What are some good questions to pose when an interviewer asks if I have any questions?

Q:  What are some good questions to pose when an interviewer asks if I have any questions?

A:   You only need to have a few questions at the ready.  I’ll give you examples, but first, here are some things not to do:

Be sure you don’t ask for information you easily could  have found on the prospective employer’s website or in the posting about the job. Also, be sure to ask questions they can and will answer.  For example, you may really want to know why they’ve had attrition recently, but that’s something the interviewer may not know or want to share.  Timing your questions is also important; if your first inquiry is on their vacation policy, they may draw the impression that you’re not focused on the work.  Ok…so what can you ask?

Certainly, if you want clarification on something you read in the job description or on their site or that was said earlier in the interview, inquire.  You might also ask something positive, such as what they like most about the organization.  You could ask about the core traits or skills that make for success in their workplace.  Recognize, though, when the interviewer is ready to close out the conversation and return to his or her work. One too many questions is too many and, hopefully, you’ll have other opportunities, at a future point, to pose other questions.  

Last pointer:  if you’re interviewing with more than one person in a row, when you’re asked by each if you have any questions, remember that they will compare notes.  I’d suggest you have three choices, at that point.  You can ask a different question, you can mention what you asked the prior interviewer(s) and pose the same question (e.g., what do they each like best about the organization), or you can say that the previous interviewer(s) did a great job of anwering your questions and that you’re highly enthusiastic about the opportunity.

Any other questions?