Closing the interview: Which questions to ask, and which to be prepared for
Before wrapping up a job interview and walking the candidate out, it’s best to end the discussion with key housekeeping issues and final questions to make sure the candidate has a good idea of the job’s requirements and to gauge their interest.
Avoid asking difficult questions last. Finishing on a positive note is part of creating a good candidate experience. Instead, you can recap job responsibilities and discuss logistical matters. Examples of potential closing questions:
- From what you heard, does this position line up with your expectations? (This will tell you something about your job ad.)
- What are your salary requirements? (Avoid asking about past salaries, if possible.)
- How much notice would you need to give to your current employer?
- Why do you think you would be a good fit for this role?
Before the person exits, explain the next steps in the process, including whether there will be more interviews, when the decision will be made and how the person will be notified. Always remember to thank the candidate. Then write your notes about the interview immediately; don’t wait and rely on your memory.
Interviewee as interviewer
Even if you don’t plan to hire interviewees, always end the discussion by offering the chance to ask their own questions of you. The person’s questions may address issues you haven’t considered or discussed.
What if candidates have no questions? That may tell you something about their level of interest or their preparation for the interview.
Hiring experts always advise applicants to prepare at least two questions that demonstrate their interest in the job and their ability. Here are some of the common questions that experts suggest interviewees ask (and, thus, you should be prepared for):
- Can you tell me about the culture of the company?
- What’s the typical career path for someone in this position?
- What is the most important indicator of success in this job—and how is the position evaluated?
- Why is this job open? Is it a new role or why did the previous person leave?
- What is this organization’s goals for the year?
- Can you explain more of the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?
- What companies do you consider your biggest competitors and why?