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  • Indrani Stangl, M.A., Career Coach

Do you have any questions for me?

At the end of a seemingly great interview, there is nothing more deflating than asking the candidate, "Do you have any questions for me?" and receiving nothing in response. The request for questions is not just for your benefit, it is crucial for the hiring manager as well. A candidate that has zero questions after a long interview can be seen as disinterested and unprepared. It can also give the impression that the candidate was not listening during the interview.

"Do you have any questions for me?" is your chance to make a big impact at the end of your interview.

What questions should you ask?

Let's start with questions you should not ask. None of your questions should be about what the company can do for you. Stay away from sick and vacation time, flexible schedules, tuition benefits, getting a promotion, anything that the hiring manager could interpret as your being greedy or lazy or looking to leave the job soon. When someone starts asking about sick time and vacation before they even get the job, it's a big red flag. There is plenty of time to ask questions about benefits when you are negotiating salary - but in order to get that far, you need to get the job offer first!

In advance of your interview, do some research. Look up news articles about the company and leadership, and check out the company website. You may find out about a new product that was just launched, or a leadership change, and you can ask questions about them. This will also show the hiring manager that you took the time to do some research, which can only help you.

If you craft your questions well, you will be able to contribute more about yourself and your qualifications as the discussion continues. Contact us and we can work together to put gather some great questions to prove your engagement and interest in the position.

The last questions you ask should always involve the timeline the hiring manager has to fill the position, and next steps. There is nothing worse than leaving an interview and waiting, waiting, waiting, not knowing if no news means you aren't in the running. It could also mean that there was a hold up, or someone is sick or on vacation. If you ask up front before you leave, you can relax a bit.

And hopefully at the end of the process, they will ask you their final question: "When can you start?"

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