At the end of a job interview, the interviewer will usually give you the opportunity to ask them a question. It is tempting to say that you have nothing you would like to ask and rush out of there relieved to have survived the experience. If you do this, however, you will be missing out on an opportunity to impress the interviewer.

Asking a question isn’t necessarily about finding something out. It is really a chance to display your understanding of the company and your level of insight into their operations. Questions can follow several tracks; you can ask about the industry and the company’s position in the market; you can ask about the expectations for the role you are applying for, or you can ask about the working environment. Examples of these types of questions would be:

  • How would you define success for this job?
  • What challenges would I face in the first 3 months?
  • What is the working environment like?
  • Are there opportunities for promotion in this role in the future?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture?
  • What kind of job development and support do you provide?

There are many suitable questions you can ask. The point is to show that you have given the job real consideration, that you already have a good idea of what the opportunity entails, and the question is simply to provide you with another small insight into the company.

There are certain questions you should never ask under any circumstances.

  • How much does this job pay?
  • How many days holidays do I get?
  • How big is the office?

Questions that give the impression that you are in it for yourself, that what you can get from the job is more important to you than what you can contribute to the company, make a terrible impression. An inappropriate question can ruin your chances of getting the job. If you cannot think of a question to ask, simply take the opportunity to reiterate how much you want the job and how well suited you feel you are for it. This is much better than simply saying you have no questions and then leaving.

This question is usually asked at the end of an interview. The answer you give will be the final impression of you they take from the interview so do your utmost to finish on a positive note.

Get some more interview advice on our website


Niall Murray

Managing Director

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services