I remember being young and stupid and thinking when the interviewer asked, “Do you have any questions?” that I was out of the hot seat. “No, you covered it all very well,” I would say. I thought it was just a trap to make sure I’d been paying attention; if I asked anything that the interviewer had already covered, a buzzer would sound and I would be disqualified. By saying, “you covered everything,” I was showing them that I had soaked up every bit of information they’d put out there.
Like I said, I was young and stupid. Also, I was wrong.
“Do you have any questions for us?” is, in fact, an interview question. The interviewer wants to see that you’re invested in learning more, that you’re not just here because you need a job; you’re here because you want this job. Asking the right questions shows that you’re inquisitive and thoughtful, that you care.
So, what should you ask? That depends on the job, obviously; over at the Undercover Recruiter, however, they’ve put together a nice little list to get you started. Most of these are great, if not a little British (it’s a UK based operation, so be sure to rework the phrasing for your own purposes).
The only questions that strike me as at all problematic are those in the “Trial Close” section. Yes, it is always a good idea to assess your fit with the position, but to come right out and ask, “Am I a fit for this position?” seems a bit forward, like you’re asking, “Do I have the job?” You want to be bold, straightforward, and confident, but you don’t want to ask a question that’s going to back your interviewer into a corner. Even if you are the fit and the interviewer knows it, there might be some corporate procedure in place that keeps him or her from offering it to you then and there.
I say take a different (but no less bold) approach. Ask about what kinds of backgrounds the other team members come from. If you just graduated from college, ask the interviewer if he or she feels this would be an appropriate position for a motivated individual who’s relatively new to the working world. Then, when all is said and done, thank the interviewer and tell him or her that, now more than ever, you believe you’re a great fit for this position.
That’s my take. What do you think? How bold is too bold? Let us know in the comments!