So you’re trying to get a new job, and the interview portion is almost over. Maybe you’re feeling good about how it went, or maybe you’re not. Either way, the dreaded question comes: “Do you have any questions for me?”

The question sounds fairly innocent, and you’ve probably heard it before. But does that question actually matter? How can you take advantage of it to make yourself look better? What kind of questions are they looking for you to ask?

What you want to ask about

According to Erica Kryst, M.S.Ed., senior associate director of career experiences and education at Binghamton University’s Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development, your question generally needs to be:

●       Specific

●       Aimed at getting information about the organization that’s important to you

●       Digging deeper (into the culture, the position, the values, and the work environment)

●       About specific opportunities for growth, the evaluation process, the company’s affinity or employee resource groups, professional development, diversity training offered, et cetera. This can provide insight into the company’s actual commitment to diversity and a healthy environment

10 examples of questions you can ask

Here’s a list of specific questions you can ask, according to Kryst:

  1. How would you describe the organization’s culture, values, and work environment?
  2. Are there any professional development or growth opportunities?
  3. What skills or qualities do you feel are most essential to being successful in this position?
  4. What tangible goals does the organization have surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  5. What is the timeline for the hiring process?

And here are more suggestions from Rachel Maguire, a current MSW graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill and a past college advisor with College Advising Corps:

  1. What will my day-to-day schedule look like?
  2. What are the company’s long-term goals or five-year plan?
  3. What’s your favorite/least favorite part of working here?
  4. I saw you’re interested in XYZ from the company website. What’s that like?
  5. How long have you been in this role?

Asking these questions is more important than you may realize

Asking some questions serves a couple of main purposes: You can show your interest in and research about the company, and you can learn more about whether it’s actually the right fit for you, too.

“Interviewers expect you to ask questions as part of the interview,” Kryst said. “Being prepared with questions can demonstrate to the employer your interest in the position.”

Additionally, it can show your commitment to the company. “Your questions also provide you with an opportunity to show that you have done your research about the organization and are interested in learning more about different aspects of the organization that you simply can’t find on their website or in a brochure,” she explained.

Maguire agreed that asking questions makes you look interested and professional. “Asking questions at the end of an interview shows that you’ve prepared for the interview and are engaged in the process,” she said 

You can also get more information about what the culture is like and if employees are happy. Maguire said her last question about how long the interviewer has been in the role can “give you a good idea of how high turnover is at the company, which could be an indicator of company culture.”

Asking these questions can ensure both you and your boss are satisfied. While the process may be anxiety-inducing, you can do it!

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About Ashley Broadwater

Ashley Broadwater is a freelance writer and graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She's been published in POPSUGAR, Medium, and more. You'll find her writing about body positivity, relationships, mental health, and entertainment regularly.

View all posts by Ashley Broadwater