'Do You Want To Ask A Specific Question?' In An Interview

Updated 3 March 2023

Before concluding an interview, many hiring managers provide potential candidates with the opportunity to ask questions. Asking the right questions is key to how the interviewer perceives your suitability for the role. Having a few questions ready in advance showcases your interest in the position, helps you conclude the interview positively and can distinguish you from other candidates. In this article, we explore why an interviewer might ask 'Do you want to ask a specific question?' in an interview, explore how to answer the question and share examples of questions you might ask.

Why Employers Ask 'Do You Want To Ask A Specific Question?' In An Interview

Employers often ask 'Do you want to ask a specific question?' in an interview to provide an opportunity for candidates to clarify questions about the organisation and role. While this might seem like a casual conversation, employers treat this part of the interview as a continuation of the candidate evaluation process. Your questions can help the hiring manager assesses your interest in the job and suitability for the position. Asking the right questions can also showcase your key skills for the role, such as active listening and attention to detail.

Related: Good Interview Questions To Ask (With Tips On What To Avoid)

How To Answer 'Do You Want To Ask A Specific Question?'

Here is a list of steps you can follow to help you ask suitable questions during a job interview:

1. Be prepared

Prepare a list of five to 10 questions you might like to ask the interviewer. During the interview, the hiring manager might cover some of those questions, so it is best to prepare several questions so you may ask about aspects that you did not discuss. It is not necessary to memorise the questions. You can write them down and refer to them during the meeting. This shows that you have thought about the job opportunity and are interested in the role.

Related: How To Prepare For A Job Interview

2. Prioritise your questions

Due to time constraints, you might be unable to ask all your questions. It is a good idea to prioritise them so you can ask the most important ones. Also, be sure to write any queries you might have during the interview. This can help to demonstrate your active listening skills and attention to detail.

Related: Interview Question: 'Do You Have Any Questions?'

3. Modify your questions to suit the interview level

Adapt your questions according to where you are in the overall interview process. For example, if you are at an initial candidate screening interview with an HR specialist, you can ask questions about the hiring process and general employer expectations. Once you pass the screening interview and progress to technical discussions with the team leader, you can ask more specific questions about the position, day-to-day responsibilities and your future team if hired for the role.

4. Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions can help prompt the interviewer to provide an explanation of topics that the job description does not cover. The ability to ask such questions reveals your in-depth understanding of the position and showcases your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Open-ended questions have no correct answers, so they can sustain the conversation, helping you leave a positive impression on the interviewer.

Related: Open-Ended Vs Close-Ended Question (Examples And Details)

5. Research the company in advance

It is helpful to research information about the organisation when preparing your questions. Read the job description carefully, and note points that require clarification. Research the interviewer online to identify their role and position in the company so you can adapt your questions to their particular expertise. Asking meaningful questions relevant to the organisation demonstrates that you have spent time preparing for the interview. Showing your initiative in this way can work to your advantage.

Related: How To Answer The 'Why This Company?' Interview Question

6. Avoid certain topics

In the early stages of the interview, it is a good idea to avoid asking questions about benefits, salary, holidays and other perks. This can give the impression that you are more interested in how the organisation can benefit you rather than how you can add value to the company. You can ask questions on these more sensitive topics later in the process, preferably once the company issues you an offer letter.

Related: 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid In An Interview

7. Be mindful of the interviewer's time

When you ask questions for which answers are readily available online, it gives the impression that you have not researched the organisation or position. Interviewers may have time to answer all your questions, or they might want to end the session promptly. Check with the interviewer if it is okay to ask a few questions before you proceed. Alternatively, you can let the interviewer know you have some queries and see if they can answer them by email or other method at a later date.

8. Rehearse before your interview

Before your interview, practise asking questions by holding a mock interview with a friend or family member. Rehearsing the questions aloud helps you get an idea of how you sound. Get feedback on your voice and tone so that you can appear confident and assertive during your interview.

Related: List Of Questions To Ask In The Second Interview (With Tips)

5 Example Answers

Here are a few suggestions of questions to ask at the end of your interview:

What do you like most about the organisation's culture and work environment?

This is a great question that helps you keep the conversation going while learning more about the organisational culture. It allows you to get an insider's opinion on the best aspects of the job and can help you evaluate whether the work culture suits your personality traits. It also enables you to learn about the company's leadership style and scope for career progression.

Please explain the roles of each member of my future team

Your immediate team determines your overall job satisfaction and workplace productivity. Asking questions about team dynamics and responsibilities helps you get a better idea of the functioning of your future team and the kind of support you can expect if you get the job. By learning about the team members and hierarchy, you will be able to prepare responses in advance if you progress to the next round of interviews with the team manager.

How would you define success in this role?

Employers prefer employees who are successful in their role. Asking this question helps to communicate to the interviewer that your focus is on doing the job successfully if they select you for the position. It also exhibits confidence while helping you learn about the key performance indicators for the role, which you can focus on if you secure the job.

Related: 10 Key Factors For Success (And Tips For Measuring Success)

What current industry trends are significantly impacting the organisation?

This is an excellent question to ask to learn more about the impacts of the broader industry trends on your potential role and work processes. It demonstrates your willingness to learn about organisational challenges and increases your awareness of the latest industry trends. It also shows the interviewer that you are interested not only in the specific position but in the overall growth of the organisation.

Related: 23 Interview Tips: How To Get The Job

What would my immediate responsibilities be if you select me for this position?

This question can help you gain a clearer understanding of how your first few months might be in the role. The interviewer may share details about current projects the team is working on, helping you prepare yourself better for the position. You can also follow up this question with another about the onboarding and training process for new employees.

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