I think it is important to understand that interviews are a two way process. It’s not just about the employer asking questions about one candidate to see if you fit in, It’s also about you asking questions to see if the job is right for you and to see if you fit in with the company. So you should ALWAYS ask questions at the end.
As an interviewer I don’t think people are very interested if they don’t ask questions. You need to ask enough questions so that if you get the job on the day that you start you know what to expect. You don’t want to get a job and think, hang on a minute; this is not what we discussed.
The questions need to be relevant to the role that you are applying for, so if you are applying for a junior role you don’t need to know what the company’s plans are for the next 5 years and what the profit and turnover is etc etc. You need to ask questions about the actual job e.g. What’s the job going to involve on a daily basis, what are the tasks.
The worst questions to ask at the end, are, what are the hours and what is the pay. That just sounds like you are not interested in the job; you are just interested in any job and it isn’t important what the job is.
You need to do your research. Look at the website of the company, ask about anything on there that you have seen. You need to know all about the job; if it’s a sales position you need to ask about the money. You need to show you are interested in earning commission and bonus; you need to ask questions like how the bonus structure works; how the targets work, how many people are hitting targets; how long it’s going to take for you to hit the targets, questions like that. Other questions are, how many people are in the team? Why do you like working for the company? Why do the other people like working for the company. What are the values of the company? What are you looking for in the next person that you hire. How will I be measured? What training will I get?
If at the end they have covered everything you really do need to say, ” Look I really did have some questions here but you have gone through them all”. I do think it’s acceptable to take your questions in typed up on a piece of paper. It makes you look like you are professional.
So before you go to that next job interview think about what questions to ask.