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TITLE RE: last minute interview questions?
NAME DATE 9/18/2004 8:06:29 AM
CONTENTS Great question!!  Many interviewees are too lackadaisical about one of the most important, if not arguably the most important part of the interview… the ENDing.  Sure “first impression is everything”, but an interview is much like fine-dining, it doesn’t matter how good the appetizer and main courses were, if the dessert isn’t good, the whole dining experience is ruined.  So are your questions at the end of the interview.  If you bluntly state “no, I don’t have any questions” it shows your lack of interest in the company and/or position and eventually leaves a negative impression to the interviewer, and that’s the worst thing you can do.  

So what questions to ask?  There are dozens of different questions to ask, but all too often, Candidates misunderstand that they should try and leave an incredible last impression, by asking an “intellectual” question (e.g. “how is the recent drop in the high-tech equities market affecting your M&A procedure?”), or something to the extent that shows your concern for their organization.  This is definitely a very clever question to ask, but these sorts of questions should be asked during the interview, and/or as a follow-up question after the interview (i.e. along with your thank-you letter) to keep the interviewer on their toes about your application.

Keep in mind, the objective of your last question(s) should be to get an idea of the interviewer’s impression about you as a Candidate and the interview-process as a whole.  Was it good or bad?  Did you say too much or too little?  Were your answers concise and sharp or was it long and explanatory?  Ask questions that will engage the interviewer to give you an on-site review of the interview, “did you feel that my answers were clear enough?”, “what do you believe I’ll need to work-on to be a successful employee for your organization?”, etc.  Understanding these impressions is the key to your next move.  If there was a bad impression or worse, a mis-understanding about your Candidacy, this is the time to catch it and fix it!!  Sure this requires you to talk fast and think faster (and you’ll only get better with practice), but if you ask these types of questions, at least you get a chance to fix your mistakes (if any), rather than hearing-out a long, analytical report of “how the organizations’ M&A process is bound to be doomed due to the slow economy”, which, lets face it, unless you’re applying for the head of the M&A division, their answers doesn’t REALLY affect you as a Candidate.