When the Table Turns – How to Ask your Interviewer Thoughtful Questions

By Julia Sosenko
BGE Career Strategy & Professional Development

When the Table Turns – How to Ask your Interviewer Thoughtful Questions

In most interviews, you will be given time to ask questions at the end. You can make the most of this time by not only getting information from the interviewer, but also demonstrating three desirable attributes: 

1. Show Preparedness 
Research the company, and thoroughly read the job description. I recommend getting out a pen and highlighter, and marking it up as you would a textbook or journal article. If something excites you, such as the company’s commitment to service, or the fact that the position will allow you to leverage a technical skill you have been learning, make a note to ask to learn more about that. 

2. Practice Active Listening 
If the interviewer tells you something new about the position, team, or company throughout the interview, take note if you have a question about it. Depending on the flow of the interview, you might find you can ask about it in the moment, but if not, bring it up at the end of the interview. This will show that you were actively listening.

3. Demonstrate Commitment
There are many questions one might ask at the end of the interview in regards to company culture, team size, management style, etc. I encourage you to ask not only about present circumstances, but to think about the future. Ask questions to show you are interested in finding a place where you can continue to grow, such as:

  • Are there opportunities for ongoing training and professional development?
  • What are some of the company’s (or team’s) long term goals?
  • Can you tell me more about the company’s performance review process? Here you can mention that you value receiving feedback and learning from it.

Lastly, it can be a great idea to come prepared with your questions written on paper. Your mind will be so busy answering the interviewer’s questions that you may forget the ones that you prepared at the end!

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