Those Pesky End-of-Interview Questions

Susan Hall
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I hate being asked at the end of an interview, "Do you have any questions?" if my mind is working in overdrive and I can't think of any. That seems so lame. Even if you've asked plenty of questions in the course of the interview, it's a good idea to have some prepared in advance so you don't have to scramble later.


Toni Bowers at TechRepublic writes that situation always feels like a test and that it is a test. She writes:

What you don't want to do is ask a bunch of superfluous questions just to show you're interested or interesting. Keep the number of questions at the end to two. And don't kid yourself in thinking that an interviewer can't pick up on the disingenuous.

She suggests questions such as these:

  • What do you like about working here? That gives you insight into the interviewer as well as the company.
  • What skills do I need to have most to help the team? Besides rating the skills, that says you know it's about the team, not just you.
  • As my manager, where would you like to see me after my first three to six months on the job? That tells you the manager's goals and signals your willingness to work with that manager.


In a far funnier post at Microsoft JobsBlog, Chris Rosenau lists five questions you probably shouldn't ask. He says these came from real interviews, saying, "You can't make this stuff up." They are:


  • Can I hire a third party to test any code I write rather than testing it on my own? I just like working that way.
  • Is my compensation limited by how long I've been around? I mean, what if I write a whole new operating system or something. Shouldn't I get paid a lot more for that?
  • Is it true that Ballmer will step on your iPhone if he sees it?
  • What if I don't like the job after I've been in it a few weeks?
  • You seem reasonably intelligent. Why haven't you quit yet?

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