Question: How many questions should I ask after the interview? Is there a possibility that too many questions (even though they’re reasonable) are excessive? –Anonymous
Answer: There’s a fine line here. On one hand, I understand why you’d want to ask more than one or two. You want to seem engaged and interested in the opportunity. Maybe you only had a single question in mind before the interview but came up with more that you realized you wanted to ask by the end.
A short and sweet answer, to start: one or two is fine, no more.
The one or two should be fairly quick to answer—you want to be mindful of the interviewer’s scheduled time. Watch for cues of whether they have time constrains or not. Otherwise you risk inconveniencing him or her and disrupting their schedule, which could reflect poorly on you.
Of course, the type of question you ask matters too. Make sure that you’re not asking one that you can easily find the answer to with a cursory glance at the homepage of the organization’s website. Just as it’s important to come to the interview having done your homework about the position, you’ll want to bring an incisive question that supplements the research you’ve done.
Avoid personal questions, inquiries about compensation or asking whether or not you’re going to get the job at all. All of these puts the interviewer in an uncomfortable position and could jeopardize your chances at the role.
Your best bet is to stick to one or two questions that show your engagement and interest in the position, organization or industry as a whole, and is brief enough to keep you in the window of allotted time. Inquiries that reveal your curiosity and effort into taking the time to do your research will no doubt work in your favor during your job search!
Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.