“Do you have any questions for us?” is one of the toughest parts of ending an interview. Guest blogger and career expert Merryn breaks down how to nail it.

By: Merryn Roberts-Huntley of Made to Hire

A job interview is like a game of chess. There’s a board, there are players, and there will be a winner and a loser. If you want to be the winner, you need to not only know how to play well on any given move, but also have several key moves thought out in advance.

As a career coach, there’s one key move that I consistently see people mess up –  one key question at the end of the interview that candidates often bomb.

The next three minutes will be like elite chess training for your end-of-interview game.

So, picture yourself in an interview. You’ve made it through all the usual Q&A, and you can sense the interview is now wrapping up.

But – don’t get too cozy. Prepare yourself. Because I guarantee you, that one fateful question is coming, and if you screw it up, you risk missing out on the position. No joke.

One Question You Need to Get Right

That one question is:

Do you have any questions for us?

Yes, that seemingly simple question can be a deal breaker. It no longer needs to be for you.

So why is it asked, and why is it such a big deal? Most interviewers ask this question as a nicety to give you the chance to clarify anything you’re unclear on about the position. It may seem like a simple formality, but it’s actually anything but that.

You may in fact have no questions you really want answered, but it’s not about that. It’s about finding gaps in your interview game. With that in mind, ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ is actually a gift to you if handled the right way.  

Let’s break it down and talk about how you should answer that important question.

How to Answer it to Win

Being asked “Do you have any questions for us?” is truly your opportunity to close the deal and secure the position.

However, most people drop the ball, and ask something meaningless like, ‘What will the working hours be for the position?’

Who really cares?! Okay sure, you care, but you can worry about logistical details and the like after you get the offer.

Right now you’re trying to wrap up the interview on a high note. So,there are two things you should do when asked, “Do you have any questions for us?”

1. Ask each person in the interview this question: “What’s the number one thing you’re looking for in who you hire for this position?”

Why is this question so important? It’s the absolute best question you can ask to close the interview for several reasons.

  • #1: It gives everyone on the company side of the interview the chance to feel heard and validated. It’s common for companies to bring two people – or even a panel of three to five people – to final round interviews. Some people will be in the interview but won’t be asking the questions. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a vote in who is hired, though! Asking this question can give them a chance to express what they think.
  • #2: If any interviewer is truly rooting for you, they will make that known to other interviewers here by complimenting you on how you match what they’re looking for. Any public acknowledgement of your fit for the position sends a direct signal to other interviewers that you are being endorsed to be hired!
  • #3: By asking this question, you will actually learn what each person truly values in this hiring decision, and you can ask yourself if you’ve shown competency in that area.

2. Share a little more to fill in the gaps.

A woman in an interview being asked "Do you have any questions for us?" (Photo by Tim Gouw from pexels.com)
Asking this key question will give interviewers a chance to explain what they’re looking for – then you can emphasize how you fit that description.

Now, if you feel like one of the interviewers expressed that they’re looking for some quality or experience that you didn’t get to address, then take this opportunity before the interview ends to share an additional story or example, in order to make sure you convince them as best as possible.

Even if you don’t think you have the strongest material, take a solid swing at it.

Put a positive spin on experience you do have that is closely related to what they ideally want, rather than just saying you don’t have that experience (that’s just throwing in the towel!).

Closing it Up

After you get that question in, you can certainly ask any additional questions you may have, but I suggest getting this important one out of the way first, just in case you run out of time!

Next step: check mate. You’ve got this.

For more interview advice, check out Merryn’s website www.madetohire.com and follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram (@madetohire)

And, for more expert career tips straight to your inbox, be sure sign up for our newsletter below!

About the Author

Merryn Roberts-Huntley runs Made To Hire, a career coaching company that helps people get noticed, get hired, make more money, and reach their career goals faster.  With almost 20 years of business experience and 10 years of career coaching, she knows how to help people land their dream job.  Learn more at madetohire.com


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