Good and Bad End of Interview Questions

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There is some consistency about what applicants are recommended to ask for end of an interview questions, but that doesn’t mean all of those end of interview questions are good. Don’t fall into the traps of playing “gotcha” with your interviewer, trying to show how smart you are to their detriment, or sounding like a self-help book. Use the end of interview questions to answer any concerns they may have about your candidacy for the position, and any concerns you may have about taking the position.

Bad – Gotcha Questions

Do not try to prove how smart you are by asking your interviewer impossible questions, or even just questions about aspects of the company that are out of their control.

Bad: What is your company’s vision and how do you contribute to it?
(Yes, this sounds snazzy, but how would you like to answer it about your current position?)
Better: How does your group or your role fit into what your company is trying to accomplish?

Bad: How do you think the company defines and demonstrates its values?
(Good grief. If they aren’t the CEO or the Chief Strategist this is out of their control.)
Better: What do you like best about working here? What’s been your best moment at this company?

Bad: What does the ideal candidate for this role look like? What do you think are the most important qualities for the person in this role to possess? Can you elaborate on the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
(What did you just spend the last few hours talking about? These questions should have been clarified as part of the regular interview.)
Better: Anything else I can answer about my fit for this position?

Bad: What is your staff turnover rate and how are you trying to reduce it?
(Seems like an insult masked as a question.)
Better: Is this a new position? If not, why did the previous person leave? If it is new, why was it created?

Bad – Touchy Feely Questions

Sounding like a self-help book isn’t always appropriate or appreciated in a business setting.

Bad: How do you think the company defines and demonstrates its values?
(Values are important but often difficult to summarize. You are probably putting your interviewer on the spot.)
Better: What do you like best about working here? What’s been your best moment at this company?

Bad: How would you describe the company’s culture?
(So broad and so textbookish. You should pick up the culture from the interview, the people you meet, even just walking around the offices.)
Better: What makes people stay at this company?

Bad: What qualities help you succeed at this company?
(Too general. No one likes lazy, incurious, rude employees, right?)
Better: What does a successful 2022 look like for your company and for this role?

Really Good End of Interview Questions

What are three things I can contribute in the first 100 days to make you feel great about hiring me?

Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications? Is there anything I can clarify or elaborate on regarding my fit for the position?

Best Final End of Interview Question

What is your hiring timeline? Any other steps I need to fulfill?

Good luck!  Want some help looking for a new job?  Contact the Executive Recruiters at Smith Hanley Associates.

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