Do You Have Questions For Me? Answering Every Interview’s Final Question

Good (and bad) answers to every interview’s dreaded final question.

Ryan Morrisby Ryan MorrisGet The Job, Jobs - 1 year ago

“Do you have any questions for me?”

We’ve had a lot of fun here when it comes to dispelling myths about job interview questions. By far, the biggest takeaway has been that a majority of these questions aren’t traps, as most hiring managers aren’t simply out for blood.

They’re people, just like anyone else, and above all what they want to get out of an interview is just a better understanding of who you are, what qualifications you have, and how you’ll fit into the existing team.

They just want to get to know you. This isn’t a sting operation — for the most part, no one’s trying to trip you up or catch you unprepared.

Except for when the interview ends, and the question “Do you have any questions for me?” inevitably gets asked.

It’s not always the interviewer’s fault. It’s just that this question is inherently a trap. Despite having plenty of correct answers, this question has a definite wrong answer that’s easy to accidentally give, and that’s “no.”

Having no questions to ask a hiring manager at the end of an interview is a major faux pas when it comes to job hunting. And there’s no trick you can use as defense for this question — you can’t BS your way through it. Either you’ve done your research into the company and you’re prepared to ask a few substantive questions about it, or you’re not.

Perhaps the most common final question in any job interview, “What questions do you have for me?” is a no-brainer on the interviewer’s part. In one fell swoop, they put the responsibility on you, the applicant, to figure out how to end the interview.

This gives them the chance to relax and have one final chance to learn more about you as an applicant, while you still have to worry and sweat to avoid any last-second missteps.

But why has this question become so loaded? What makes it such a trap, even when it’s not intended to be one?

What are They Really Asking Here?

In a nutshell, what a hiring manager is trying to do here is gauge your interest in the position. Do you actually want the job to which you’re applying? Or are you just going through the motions because this is the sort of position you know you’re qualified for?

This is an easy way to find out whether or not you — the applicant — has looked into the company to any real degree. If you have, then a few questions should be pretty easy for you to come by.

Either this is your first time working this exact job and you have questions about what it entails, or it’s your first time working with this company and you have questions about how they do things.

Dos and Don’ts

As former president John F. Kennedy once said, “ask not what your employer can do for you, but what you can do for your employer.”

What exactly he meant by this has been lost to time — as we all know, no one today was alive during the Kennedy administration — but we can only assume that he was giving future generations primo advice on their job interviews. He was just that kind of guy.

Img. Source
”That’s one small step for man; now, here’s Ten Surprising Tips on How to Nail Your Next Big Interview.” — JFK, world leader during the Before-Times.

He makes a great point. When thinking about what kind of questions to ask your interviewer, you want to focus on the ones that make you seem less focused on your own gain and more on how you can benefit the company.

Of course, there’s a few other things to keep in mind as well. Here are some Dos and Don’ts when it comes to asking questions during your job interview:

Do…

  • Ask questions about your (possible) future role in the company. Again, try to keep the focus on what you’ll be doing rather than on how you’ll be compensated.
  • Ask personal questions! This is definitely a situation where you want to be careful about crossing any lines, as not all interviewers want to be interrogated themselves. However, many people like the opportunity to brag about themselves a bit, and finding common ground with a hiring manager is a great way to make you stand out in their mind.

Don’t…

  • Say that you have no questions for them. This is a big one. You should always have at least one question on deck and ready to go for the end of the interview — otherwise, you come off looking unprepared at best.
  • Ask about salaries. Unless its brought up specifically by your employer, salary information is often seen as one of those “What’s in it for me?” questions. Those can come later, once they’re more prepared to make you an offer, but for now you’re trying to convince them that there’s something in it for them first.
  • Ask anything that you should already know the answer to. You’re not expected to know everything about how the company operates, but if you ask something that’s obvious from the company’s website, they’ll be pretty sure you didn’t do your homework.

