One thing that many job seekers find challenging is knowing what questions to ask at the end of an interview. What are you allowed to ask? What questions will help you get the job? What questions will help you evaluate if this is the right job for you?
We’ve all been there. You’ve just fielded questions for half an hour, or maybe even longer, and the hiring manager is finally done. You might be relieved it’s over, but not so fast!
The hiring manager then asks you, “So, do you have any questions for me?”
This is a great opportunity to leave a positive lasting impression. The questions you ask at this stage can communicate your understanding and enthusiasm, and help you discern whether or not this is the job for you.
This may sound daunting, so we turned to The Commons community - made up of talented individuals who have plenty of experience as both interviewers and interviewees - for their tips on how to nail this stage of the interview. Here’s what they had to say:
Great questions to ask at the end of an interview revolve around these three ideas:
- You want to know if the interviewer has any doubts about offering you the job
- You want to ask insightful questions that will help you stand apart from the rest of the candidates
- You want to know what happens next
One of our Mentors at The Commons, Shane (Head of Ops at KOHO), provided this great piece of advice: “Insightful questions have to start with a genuine and sincere interest in the topic such that you would enjoy expanding on and exploring it.”
In other words, don’t ask questions for the sake of it. The interviewer will see through insincere questions only being asked to fill in time.
So, what are some good questions to ask at the end of a BizOps interview?
How would you describe your organization's culture? - Prashant, The Commons Alum
- Hearing how a company perceives its culture will give you an insight into what’s important to them and an opportunity to dig deeper to see if the elements align with your values.
Do you have any hesitations about me working here?
- If they answer yes or waiver, you may be able to address their hesitations.
A question I love being asked as an interviewer: What qualities or behaviors would you say make someone stand out as a rockstar on your team? - Julie-Anne, The Commons Mentor (Product Ops at DoorDash)
- This allows the interviewer to outline the processes / initiative you need to take to become one of their company's top performers.
What are the next steps in the hiring process?
- Another interview? A letter in the mail? A phone call? It’s critical to know what happens next.
What would a typical day be like in this position?
- This will give you a glimpse of their expectations and the upcoming projects that are priorities. It’s a great way to see if your interests align with the role.
What would I be measured against in this role? What would be the expectations for me in 6-12 months?
- Similar to the above, this gives you insight into expectations and whether or not you'd be excited about delivering what they're keenly looking for.
What are the possible ways a candidate could fail in this role? - Donald, The Commons Alum
- This question helps you to know what NOT to do, which is just as important as knowing what to do. It also helps you identify if your skillset aligns.
Is this a new position? If not, why is the role vacant?
- It's always great to get an understanding for turnover and tenure. Did someone get promoted out of the role (a great sign!) or have they had frequent and rapid turnover in the role (not so great & worth getting to the bottom of).
Can you give me an example of when you've invested in someone's development on your team. - Alex, Head of Growth at The Commons
- This helps you identify how much the hiring manager focuses on their team's development - critical if you want to grow as quickly as possible. Asking for a specific example helps make sure they can demonstrate tangible action.
Specifically for an earlier stage company: What is the current cash runway?
- If your're joining an early-stage company, you likely want to understand what the cash runway is (i.e. how long until they run out of money). Are they planning to raise money? Are they banking on exponential growth? Knowing this will help you evaluate risk and measure it against your risk tolerance.
Next time you’re at the end of your interview, remember that it isn’t over just yet and have a few questions prepared. Your interviewer will appreciate it, it gives you an opportunity to gather information critical to help you make a decision and it just might provide the edge that lands you your dream job!
Want to tap into more advice like this? Join The Commons (by applying to a Sprint) and you'll unlock full access to the community.