a lot of scope for improvement. What is the organisation doing on this front as the JD mentions that distribution is a key result area?
Objective: It reflects an enhanced interest level on your part. Also, you learn more about the business pain point and by addressing it you can come closer as a solution provider.
Question 6] How does the company handle the challenge of low sales in the current market conditions?
Objective: This kind of information on any problem can help you impress the interviewer by sharing a thought you may have missed out while answering a related question during the interview.
Question 7] What has been the growth of the organisation in the past 2-3 years? Broadly, what are the business plans of the company in the next 1-2 years?
Objective: To understand the kind of career prospects it offers.
As it is said “Questions are the Answers” or “Ask and you shall receive”. So go ahead and ask and you will increase your chances of getting shortlisted.