Envision this scenario: You are interviewing for a position you really want. The repartee between the interviewer(s) and you has gone great. You are uniquely qualified, and the job seems good as yours.
Then, you hit a wall when asked, "Do you have any questions for us?"
For many, they need not envision this scenario. It's one that's played out for them in an otherwise successful interview.
For some employers, opening the floor for the interviewee to ask questions may be a subtle test; a means of evaluating the applicant's preparedness. Coming with questions ready demonstrates foresight.
I spoke with a hiring manager from a major American media outlet who said very rarely do candidates ask questions.
"That's a huge boost in my mind," he told me. "It's actually rare that our candidates ask many questions. Those who do stand out."
Take advantage of this opportunity by not only having questions prepared, but questions pertaining specifically to the organization and its work.
The same hiring manager told CareerCast that too often, candidates come into interviews without a complete understanding of the job for which they are applying.
"Do they not do a Google search beforehand?" he asks, rhetorically. "That's just lazy."
Indeed, thanks to the internet, there's little excuse to not come into any interview with extensive knowledge about the organization.
Perhaps you are interviewing for a position with a company or group that has a bare-bones website. Even better! Among your prepared questions, ask about the state of the site and what you could do in your position to improve it. This shows both preparation, as you have taken the time to study the website, and a proactive attitude.
Handle this delicately, of course -- which is a constant theme for any question you may ask during an interview. After all, the other questions you might ask could determine whether you even want the job.
The interviewer asking for your questions is also a courtesy, an opportunity to learn more about the fit. This is your chance to learn more about the chances for professional growth, the atmosphere of a given work day, the expectations for you both in the short-and-long-term.
There's no reason you should feel in the dark about any facet of your career. You'll spend several hours per week in this position, so get as much information as you can upfront. Should you turn off an interviewer with simple questions about office culture, growth opportunities or expectations, it's probably not the job you want.