Without fail, at the end of any job interview, you will definitely be asked… “Do you have any questions?”
My advice: Please don’t say, “No”
Even if you’ve had the opportunity to ask your questions throughout the interview, try to save a few for the end so that you can appear interested and leave the interview off on a good note.
Here are 9 impactful questions you can ask after a job interview, plus:
- Why asking THESE questions works in your favor (and leaves a lasting, positive impression about you)
- Exactly where & when interviewers form their opinion of you during an interview
- Culture clues and red flags to be on the lookout for.!
These questions, when delivered with genuine curiosity, are sure to prove effective in showing your enthusiasm for the role! – AND, give you the clarity you may be looking for!
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Why you should ask your employer questions after an interview
I said in the introduction, that when it comes to being asked, “Do you have any questions?”, my best advice is to not respond with a “No”.
The reason for this is because people LOVE talking about themselves! People love the opportunity to answer questions. Not only that, but if you are the one flipping the script and asking insightful and impactful questions, it can really create a nice dynamic at the end of the interview, giving the interviewer an opportunity to see how you perform as a leader. Generally, even if it’s not openly talked about, interviewers are going to form their opinion of you not only based on the questions you answer, but also based on the questions that you ask. So, if you are saving some really great, insightful questions for the end of your interview, it’s a guaranteed way to end your time together on a very positive note.
The “middle” of an interview
Funny enough, most people form opinions about an interaction based on the start and the end of the experience, and not necessarily what happens in the middle. This is good news for anyone with interview anxiety! Sure, the middle is the most challenging part… But arguably, if you make a great first impression, and also leave a great lasting impression at the end, those moments can be as important, if not more important than the points you said in the middle.
In general, if you can really master the beginning and the end of your interview, then hopefully – not only will it help you feel more confident and have a better feeling about the interview, – but it will leave the interviewer feeling positive about meeting you, as well.
Nine Questions To Ask During Your Interview
1. “What do you like about working here?”
This first question can be insightful for you to get a feel of the company culture and to hear people talk about their job in a positive way. It’s not really a confrontational or a charged question, and you should be able to tune in to not only what they say but how they say it. This will help you deduce whether or not it could be the right fit for you.
Remember, interviews are two way streets – you’re being interviewed for a position, but also behind the scenes, you are interviewing them to find out, “Is this a good fit for me? Is this a place where I will fit in? And will it serve my needs?”
2. “How did your organization handle the challenge of the pandemic?”
Knowing how an organization handled a big challenge like the pandemic can be really telling of the company culture.
Were they an outpatient clinic that actually had a low census and had to shut down? Were they a hospital unit that had an influx of patients and staffing issues? You can really get a good idea of how they handled unprecedented challenges, and also clue into their company culture on how they treated their employees.
Hopefully, their answer really shows that they are at their both a patient-centered organization as well as an employee-centered organization. You want to make sure that they’re admitting that the challenges were around, either patient care, or being able to keep their employees happy and healthy. These are all insights that will really clue you in on whether this is a great place to work, or not work. For example, if the interviewer leads with financial figures without really talking about the work that they do… Maybe that would be a red flag for you.
As I mentioned before, pay attention to how they answer questions; check their body language, tone of voice, etc to infer the authenticity of their answer!
3. “What are some consistent characteristics of your top performing employees?”
This question is great because it first of all, it clues them in to the fact that you’re curious about what “top performing” means. It can also subconsciously share on your behalf that you intend to be a top performing employee because you want to know how to make that happen. Their answer also reveals what they value in their top performing employees and what their ideal candidate looks like for this role.
4. “What does your ideal candidate look like?”
Similar to Question #3, this question helps you figure out if you are within reach of what their defined ideal candidate is.
5. “What is the biggest challenge that your team faces?”
This is a nice and open ended way of asking about challenges, outside of the pandemic. It can clue you into what they perceive as a challenge, and hopefully, it would also include not only what the challenge is, but maybe how they’re working on it. Their answer will tell you a little bit about the inner workings of the organization, how they hope to improve, their plans for the future, and how their staff and employees integrate into this improvement.
Assuming you want to work for a place that has perceived challenges, this is a must-ask! If they are an organization that doesn’t think that they have any challenges, they likely lack the self awareness to even reflect on where they could improve. If an organization thinks that it’s perfect- yikes! Are they going to be responsive to complaints or concerns or areas that are recognized by the staff that need improvement? Maybe not…
6. “What are some ways I can get involved beyond the provider role?”
This question suggests another way to show the interviewer that you intend to be an engaged employee. Similar to what are the characteristics of your top performing employees, it shows that you don’t want to just do the bare minimum in your role.
Additionally, the answer you receive can shine a light on what opportunities are there for you – how you can contribute, how you can help grow different areas of the organization or of the unit, and whether or not these activities exist for you. Remember to think long term!
7. “How do you promote inclusion of diverse and disabled patients and families?”
I like this question because it tells you what an organization or clinic is doing to practice what they preach. If they are an organization that outwardly states that they are inclusive of patients and families and even staff with disabilities or those of disadvantaged populations or minorities, asking this question can really help you find out if they are “walking the talk” and putting their beliefs into practical action.
It can also reveal a red flag if you ask the question and they either don’t know what you’re asking, or they have no response for you. Personally, I think that as nurses, we should be making sure that we align ourselves with organizations and employers that have a broad vision of inclusive health care for all. If this feels important to you too, definitely add this question to your post-interview list!
8. (For new grads) “As a new grad, how do you plan to support me and my development?”
The transition from nursing student to nurse, or from nurse to NP, or NP student to NP, are NOT for the faint of heart! They can be super challenging, and they typically require support and guidance and resources for you to ask questions. Asking this question will, again, clue you into the company culture, tell you whether it’s a good fit for you, and whether they are going to value you, value your contributions and make sure that you are someone who succeeds there.
9. “What is your decision timeline for this role?”
Save this question for the very, very end! “What is your decision timeline for this role?” Or you could say, “When should I expect to hear from you?” Or, “What are the next steps?”
Asking this question will give you information so that you can put your expectations in place. I get asked pretty frequently, “How long after an interview should I be hearing back?” And my question to them is, “What did they tell you in the interview?” And they probably won’t tell you unless you specifically ask, because hiring rhythms and timelines can vary so much depending on the organization. You know, that’s why it’s a hard question to answer if you haven’t asked it specifically.
Knowing their timeline also kicks off your plan to follow up. I am a big proponent of following up after interviews- not only sending your ‘thank you’ note within 24 to 48 hours, but then following up if you haven’t yet heard back by the approximate timeline that they’ve given you. That follow up is very important. It reiterates that you’re still interested and it nudges them a little bit in that direction of making a decision about you.
- What do you like about working here?
- How did your organization handle the challenge of the pandemic?
- What are some consistent characteristics of your top performing employees?
- What does your ideal candidate look like?
- What is the biggest challenge that your team faces?
- What are some ways I can get involved beyond the provider or bedside role?
- How do you promote inclusion of diverse and disabled patients and families?
- As a new grad, how do you plan to support me in my development?
- What is your hiring timeline for this role?
I hope this article has been helpful. Don’t forget to grab my FREE interview guide and I’ll walk you through the 7 most common questions you’ll encounter in an interview plus give you a list of some uncommon ones that might take you by surprise.
Let me know how your job search and interviews are going – and what kind of answers you receive from asking these questions. I always love to hear updates from you, so don’t be shy! You can DM me on Instagram or tag me @theresumerx.
Until next week, I’m rooting for you!