Interview question of the week: Do you have any questions for me?

This question will be the last thing an interviewer remembers about you, so make sure your lasting impression is a good one!

Owl has so many questions for you. Photo by Joe Green on Unsplash

Last week, I covered what may well be the first interview question you’re asked: “Tell me about yourself.” In that post, I mentioned the importance of making a good first impression. This week, let’s talk about the last question you’re likely to get, “do you have any questions for me,” and let’s make sure you leave a good lasting impression!

First and foremost, your answer to this question should almost always be “yes.” Why? Because you’re so passionate about wanting to work here that a mere one hour interview is not nearly enough time for you to get your fill of hearing about this place. This is your dream job at your dream company, and you just can’t get your fill! So damned right you have questions!

If you read that last bit and thought I was being sarcastic, don’t. Instead, stop and ask yourself why you want to get this job (or any job) in this field.

No, I’m serious. Stop and think about it.

There are tons of easier ways to make a living, so if you’re not passionate about IT, I want you to really consider your motivation for going into this field. Is it to pay the bills? To make lots of money and retire early? Because your parents think you should go into this field? Look, I’m not saying not to go into this field if one of these is your motivation – just make sure you’re going into it with your eyes open. This will be a difficult career for you if you find computers boring.

Now think about your reasons for applying at this particular business.

If you’ve followed the steps I highlighted in this post about prepping for your job interview, then you already did so when you tailored your cover letter. Something about this particular place was appealing to you over the other thousand postings you looked at that day. Maybe it’s that it’s a small startup, or maybe it’s a very large multi-national company. Maybe you like that it’s a cloud provider? Or perhaps it’s a non-profit?

Whatever your reasons, there’s just something about this place that’s calling to you.

So yeah, you have questions.

Now, maybe you’re reading this and thinking to yourself: “But Sacha, I really don’t have questions…” Well, here are a few to keep in your back pocket:

-“What does a typical day here look like?”

-“Could you tell me a little bit about any training I might receive?”

-“If I were to be offered the position, what should I focus on learning first so that I’m immediately effective at the job?”

-“As I’m just getting started in my career, I’d be interested to hear if you have any mentorship available here.”

These are just a few options to keep in mind, but feel free to have a few different ones prepared that make sense for you. Just make sure you keep it to two or three questions at the end because you’ll have a limited amount of time for the interview.

Now, here are some questions you want to avoid.

-“What is the pay you’re offering?”

Avoid any discussion of pay at this point. The interview is the time for you and the company to see if you’re a right fit for each other. Once you’re offered the position, this will be the time to make sure they’re offering you enough. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

-“I’ve already booked a two week vacation that starts in a month. Are you fine with me taking that time off?”

This is also putting the cart before the horse. Once you’ve been offered the position, you can let them know of any outstanding time commitments you may have.

-“What do you hate the most about working here?”

Leave any negativity at the door. And don’t put your interviewer on the defensive! You’ll just leave a bad taste in their mouth and ruin an otherwise great interview.

-“What do I need to do to get this position?”

Don’t put the interviewer on the spot by asking an awkward question!

Make sure you go into the interview prepared to ask a few questions of your own. This is your last impression with the interviewer: make it count!

With each post, I cover a new topic to help you get your start (or keep progressing) in your IT career. If it’s your first time visiting this blog, start here. And make sure to check out these top interview questions before you start interviewing!