Turning the Tables In The Interview

Turn the Table and Ask Them Questions

Most interviewers will leave time in the end for you to ask questions. Go into the interview with some prepared questions. Here are some good examples but limit your questions based on their engagement level. If they look bored or uninterested, ask 1–2. If there is enough time and they are really engaged, then ask 4–5. Based on their answers, you might be able to strategically sneak in another example of a past accomplishment as displayed in #4 below.

1. I saw on your website that your values are XYZ. Of those, which do you feel is most consistently demonstrated, and which would benefit from additional training and focus?

2. Can you tell me about the team composition and whether the position I am interviewing for is new, modified, or a replacement?

3. What would your expectations of accomplishments be after 3, 6, and 12 months?

4. Which elements of the role have the longest learning curve and have been the greatest challenge for past employees?

a. They might say learning our CRM system.

b. I have learned three new systems in five years and been part of a successful implementation, so I would expect to enjoy that aspect of this position.

5. What has your career progression here been, and what is your professional background?

6. What are the team’s goals for this year, and what is the typical planning process?

7. How is the success of the team measured and contributions rewarded?

8. Do most people on the teamwork from the office, remote/home, or a combination?

9. How frequently does the team meet, and what is the standard flow of those meetings?

10. How is this business unit viewed by internal and external customers? What would they say it is like to work with the group?


The interviewer should end the session by telling you where they are in the process and what the next steps will be, including when you should hear back from them. If they forget to do this, it is expected that you will ask what the next steps are.

Thank them for their time and shake everyone’s hand as you leave. Let them know that you enjoyed the discussion and remain highly interested in joining the team. Prepare a very brief closing statement that summarizes why you would be a great fit for the possible. An example closing statement:

Thank you for time today. I have genuinely enjoyed meeting each of you and remain excited about the possibility of the joining the company. My system implementation background would allow me to hit the ground running with your upcoming ERP selection and conversion.

On your way out, thank the receptionist/security and assume you are still being watched until you are out of the parking lot. Exhale.

Learn more about interviewing today in our Job Search Playbook.