For instance, if you don't have any questions, you're signaling that you're not very interested in the job or you just haven't thought much about it. And if your questions focus entirely on benefits, pay, and vacation time, you're signaling that you're not interested in the job itself, only the compensation.
What do most interviewers want to hear instead? Typically they appreciate questions that demonstrate you're interested in the work itself and the job's details, as well as things like the department in which you'll work, your prospective supervisor's management style, and the organization's culture.
Here are some examples of great questions to ask during your next interview. These queries won't just impress your interviewer; they will also get you valuable information about the job, which is key in helping you decide if it's the right fit for you. (However, you might not have time for all of these questions, so pick the ones you genuinely want to hear the answer to, not just the ones you think will sound good.)
And last, always remember to ask the employer about the next steps and their likely time line for getting back to you, so that when you go home you know what to expect next and you're not sitting around wondering when you'll hear something.
As part of your preparation before any interview, always write down questions that you want to take with you. It'll pay off when you're in that interview chair.
Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog, where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. She's also the author of Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Leader's Guide to Getting Results and former chief of staff of a successful nonprofit organization, where she oversaw day-to-day staff management, hiring, firing, and employee development.