At the end of an interview, have you ever been asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” only to stare blankly at the interviewer and then finally say, “Um, nope!” It’s ok. We have all been there at some time or another. Did you get the job? If you did, way to get lucky! If you didn’t, perhaps it was because you appeared to lack interest in the position by not having any questions for the interviewer. Fraser Works Co-op to the rescue! Here we will provide you with some great questions to ask the interviewer to demonstrate your interest in the position and give you some insight into how good of an applicant you are for the position.

One of our favourite questions is, “In your opinion, what does an ideal applicant look like for this position?” This gives the employer a chance to divulge what type of a person s/he is truly seeking. This gives you the opportunity to speak to any qualities, attributes, or assets that you possess that were neglected during the interview, thus covering all your bases. If the employer goes on to describe someone with attributes, qualities, or assets that do not match yours at all, then at least you know where you stand.

You could also ask, “Who held this position previously and for how long? Why is s/he leaving the role?” The answers to these questions may reveal a great deal of information that you can use to assess whether or not you would like to work for said company. For example, if the employer states that the person who previously held the position was hired externally and lasted only five months because of personality conflicts, this provides you with enough information to continue probing the interviewer about their staff. Some probing questions may include, “Are there other staff members who experience personality conflicts?” or “What is your turnover rate?” Hopefully the employer will state something like, “The individual was with the company for seven years, after being promoted internally time and again, and left to raise her children.”

Another great question is, “What do you like most about working for this company? The answer to this question can be quite revealing. Perhaps the employer will disclose information about how the staff often hangs out together outside of work time–they are quite family-like. Maybe this is where you learn that the company does motivation sessions with the staff every day in the morning before work. Or, maybe they’ve recently brought in a yoga instructor to conduct a session during the lunch hour. Whatever information is revealed is a key factor in your assessment of whether or not this is your kind of company.

Some other questions to consider asking at the end of the interview include:

  1. What does a typical day look like for someone in this role?
  2. How would you describe the company’s culture?
  3. Will I have an opportunity to meet those who would be my staff members or managers during the interview process?
  4. What is expected of your new hire in this position at the three month, six month, and one year mark?
  5. What’s your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?