Types of Questions to Ask

In this section, we’ll detail some of the possible questions you could ask your hiring manager and weigh some of the benefits of these questions. You should note that these sections are somewhat arbitrary, and many of these questions could fit within multiple different categories.

Clarifying Questions
The purpose of these questions is to showcase your genuine interest in the company you’re applying to, while also clarifying anything that you might still be concerned about at this stage.

These questions include things like:

  • “What does a typical workday look like?” — If this is a job that you’ve never worked before, this can give you a good idea of what actually working it consists of. Alternatively, if you’re a job veteran, this question can be used to suss out how this company operates differently than your old one.
  • “What projects are currently being worked on?” — This question will help you prepare for the sort of introductory work you’ll be doing once you sign in, in addition to showing the interviewer that you’re already thinking about how you’ll be applying your skills to help the company in a measurable way.
  • “What methods of communication does your team use?” — This is more for your own organizational purposes, but it’s good to be abreast of the expectations for keeping in contact with folks that you work with. What services do they use to communicate, and how often do they use them in a given day?

Personal Questions
These are purely so you can get to know the hiring manager better and hopefully establish a personal connection with them. Part of this is obviously to make yourself stand out a little more and help you get the job, but in the event that you end up working with this person, it will also be helpful to you to know a thing or two about them.

These questions include things like:

  • “How long have you worked at the company/in this position?” — This is a pretty standard get-to-know-you sort of question and is mostly to help you make some desperately reach for any sort of personal connection you can find with your interviewer — even stuff like, “You’ve worked here 21 years? That’s so crazy, that’s almost as long as I’ve been alive. You must be like my mom’s age.” You know. Whatever you can find.
  • “What’s your favorite part about working here?” — This question is often a little disarming — people want to talk about themselves, but as a hiring manager they’re also trying to be careful about the way that they portray their company. Even just a little hesitation on the part of the speaker can tell you a lot about the working environment as a whole.

    If they seem hesitant to talk about the corporate culture, it’s probably not all that great. On the other hand, if they immediately start to gush about all the things they like about their work and their co-workers, there’s a better chance that they’re being genuine with you.

Investigative Questions
Believe it or not, there are some folks out there who might try take advantage of unsuspecting workers. It can range from the intentional, like unfair wages or misleading promises about working conditions, to the unintentional, like inefficient management or a toxic corporate culture.

These questions include things like:

  • “Can you tell me a little about the history of this position?” — This question can be crucial when it comes to understanding the context that you’ll be entering, should you get the job. Basically, what you want to figure out with this question isn’t so much why they’re hiring this particular position as it is why they’re hiring this position right now.
  • “What’s the leadership style like?” or “What’s the corporate culture like?” — If used correctly, this question can be used to gauge the working environment in terms of your bosses. Don’t ask about who is in charge — instead, ask about their methods for dealing with certain situations.
    • Be wary of answers like “She (or he) is quite the character,” or “They’re very particular about the way that things get done.” Taken in context, these answers might be indicative of a hostile work environment run by a difficult boss.
  • If you can think of something that bothered you about your last position, that’s good to ask about at this point. If something about the way your last job worked is a dealbreaker for you, this is a great way to head off anything that might prevent you from enjoying a new position.
  • “How long do workers tend to stay with the company?” — Pretty self-explanatory, but this can tell you a lot about this company’s career expectations. If the answer to this question is a significantly longer amount of time than you were planning for, there’s always the off chance you’ll be butting heads with your boss somewhere down the line.
  • Wrapping Up

    And that’s it! Keep an eye out for our other articles on how to ace your job interview, such as how to tell your hiring manager about your weaknesses or reasons you can give for why you left your last job. Best of luck!

    Facebook Discussion

    Why Zippia is Better

    Zippia empowers you to make the correct career decisions, not just find your next job.

    You can access millions of others' career paths with the Career Graph to help you identify what skills and experiences you need to achieve your career goals. And when you're ready to take the next step in your career, you can research jobs and really understand the implications for your career aspirations.