Excellent Questions to Ask at the End of Your Next Job Interview
Published: July 26th, 2023 by Hannah Nguyen
The last question most people are asked in a job interview is “do
you have any questions for us?” Experts agree that it is
important to ask questions during this time to communicate that
you are actively interested in the role. The answers you receive
can also help you decide whether the institution is a good fit
for you. Think about the questions you want to ask ahead of time
so that you don’t freeze up and miss out on this opportunity.
Here are some examples of the types of questions you can ask to
leave a positive first impression.
Show That You’ve Done Your Homework
Most interviewers want to see that you are interested in their job and institution specifically. In fact, I was recently asked in an interview to share what I learned about a library on their website during my research as an applicant. If this kind of question doesn’t come up, asking a specific question that you gleaned from prior research or attention to detail will make you stand out and appear proactive. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:
- I noticed that you recently started doing _________, will this position have any role in growing that program?
- It looks like this is a brand-new position, what led to the decision to expand this department?
- Earlier, you stated that part of this job included ________, can you expand on that?
- According to your last annual report, demand for digital services has risen dramatically over the past year. Will there be opportunities for me to expand the digital offerings in this role?
Communicate That You’re Looking Ahead
Asking questions related to the future of the role you are applying for conveys ambition. A thoughtful forward-thinking question shows that you are motivated and can help your interviewer visualize you working there. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:
- What is the long-term goal for this position (or department)?
- How will this role contribute to the institution’s long-term goals?
- How do you think this role will grow or develop over the next few years?
- What do consider the most important skills needed to succeed in this position?
- What are you most excited about in the future of this organization?
Get The Inside Scoop
Remember that interviews are a two-way street; you are both trying to decide whether you’re a great fit for each other. Take advantage of this portion of the interview to ask questions that will help you understand the work culture, environment, communication style, management style, or day-to-day life. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:
- What are some examples of projects I would be working on?
- Could you share why you like working here?
- How do you approach diversity, equity, and inclusion in this department?
- What has been the most engaging project you have worked on here?
- Who will I work with most frequently?
- What are some of the challenges the person who takes this role will face?
- Is there anything new employees find surprising about working here?
- Are there currently any initiatives to help prevent burnout among staff members?
- Do you offer any professional development opportunities?
Re-emphasize Your Strengths
Since this is usually your final impression in an interview, you could use it to underline your skills or abilities. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:
- Did you have any questions about my qualifications or experience that I can clarify for you?
- Where do you see me fitting into your goals for this position?
Before you leave, remember to ask about the next step in the hiring process. This will help you adjust your expectations about the potential timeline.
- Read what other LIS candidates asked during their interviews from the blog Hiring Librarians
- Ace your virtual interview with these questions from Handshake
Two More Things…
Here are a few job opportunities that might be of interest!
- Digital Preservation Librarian – University of Washington
- Youth Services Librarian – New Jersey
- Library Support Specialist – San Mateo, Ca
Also, remember that internships can be an especially valuable part of your learning experience at the iSchool while also helping you when it comes time to look for jobs. Learn more about the iSchool’s internship program here, where you can check out the INFO 294 Student Handbook as well as the Internship Sites database.