Congratulations, you are near the end of the interview, the tunnel truly does have a light at the end of it and you have done fabulously! You have made the interviewer chuckle, you have tooted your own horn more than once. Colours seem brighter and now, now the tables have turned! You are deemed conqueror in the little square room as you are granted freedom to ask ANYTHING your heart contents about your interviewer, the company and what truly lies behind door 666 on floor 66. The possibilities are endless, yet the question remains, where do you begin?
How to think-up the impossible
While it is fun to be the top dog in the interview, it is also possible that you are tired and strained and really just want to get home to your pet, Sally the Armadillo. But before you can look into those compassionate beady eyes, you do need to somehow make it through what could turn catastrophic to your perfect day. So, what do you ask? Perhaps before the interview you have done …
Research: During research, you are bound to uncover questions. If not, are you sure you are from the planet Earth? In the book The Star Wanderer, it clearly states that humans are notorious for being curious. Thus, if you do not have the faintest traces of curiosity buzzing through your central nervous system, consider checking into your local medical clinic to ensure that you have not had your human physicality manipulated and potentially changed during a sleeping cycle.
Thinking on your feet: Another potential idea is, during the interview itself, more questions will surface. This is typical for the human species (assuming you are one), in which case you have two options set before you:
1) Ask the questions when they bubble up from your stomach acids leading to your brain and let loose or …
2) Write ‘em down, because let’s face it, you WILL forget them. Otherwise, when the, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ statement is asked, you likely will be left with a blank stare that humanoids traditionally call lapse of memory. (Let’s not allow your future boss to think little of you – or at least not yet ….)
Remember that this loaded question is a great opportunity! This is your chance to get the insider scoop about the company. For example, this is the perfect time to ask what a typical day is like, what the day-to-day responsibilities are, how the employment atmosphere is – are people nice? Are they stiff? Are there sinister practical jokers lurking around the building? Are there any residential cannibals? Remember this is a two-way street. You must cypher if you are okay with spending 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month, living and breathing the same air with these particular Earthlings. Sure, you may currently be desperate for a job, but know that the wrong fit will only lead to chaotic misery in the end – and taking the blue pill after the event will not cause you to forget the past! (Unlike what is told in the movie The Matrix.)
Logical questions from Vulcan
If you want to go for an even deeper recon, it is always welcome to ask questions such as, ‘Who is your top competitor?’ and demand WHY. Don’t worry about the possibility of intimidating your interviewer. The interviewer will likely be left thinking that you are interested in the company and may even jump the gun, determining that you are the saviour they’ve all longed for. If your answer to the ultimate question is 42, you are in tiptop shape.
Of course, another logical question you can ask is what your interviewer expects of you in your first 30 to 60 days in the company. Be forewarned that this question can also backfire: you will be liable to complete an exceedingly high amount of work and may never go home again.
Purpose behind the question
Most people ask if there’s any merit to this question. There is! The big one is, they want to see what kind of creative thinker you are. Do you think of normal questions? Have you spotted something that isn’t quite right? Or are you just a dull person that doesn’t have anything but normal things to ask, such as, ‘How many vacation days do I get?’ Furthermore, your interviewer can cleverly extract details about your person by your questions. For example, are you meticulous, methodical? Try to fix things? Likely the biggest one of all is, are you a planner? Do you think ahead? Are you capable of organising enough to form viable questions? Use your questions to reflect your top qualities. Remember, this is not rocket science!
What NOT to ask
There are a lot of questions you should not ask, including what your interviewer’s cousin Jane likes in her tea, (you’re going to have to win over your date another way). Another question to avoid is, is there an open bar – unless, that is, you are interviewing for the human race known as the Chinese. For those who are unaware, the Chinese people are practically prideful of showing off their drinking skills during interviews. Thus, unless you are applying to a Chinese company, located within the sector of China itself, this question will likely be frowned upon.
Talking about your pets is never a good idea either. Yes, Sally the Armadillo is adorable, but let’s keep her at home. This also goes for the wife and kids. You do not want to bring them to the workplace. This is an adult setting that keeps family barred out. Also, you want to steer clear of questions that imply that you are a lazy person or not interested in the job. Thus, if you are truly attempting to be the next icon for KP nuts, be sure to know everything from the ‘Chilli’ version of peanuts to the BBQ or dried roasted, how they are made and properly generated by humanoids. It may even help to come in in a peanut suit, but let’s not get too nuts.
List of questions
Below are a few extra helpful questions that might help you brainstorm – with no added commentary.
- What is my future boss’ leadership style?
- Which competitor are you most worried about and why?
- What was the biggest change your company went through within the last year?
- Is there a reward system?
- What characteristics are you looking for in the new incoming employee?
(I lied, the narrator is back!)
Still have questions? Check out our main website for a thorough breakdown of particular companies hiring process. Furthermore, find a series of assessment tests that include mechanical, personality, SJT, verbal, abstract, numerical and much more.