Key questions to ask at the end of an interview that may push you closer to that offer

You’ve been through the explanation of your background, story and why you want this job; you’ve succeeded in answering a few tough questions or curve balls; you did a good job in answering some brain teaser or technical questions; and at the end of the interview, they ask you the simple closing question of “Do you have any questions for me (us)?”, you blank, and you ask some silly “get me out of here” questions like “So, what’s the next step of the process?” or worse, “No, I don’t have questions on my end”.

Don’t get me wrong, just by answering smart questions at the end of an interview after you have done poorly, won’t get you the job or the ticket to the next round. But if you have done a good job overall, asking bad closing questions can spoil your performance; let’s put it in mathematical terms: asking smart, well-thought questions at the end of an interview is a necessary but not sufficient condition.

It is part of the 4th and final step in our Program, as we prepare to rise, shine and get the offer from that coveted job. Below we share a few specific and other generic questions you will find useful. I must confess that in the beginning of my career I dropped the ball many times by blanking or having just procedural questions, so I would have loved to read this list. Let’s get into it.

On your interviewer background

I mention it to the point of exhaustion: in the era of Internet, it is unforgivable to go to an interview and not having done at least a basic news-run on your interviewer, the team and the firm. Starting with the interviewer, remember that we are all humans and even seemingly super-human Managing Directors like to have “their egos massaged” then, without being too obvious, ask about their achievements and listen as they share their past experience:

  • Why did you join this firm? And how does it compare with previous experiences?
  • What deal / transaction / project are you most proud of in your career?
  • What was the most challenging moment during your career and why?
  • (On specifics of interviewer education): What made you take this or that decision and study X at Y University?

On the specific team you would be joining

  • How do you evaluate performance at the end of the year?
  • What do you like about working on this team? (this can give you further intel on the different team members and dynamics)
  • Who shall I be spending most of the time with if I joined? (always respect the hierarchies and don’t insinuate you will be talking to partners and managing directors)

On the firm

  • What are the key strengths of the firm? (discussing historical as well as forward looking)
  • What are the key values of the firm and how are those relevant in attracting/retaining top talent?
  • What are the biggest challenges, in your view, for the Company at this time?
  • What type of training do you have for junior team members?
  • Can you share some insights on how the Company has been adapting / preparing / responding to the COVID19 environment?

On the market

  • What is your view on the market / the economy / the specific sector in which the firm operates? And how are you / the team working to have an edge?
  • How do you see the industry evolving (Technologically, consolidation, etc)? Do you think COVID will accelerate existing under-currents of change?

On your career / junior professionals evolution

  • What are the characteristics you have seen repeating in successful young professionals?
  • If I was to get an offer to join, what could I do ahead of starting to be more prepared?
  • What would you say would be my growth / career path if I joined the firm?

So ahead of your next interview, pick a few of these or prepare your own, and be sure you have them under your sleeve to end the interview on a high note. There is no specific formula or defined order for these; just make sure you have a few rehearsed questions and you sort them / ask them depending on how the interview went.

We are looking forward to your feedback on this article or on anything other topic on our Blog, and don’t forget to get in touch if you have questions about our Individual or Professional Programs. We will get in touch ASAP if you reach out at info@breakingintofinance.info.

Until the next time.

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