Interview Question: How to overcome any question from the interviewer
Experienced academics and university administrators offer their best advice on how to ask this awkward question at the end of a job interview
This delicate moment when investigators ask smiling if “you have questions for us” stumbled a lot of promising candidates. Here are some tips and tricks from those who know how to negotiate the last minutes of a job interview.
It is important to ask a question that shows you have thought about the role.
My advice would be to ask the chair, “What are the biggest challenges in the first 12 months?” This gives you one last chance to answer and show how you would be good for the role.
Alternatively, you can ask “How would you describe the culture and values of the organization?” Or even “Do you want me to clarify one of the answers I gave?”
Director of Human Resources, University of Strathclyde, and President of Human Resources Universities
The number one “not” when asked if you have questions is to produce a list of questions and browse them one by one.
The interview board is aware of the time and thinks about the start time of the next candidate’s interview. Producing a list of questions could force the panel chair to tell you politely that you can have two questions; a less authoritative chair might let you go one by one, causing a delay in starting each candidate and thrilling all panel members at the end of the interview.
Ask one or two questions that show you’re brilliant, but do not try to “outsmart” the panel. The right questions could include what are the main strategic challenges facing the university and what are the main priorities for this role in the first 18 months. In any case, prepare your own answers in case a panel member asks you the question.
Do not be afraid to say that you do not have questions, but turn that into a positive saying something like “I had a number of questions at the beginning of the interview, but you answered “.
Director of Human Resources, University of London
If there is anything that has come up in the questions that you really need to clarify, do it.
But do not go back to one of your answers and try to give a better one at the end; the panel does not want to know.
Some candidates produce a list of questions and pass through at the end. These lists can kill a promising interview.
Just tell your interviewers that you enjoyed the discussion and say that if you have other questions, you are sure there will be another time. And look at the smile sign.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), University of Muscat, Oman
“When do you want to let me know the result?” Do not count as a question, so if you have to ask this, leave it until the end.
Always have at least one or two prepared questions, demonstrating that you have done your homework and researched the job opportunities / projects the employer is undertaking.
Ask short and specific questions following the interview. ask for clarification about things you did not understand, but also ask for an extension in the areas that interest you during the conversation.
Do not hang around too much, as the panel often has other interviews or meetings aligned.
Director of the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University
You will normally be asked if you have questions for the panel – it is both polite and a good idea to ask one.
But it’s a bad idea to ask for more than one. Administrative details, salaries, relocation expenses, research budgets, training, etc. are better discussed with your potential employer when they have already decided they want to offer you the job.
A series of requests, barely disguised as questions at the very end of a successful interview, can undo all your good work