So you’ve applied for a new job, got a call back and now you’re waiting for the interview to come up. You’re preparing yourself by going through your CV and asking yourself the kinds of questions you think they would ask you and making sure you know your stuff. 

But do you think about the end of the interview?

That moment when they’ve asked all their questions and you’ve had your say, but there could potentially be something left unsaid. 

You might go blank and leave without asking anything (which is fine if all your questions have actually been answered during the interview), but then later you might wish you had thought of something else to ask or say. 

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But it's not just that you might regret not asking questions that's the problem. A survey from Glassdoor reveals that even if the candidate is highly qualified, has great references and is charming in the interview, if they don’t know anything about the company they might potentially work for, they’re less likely to get hired.

A Glassdoor spokesperson spoke to Forbes and said the number one reason for interviews going badly is the interviewee having irrelevant or no questions for the interviewer at the end of an interview. 

Plus, Jesse Green, country manager at Adzuna South Africa, says asking questions like these helps you get a sense of where things are going: “Being scared to ask questions at the end of the interview will not help you at all. You need to pretend that you are your very own project manager of the interview process. So, where is it going? Where are you at? This will allow you and them to have an expectation on when the process will move to the next step. It also allows you to get some honest feedback, since, most interviewers know in the first few minutes if someone is right for the position or not.” 

And Elizabeth Mamacos, former head of content at Careers24, says: “Asking questions during an interview is crucial to a successful outcome. It fosters conversation and allows for both parties to learn more about the other. It also shows that you have an active interest in the position. Just don’t dominate the interview, and be sure to thoroughly answer the questions you’re asked before asking too many of your own.”

Here are eight questions you should possibly be asking (and no, you don’t have to ask all of them):

1. Who held this position previously? Why are they leaving?

You could know the person who held the position previously or have heard of them and that way you could ask them their first-hand experience of the environment and job. Also you want to know if there were any issues between the person leaving and the company.

2. I would love to know more about the company 

Bring up something you’ve recently learned or heard about the company. “Show the interviewer that you have researched the company and are interested in their business and their role in the industry. Make sure you can recall specifics of the news item or facts from their website, don’t just make up something!” says Mamacos.

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3. Why should I work for this company?

Mamacos says: “This question can also be worded as 'What do you like most about working for this company?' or 'How would you describe the company's culture?'. This gives the interviewer a chance to share what they like about the business and provide insight into the culture. If the interviewer is trying hard to sell you on the job, then they probably also think you’re a good fit for the role.”

4. What distinguishes this company from its competitors?

You want to know that the company you’re going to be working for is the best one you could possibly be at. But what makes them the best? Why do they believe in what they do? Is it just facts and figures to them or do they appreciate that every individual brings something unique? 

5. Where do you think the company should be headed in the next five years?

If you plan on being in this role for a long time, you want to know that the company you’re working for is going to grow so you can grow with it. This might also excite you for any possible opportunities that might be coming up that you could be a part of. 

6. Is there anything else you need to ask to know that I can do this job?

Green says: “By answering no, the interviewer/s convinces themselves that you can do the job. If they aren't convinced, they could ask further questions then which are key to your eligibility.”

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7. Are there any reservations you have about my fit for the position that I could address?

Mamacos adds: “This gives you and the interviewer a chance to consider any points that may have been overlooked. If for example she mentions that the company is looking for someone with more accounting experience, you can point out that you also run your body corporate's finances but you don’t include that in your CV. This question provides space for further conversation. Another way to ask is ‘Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications or experience?’”

8. Where do we go from here?

“It is absolutely critical to know the process after the interview and preferably with some sort of timing,” says Green.

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