Interview Q&A | “Do You Have Any Questions for Us?”

woman asking question

Take this common interview question—which usually comes at the very end of the interview—as one final chance to dazzle the interviewer. When they ask if you have questions, they’re setting you up for the ultimate slam dunk (if you did your homework, that is).

Questions to plan in advance

Even if you don’t have any burning questions, use this prompt as a chance to show the folks around the table what you can bring to the team. This is an opportunity to reiterate your interest in, and curiosity about, the position and the organization.

Try dropping a little knowledge on the interviewer in the form of a question. For example, “I know your organization rebranded in 2014. Has this positively impacted your visibility?”

Or perhaps you want to take this question as a chance to show some interest in the interviewers and their professional background, especially since one of them may be your future supervisor. Try something like, “What brought you here?” or “What’s your favorite thing about working here?” or be bold and ask, “What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a team?”

Another type of question that is usually welcomed by interviewers is anything that shows you are interested not only in landing the job, but in excelling as well. For example, you could ask, “What do success and achievement look like in this role?” or “What are the top three items you’d want this person to complete in their first 30 days on the job?”

Pro Tip: Don’t be shy about jotting down questions in advance and referring to them when prompted. Most interviewers will understand that even the most experienced job applicants can feel a bit frazzled during an interview. It’s okay to bring some notes into the interview with you. This way you can be sure you’ll remember to share all of the strengths you would bring to the position.

Questions on the fly

In addition to the questions you plan in advance, if you have been taking notes throughout the interview (which we highly recommend) you should also have jotted down any important details that you did not have an opportunity to share with the interviewer. Take a look over that list and determine whether any of these items can be brought to the interviewer’s attention by asking a question.

Here are a few examples:

  • You were hoping that the interviewer would ask a question that offered you an opportunity to talk about how familiar you are with the organization’s history. But alas, she did not. In this situation, you might say: “I know that your organization was founded in 2006, but you only just recently launched programming on the West Coast. I’d love to hear what went into the decision to become a bi-coastal organization.”
  • You are a born leader, but your interviewer didn’t spend too much time inquiring about your leadership skills. In this situation, you might say: “I’m incredibly motivated by a challenge and I really love the opportunity to drive a project. Do you see the person in this role having an opportunity to lead a project or initiative?”
  • Thanks to your penchant for communication and collaboration, you had a great rapport with your previous supervisor and you want to highlight that in your interview. In this situation, you might say: “It’s very important to me that I feel like part of a team and to have an opportunity to learn from and alongside my colleagues. What is the communication and collaboration style of this organization?” 

Whatever you choose, remember that “I have no questions,” generally comes off as “I have no interest.” Prepping some killer questions is an easy way to impress, so go ahead and grab that low-hanging fruit!

Pro tip: You may be given an opportunity to pose some questions to multiple interviewers separately (in different rounds). While it’s okay to ask some of same person-specific questions to each individual, try to have different (relevant) questions on tap for each round of the interview.

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Get more tips from our Interview Q&A series.

We were happy to find this particular question from a reader awaiting us in our inbox. Please keep the questions coming.

What interview question stumps you every time? Share it here, tweet at us, or email us at careers@idealist.org and we’ll do our best to walk you through the perfect format for a killer response!

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As a seasoned communications professional with 15 years of nonprofit experience and 6 years of experience creating engaging content and copy, I love the idea that a thoughtfully crafted piece of content can spark social change. Here at Idealist Careers, I'm eager to offer job seekers, game changers, and do-gooders actionable tips, career resources, and "social-impact lifestyle" advice.
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Comments

  1. Reply

    As an recruiter I always come across a question from candidates is. How to explain gap in employment .
    I have made an attempt to write a blog on this topics . However it difficult to provide a productive response to this issue.

    Would love to have your insight on this topic
    Here is the link to my blog in case you need to reference it. https://www.jobrino.com/blog/coolest-entry-level-jobs-to-apply-for-2018/

    Thanks
    Brian Dean
    Jobrino.com

      • Alexis Perrotta
      • May 16, 2018
      Reply

      Thanks Brian! Great question, and one that poses an issue for a lot of job seekers out there. We’ll definitely include some guidance for answering that question in a future post.

    • Rick
    • May 18, 2018
    Reply

    One answer I have used for “Do You Have Any Questions for Us?” is to ask what the panel (or person) sees as the main challenge the person chosen for the position will be facing. This gives me both a chance to show my ability to problem solve as well as gives me insight to the position.

  2. Reply

    Be sure not to ask about salary and benefits at the interview unless it was brought up. A great idea is to research some of the top players at the company on LinkedIn and find details that will help you decide on questions to ask them. Make sure you use jargon that the interviewer will be able to understand. Here are some tips on what NOT to say to interviewers: https://www.employmentalert.com/blog/2018/02/26/7-things-not-to-say-at-an-interview-job-seekers-take-note/

  3. Reply

    Hey Great article.
    really good for all the freshers who are starting there corporate life.
    Thank You!!

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