Three Questions to Ask the Interviewer

by Brian Skory

More times than not, “Do you have any questions for me?” is the phrase that is uttered at the end of an interview. A response of, “No, I think you’ve answered all of my questions,” would not be the end of the world. However, it might be a lost opportunity to make an impression on your interviewer that could potentially tip the scales in your favor.

Before we look at some great responses to this question, let me note that anyone can and should do an Internet search on a company and get the gist of the business. So don’t blow this opportunity by asking questions which you could have researched before the interview. Instead, ask about things that you couldn’t find through publicly available resources. Here are three examples.

  1. Demonstrate that you are seriously thinking about how you would potentially mesh with this manager by asking a question such as “What is your particular management style?” Aside from the positive impact created by asking this question, the answer provides valuable information for both you and the manager. If his style is to “point and launch,” and you are more comfortable with a hands-on manager who will provide daily direction, then you may have just discovered that this isn’t the best job-match for you.
  2. Demonstrate that you are interested in the bigger picture by asking a question such as, “What are some of the technical challenges you are facing that I would potentially be a part of solving?" This shows that you aren’t the type of technical employee who just sits around waiting to receive marching orders. On the contrary, you are actually showing that you are someone who thinks about what the needs of the team are and how you can provide value toward meeting those needs.
  3. “How do you measure success in a [software developer, QA analyst, project lead, etc.]?” is another good question for presenting yourself as someone who is thinking about how to best be of value to the manager, rather than merely someone who will do the minimum that is asked. The last thing a manager wants is someone who is there to simply collect a paycheck.

With a little thought, you should be able to come up with several more questions that will cast you in a similar good light. Be prepared, and draw on one or two that seem appropriate for the moment. As mentioned above, these often cause a manager to choose you over another similarly qualified candidate.

As always, we at Stout Systems are interested in hearing how your job search is going. Feel free to drop us an email at candidates@stoutsystems.com.

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