You’ve made it through the interview. You can feel it coming to an end. Now you’re wondering how you did. Take a deep breath. You cannot relax just because it’s almost over. Why? Because there are important questions to ask at the end of an interview:
1. Does the Interviewer Have Misconceptions About You?
First, do you think you might have left the interviewer with any misconceptions about you? If so, ask and clarify.
You might say, “When we were discussing such and such, I’m concerned that I might have left you with the impression that…”
2. Did the Interviewer Miss Any of Your Qualifications?
Second, did the interviewer miss asking you about a qualification for the job that you know you have? Mention it, then describe your relevant background.
You might say, “I remember the job posting required such and such a qualification. We haven’t discussed that. I have…”
That question shows the interviewer you’re paying attention to the company’s needs. Many candidates don’t, so you can differentiate yourself and demonstrate your seriousness about the opportunity by asking.
3. Does the Interviewer Have Any Concerns About You?
Third, ask the interviewer if they have any concerns about your qualifications or fit.
You might say, “I’ve enjoyed our interview so much. I’m very interested in this opportunity. I’m curious, do you have any concerns about my qualifications or whether or not I’m a good fit?”
Be open to the idea that their concerns might be valid.
If they are, ask for more details about the qualifications and the company’s culture. Then, discuss your motivation to adapt and perform. A highly motivated candidate can often win over a better qualified, less motivated candidate.
If their concerns aren’t valid, you have a misconception. Return to #1.
4. Ask for the Job
Fourth, if you’re genuinely interested in the role, tell the interviewer you want the job and give a succinct explanation of what’s in it for them and their company to hire you.
You might say, “I appreciate your time today. You’ve convinced me that I want this job. I hope you hire me because I can’t wait to start working on the biggest challenge, fixing the ERP problems you described. As we discussed, I just finished leading an effort that virtually eliminated expensive manufacturing errors.”
In sales, this is called “asking for the order.” You’d be surprised how few candidates do it. The less qualified candidate who wants the job sometimes prevails over the more qualified, less enthusiastic candidate.
Caution: Don’t overdo it, no drooling.
5. Do a Process Check
Finally, if the interviewer hasn’t scheduled your next meeting, ask them where they are in the interview process, how many candidates they’re talking with, and what the hiring manager’s timeline is.
You might say, “I appreciate your time today. I am curious about where you are in the process. How many people are you interviewing? What do you think your timeline will be?”
Consider the interviewer’s response a best case, least likely scenario. Hiring processes usually take more time than people estimate. Nonetheless, the question is important because it will help you determine when to follow up.
Good Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview — Not During the Interview
Note that these are wrap-up questions to ask at the end of an interview, not during the interview.
Ask your smart questions about the company and the job during the interview, in the normal flow of conversation.
By the end of the interview, your interviewer is likely looking at the clock and feeling pressed to move on to the next item on their schedule. Don’t try to launch a major conversation when they need to move you out the door.
Updated November 2019
© 2013 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, writes all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by leading business, general, and career media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Lifehacker, Ask.com, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, Payscale, Business News Daily, and the Muse. Let her background and experience inform your job search strategy and decision making.