You’ve just gone through a grueling case interview and there are a few minutes left before you part ways with your interviewer. The tables have now turned, and it’s your turn to put your interviewer on the spot. But you panic – what are the best questions to ask at the end of an interview?
Though going through the entirety of the case interview is undoubtedly tougher, asking good questions can be a challenge as well. Of course, the last minute panic in these types of situations can easily be avoided with the right preparation.
Questions to Ask at the End of an Interview
This is where we come in – see below for the 8 best questions to ask at the end of an interview.
I feel like I have a good understanding of the firm now with all the people I’ve met. I actually want to take the time to get to know more of your personal background. Can you tell me more about your background and how you ended up in consulting and at [firm name]?
- Most candidates forget that at the end of the day, no matter how intimidating your interviewer may be, he or she is a human being. Work is not the only part of their lives and interviewers have an entire life story that is seldom asked about. By asking a question about your interviewer’s background, you may be surprised by the interesting stories and fun facts they share. Showcase your personable side by asking this question.
Given the stage you’re currently at in your career, I’m sure there must have been several ups and downs. What advice would you go back and give yourself when you were in my shoes?
- This question is especially great when your interviewer is much older than you. As a general rule, older people love giving advice and sharing their stories. Consultants also highly value curiosity and a strong desire to learn. Regardless of how your interview goes, you’ll be able to gain several nuggets of wisdom by asking this question.
I understand what the basic requirements for this role entail. In your opinion, what makes someone not just good but indispensable and a great consultant?
- There are the good, and then there are the great. This question shows that you’re gunning for the top and have both the ambition and courage to pursue excellence. Consulting firms look for the cream of the crop – those not just satisfied with being good enough. Show your interviewer that you are looking to be a star performer by asking this question.
What are some nuances and unique aspects of [firm name’s] culture that you can only know from working here?
- Go beyond just asking the simple question of what a firm’s culture is like. There is a lot you can find online and by Googling a company. Ask the interviewer to dig deep and give you insight you can only get from an insider. As an added bonus, this question also shows that you really care about learning about the firm and the truth behind its culture.
What have been the biggest surprises – both good and bad – that you’ve experienced from working at [firm name]?
- Very, very few employees at any firm have had a purely positive experience at work. This is increasingly true the longer someone works at the same firm. Everyone goes into a job with certain expectations that are either exceeded or not met. With so much information on the Internet about what to expect about a job, chances are, your interviewer had similar expectations going into the job as you. This question helps you receive a more realistic understanding of what your role as a consultant will entail.
What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a consultant?
- Isn’t it interesting asking a really smart person what they find difficult? Management consulting is not an easy industry. If it were, the recruiting process wouldn’t be so hard! Even while picking the top of the top candidates, all consultants face challenges in their jobs. Though your interviewer will have strengths and weaknesses different from yours, this question can help shed some light to the obstacles you’ll face on the job.
Can you tell me something about consulting that most people don’t know?
- Have your interviewer dig deep and give you some valuable insight about consulting that’s hard to find. Regardless of whether or not you get the offer, this question gives you some useful knowledge that you can apply throughout your consulting recruiting process. The question also demonstrates that you really care about the industry you are hoping to join.
Why did you end up choosing [city] office? What sets this office apart from others in the firm?
- Top performers have options. Demonstrate you are a top performer by being clear about the fact that you are carefully examining your options in terms of both firm selection and office selection. This is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the recruiting and interview process.
There are an endless number of questions you can ask at the end of an interview. Hopefully these help provide you a good place to start, but the best questions are usually specific to the interview and the interviewer. Finishing off an interview with good questions is a great way to add the cherry on top to a great interview. For more on the case interview, check out the additional articles below.