Source: This article was originally published on CNBC.
One of the most important moments of a job interview comes just before the end, when the hiring manager asks,
“Do you have any questions for me?”
According to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, how you respond to this interview question, “the finale of your job interview,” can either make you a front-runner for the job or significantly hurt your chances.
While you may be tempted to ask a simple question — for instance, “What would a typical day be like for me?” — doing so won’t help you stand out.
“Don’t do it,” she says. “It’s so expected. It’s not particularly thoughtful. And it’s probably already been covered.”
Make the most of that crucial last opportunity to shine. According to the leadership and career expert, the best questions to ask a hiring manager should accomplish these two things:
1. Show you’ve been listening
“This is your chance to show you were fully engaged,” Welch says. “Focus in on an aspect of the job as it’s been described.”
To show you’ve been paying attention, ask a question that digs deeper into part of the job description they laid out for you.
A great example of this, Welch says, is something like, “Mary said part of my job would be interfacing with the operations team. I’d love to hear a little more about what that entails.”
2. Show you think big
Next, demonstrate that you think “expansively” by asking a forward-looking question on an industry-related topic.
“Go up to 20,000 feet,” Welch says, “and ask about the competition, the industry.”
You can ask about a new product or feature the company just rolled out, or you can inquire about a trend that’s impacting the sector, citing an article you recently read.
A good example of this, Welch says, is saying something like: “I just read an interesting article about how your competitors are using artificial intelligence. How are you thinking about that development?”
That type of question shows your potential boss you are already thinking about the company and how it works.
“Show in a positive way that you’re excited about the future,” Welch says, “and that a part of your brain is already there.”
And while you’re thinking about what to ask, remember there are also topics you should avoid. Under no circumstances should you bring up salary or benefits during the interview.
“That’s for after you get the offer,” says Welch.
Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator, and public speaker. Through its online MBA program, the Jack Welch Management Institute transforms the lives of its students by providing them with the tools to become better leaders, build great teams, and help their organizations win.