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No Questions for the Interviewer - Rejected!

Posted 1/6/2016

As an experienced graduate recruiter I know that the candidates are still fairly new to the whole interview process.  So when I’ve finished asking the candidate questions I switch over to discuss the client organization, its background and culture, career paths, how the graduate program works concluding with next steps in the process. I try to anticipate what they want to know. I seem to do a pretty good job as most times, when I ask “do you have any questions for me?” they pause and chuckle and say “I think you answered all the questions that I had.”

I take that as a compliment in that I’ve done a professional job.

However, my advice to graduates when they interview with the employer is to always ask the interviewer a question at the end. The reason? Over the years I’ve seen strong candidates rejected by a hiring manager because the candidate didn’t ask a question.  I’m serious! In those instances the managers told me they felt the candidate wasn’t demonstrating genuine interest in the role or the organization. Later when I spoke to the candidates, in each case they said they were interested but any questions they did have, were covered off during the manager’s interview (or my earlier interview). So when they were asked “do you have any questions?” the answer was a polite “no”.

In my view, the real issue is that the interviewer feels insecure. Either they’re not confident as an interviewer or they don’t have the interpersonal skills to engage and create a personal connection with the candidate. So when that strong candidate doesn’t have a question, the interviewer takes it personally. They walk away feeling that the interview didn’t go well and decide not to hire the candidate.

So my advice to candidates is to make sure they have one question for the employer. If the manager does cover off everything, a good back up question is to ask “So how did you start in the organization?”  

Image: Rostohar

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