At some point toward the end of your job interview, the hiring manager will likely turn the tables and ask: “Now do you have any questions for me?”
This may be your final chance to shine — and the perfect opportunity to determine whether the job is a good fit — so it’s imperative that you ask the right questions and avoid anything that makes you seem unprepared, lazy, or greedy.
“Now is simply not the time to ask this question,” he explains. “Yes, it’s good to demonstrate you are enthusiastic, but there is a line that can make you appear desperate, and asking this question definitely crosses that line.”
Plus, it puts the interviewer on the spot. “Hiring managers may find this question rude,” Kerr adds. “Almost nobody is in a position to make a firm offer until they have finished interviewing everyone and have followed up on references, and asking this question reveals a lack of empathy for the interviewers’ challenges and a lack of respect and understanding for the entire interview process.”
Depending on the tone you use when asking this question, it might also make you appear either under-confident and needy, or overconfident with a certain air of entitlement. “Keep in mind, more and more companies are hiring for attitude and emotional intelligence, and asking this question might raise a red flag in both of these areas,” he explains.
Kerr says similar questions some candidates are tempted to ask are: “How did I do?” “Do you have any hesitations about me?” “What do you really think of me?” and, “Could you imagine me working here?”
“Again, this in not the time and place for these types of question,” he says. “The place to ask for genuine feedback is when the company has contacted you with their decision.”
Instead, look for signs that might indicate whether or not you’ll be getting an offer, and ask questions like: “Is there anything else I can provide to help you make your decision?” or “Can you tell me what steps need to be completed before your company can generate an offer?” or “What’s your timeline for making a decision, and when can I expect to hear back from you?”
“They key is to end the interview by making a good impression,” Kerr concludes, “so don’t leave them thinking you’re impatient or immature.”
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