What is something that high school students and job interviewees have in common? When asked, “Do you have any questions?” they both stay silent. Don’t be a blank-faced high school student who definitely has questions—say something!
But don’t just say anything. Say something meaningful and concise. Something that screams, “I’m a qualified person who deserves this job.” Something like this:
1. How was my interview?
I’m going to start with the most daring question to ask. When I first heard of people asking this question at an interview, I thought it felt insecure, as if someone was looking for reassurance. But if done right, this question can be the most powerful one on this list. It immediately invites criticism, demonstrating your ability to take feedback and adapt for the job.
2. What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
This question engages with your interviewer while also gathering information for yourself. It shows that you want to learn more about the company and are excited to work there.
3. What do you enjoy least about working for this company?
I would recommend asking this question in tandem with the last one. Not only will it prepare you for the worst to come, but it also shows the interviewer that you’re thinking about this job realistically. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows at a new job, and accepting the job’s faults early on will allow you to avoid post-hiring disappointment.
4. What would my first day working here look like?
The interview is a great time to figure out day one, which will, in turn, figure out day two and beyond. A glimpse into what day one will look like will help determine if this job is the one for you. Asking this question shows the interviewer that you’re thinking ahead and already picturing yourself in the position, which may help them see you in it as well.
5. Where do you see this company in the next few years, and how could I help get it there?
This is another favorite question of mine. For you, you get a glimpse into the company’s expectations for you and areas to buckle down in. For the interviewer, they see initiative on your part. Initiative is one of the most powerful traits in an employee, and showing early on that you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve goals can help you get in the door.
6. What do you need most in an employee right now?
This question allows you to see if you’re a good fit for the position and also gives you something to strive for. Already attempting to meet a company’s needs doesn’t hurt your interview, too.
7. Does this job offer opportunities for advancement, enrichment, or professional development?
What’s the long-term plan here? It’s important always to be looking forward. If a job offers advancement, you might want to strive for that. Essentially, you are seeing if this job matches your view of your future, which is vital to know before you commit if they offer you the position.
8. What challenges would I face while working here?
It’s essential to prepare yourself for the trials to come. Any job is going to have its difficulties, and planning for them can make you better equipped to handle them. An interviewer will know this as well, perhaps noticing that you are ready to handle whatever comes your way.
9. What values are most important to the company?
If you’ve done any research on the company you’re applying for (which you definitely should do before an interview), you already know its values. But asking this question tells you what is most important to the company, which can help you determine if it’s the right fit for you.
10. What skills and experiences are the most useful when working here?
This question is very practical. It asks the interviewer to lay down exactly what will help you the most at that company. It tells you what to expect and where to improve.
No matter how an interview is going, you now have an arsenal of questions to use when an interviewer asks you, “Do you have any questions?” Just be sure not to use them all at once, and go rock that interview!
This article was written by Caitlin Wiles.
Caitlin Wiles is currently working on a B.A. in English at Maryville University. Beyond studying, she also enjoys reading, writing, baking, and taking care of her stepchild. Caitlin is passionate about mental health awareness, gender-neutral parenting, LGBTQ+ rights, and finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. In the future, she hopes to find new ways to help people through writing and become a teacher.