Asking the right questions at the end of an interview

Recruiting processes are quite demanding, and in a unique clime like Nigeria, the stakes are high.

Having written an article here on acing your next interview, one of the best ways to leave the stage in grand style is to ask an exciting question at the end of your interview.

As Angela Smith, a senior recruiter at Ernst and Young said, “A recruiter often use this moment to gauge if a candidate is genuinely interested in the organization, and has taken an extra step to research about the organization, the job details and other unspoken rules in this scenario.”

Asking a question is simply a chance to interview your interviewer and it might be a faux pas to pass on that chance. Below are a few questions you could ask your interviewers.

Questions about the role:

In case some part of the role hasn’t been discussed in-depth during the interview; this is a good time to make some more enquiries. You could ask questions like:   

  • Can you shed more light on the day-to-day requirement of this role?
  • What does a typical day look like for you?
  • If I was hired for this role, what would success look like in the first few months?
  • What would make me an excellent hire?

These questions give you an insight into what success looks like in this role in case you are finally picked.

Questions about the culture:

While culture isn’t written in black and white, some questions might be pointers in the right direction of what the company culture should look like. The following questions might be of help:

  • What is the management and reporting style of the organization?
  • Is this an individualistic or collaborative centric culture?
  • What makes you excited about coming to work?
  • Do you mind explaining how my role directly contributes to the organization’s growth trajectory?

Questions about yourself:

Depending on how open and transparent the interview/conversation has been, you might push your luck and ask some indirect questions that might give you another opportunity to reinforce your suitability for the role. You could ask questions like:

  • Do you have any concerns about my candidacy?
  • Are there any answers you would want to get more clarifications about?
  • What would make me a perfect candidate for this role?

You could also ask questions about the company’s trajectory, expansion plan, a new product that was just released or any other exciting information that would stick your name in the heart of the interviewers.

Questions you should not ask:

While asking intelligent questions at the end of interviews positions you as a strong candidate, asking the wrong kind of questions might easily flip the coin.

In a conservative, hierarchical driven clime like Africa and Nigeria in particular, there are some questions some recruiters might find intrusive or obnoxious and this might be a great turn off and impend your candidacy. Below are a few questions you shouldn’t ask.

Things you could answer yourself: Interviewers might find it time-wasting when you ask questions that answers could be found online or is easily available. Don’t ask questions like, when was this company found? What are core values of this organization? etc.  The answers to these questions can be easily found online.

Specific compensation and benefit questions: Depending on the kind of organization as well as the round of interview, asking specific salary-related questions might be intrusive, especially after you have stated your obvious desired pay. You can however ask general questions around the perks available if it is the final stage of the interview and you are already negotiating offers.

Gossips or ominous news about the company: It is very wrong to ask about gossip or media reports about the company during an interview. This might make your interviewers uncomfortable and impend your candidacy.

Multifaceted questions: When asking your interviewers questions, it is always advisable to keep it simple. Don’t ask questions that would lead to multiple questions and answers. Sometimes, simple is beautiful.

Conclusively, you should always have questions for interviewers, it is however important to ensure you are asking the right kind of questions that could leave an exciting imprint in the heart of the interviewers.

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