When an interviewer asks "Do you have any questions?" at the end of an interview, is it acceptable to ask (as one of a few questions)
How did I perform/do during this interview?
The Workplace Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for members of the workforce navigating the professional setting. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Should I ask: "How did I perform/do during this interview?"
There is very little upside (if any) to asking this question. If they choose to answer, the reply will probably be very generic, vague and therefore useless.
The employer may have more interviews lined up - and even though you might have done well, perhaps the next two turn out even better.
In addition, during an interview the applicant should display confidence, which asking this question does not.
To add to the other answers about displaying confidence, there is no upside to this question. As an interviewer myself, I am briefed by my HR not to give any indication of performance at the end of an interview, but simply to outline what happens next in the process, roughly:
My colleague and I will go away and write up our notes, and pass them to HR who will get back to you in a couple of days. If you are successful then ... otherwise ...
The reason we don't give immediate feedback is that it's a no-win situation. It's hard not to give the impression that feedback is an actual decision on progressing to the next stage (especially as both interviewers and candidate are coming out of a somewhat stressful situation, misunderstandings do happen), in which case we may be opening ourselves up to complaints if we later reject someone who hears "yes", and we may lose someone we like if we offer constructive advice and they hear "no".
We do offer constructive feedback to all unsuccessful candidates but only after everyone has had time to go away and reflect on the experience.
Yes, but change the intent and wording of the question.
There are two good times to ask this question
Here are two real world examples from my past:
Me : "I really enjoy programming and I want to move from academia to software development. You have just interviewed me. What do you think that I need to improve?"
Interviewer : "That's a really good question. The things that you need to improve are ....[List of things that I needed to work on]"
I didn't get that job, but the list was invaluable. I fixed my weaknesses, then aced my next two software developer interviews and got offers from them both.
Me : "It's the end of the interview what's your biggest concern?"
Lead Interviewer : "I'm worried about your weakness in skill x"
Me : "Your team is very strong in skill x and you can teach me. This project has a serious computational component and I bring those skills to the group."
(The computational interviewer was quietly nodding in agreement as I said this.)
Lead Interviewer : "You make a very good point"
(I got an offer for that job)
Work out what you actually want to achieve with this question. If you want to feel good then don't ask it. If you want real constructive feedback or you want to change their minds then ask away.
At the end of an interview I usually ask a question with quite similar intent but phrased in a more constructive way. Something along the lines of
Now that you know me in person, do you currently have any concerns in hiring me?
The feedback to this question has always been very positive and constructive. The reason I ask such a question is that:
The question also implies that you are confident in being hired without sounding puffed up.
I'm sure an HR rep can enlighten you further but, speaking from personal experience, asking about your performance to the person that just assessed you and hasn't even got the time to write down the report on it comes out as being insecure to say the least.
Plus you can see on their body language, face expressions and tone of voice a sign on how they perceived you so it's not really needed to begin with.
Don´t ask how you did - they won´t be able to answer it unless they have seen all candidates, and it is therefore an unreasonable, pushy and naive thing to ask.
Do ask what the next stage is. There may be a second interview or some kind of test before you are hired. You are asking this because you need to know the answer, but it is also an opportunity to look for clues. If the hiring manager can´t be bothered to give you a full answer, you did badly. If he tells you that you will be called back to meet the CEO and / or other managers you did well. If he starts talking about the practicalities of moving for the job (if applicable) you did very well.
While most other answers have addressed the issue of there probably being more interviewees than yourself and hence their need to discuss all of the candidates before reaching a decision, there are a few other reasons to say "No" here:
Not only can there be multiple interviewees, but there can also be multiple groups of interviewers, even if there is only one interviewee. I have participated in such group interviews where myself and a colleague focus on one particular area (e.g. problem solving), while another group (interviewing the same person at a different time) will focus on a different area (e.g. subject matter skill), while later on a manager will do yet another interview to assess if the candidate is a good fit for the corporate culture. You might do well with one group and lousy with one or more of the other groups. So asking how well you did of one group is useless info if they are unwise / inexperienced enough to share their initial thoughts.
Others have mentioned but it is worth repeating: it is really hard to make that question come off as anything but indicating a lack of confidence.
When an interviewee asks if you have any questions, they are typically wanting to see some indication of active engagement in one's own career path. You don't want to ask about you, you want to ask about the company and the position. This is your chance to find out about the day-to-day feel of the place, corporate policies, career advancement, etc. This is your opportunity to think about what you did and did not appreciate about other positions you have had and try to find out if they do make an offer, are you stepping into a positive situation or into a situation where you already know you would be happier not being in. If you ask how well you did, the interviewee, even if not hearing an implied lack of confidence, might still see it as a negative in that you are wasting this opportunity and perhaps you are not the type of candidate they are look for. Again, as an interviewer, I absolutely thought better of those who had good, thoughtful questions, and likewise thought less of those who had no questions.
Good luck :-)
No, not a good time, they haven't seen all the candidates yet and haven't had time to digest the interview.
It's not the type of questions they mean when they say, "Any questions?", they were hoping to hear if you had questions about the actual job / company.
However, I have been advised that you should look for feedback some time later. As well as giving you possibly valuable information for future interviews, it also reminds them you exist, and shows a bit of enthusiasm.
In some cases, you might ask, after you answered a specific question, whether your answer hit the spot or not. Often, the interviewers sport their best pokerface and they let you talk for a long time, until your mouth gets too dry to carry on.
Like when someone asks you "What is a GoTo?" and you start explaining about it being the High Level Language version of an unconditional jump and continue on explaining how compilers handle it (with the special distinction between single-pass, double-pass and multi-pass compiler, and P-code and all) and how different CPUs handle it on the hardware level. While, in fact, all the interviewer wanted to hear is "A GoTo is considered harmful" (and just that, not your breakdown of the original text which mentions the equivalence of GoTos and "structured programming" on the machine level (not the source code level).
In such a case, you might ask for feedback early on while answering your question, to make sure that you are on the right path. "Is that addressing the point of your question? Should I elaborate, or are you more interested about the effects of GoTos on code maintainability?" It might show that you can regard a problem from different angles and that you can use your communication skills to ensure that you hit your targets with pinpoint accuracy.
Naturally, don't be meek, be confident. And always be prepared not to receive a useful answer, some HR guys are too trained in not giving feedback that they will not give any information or indication to your performance, or they might just say "carry on" because they want to test how long you can carry on, even if your answer goes into a totally different direction than they expected.
Yes and No. I have always made it a point to TACTFULLY ask something like "What challenges would someone with my experience likely run into?". This not only allows the interviewer to bring up any concerns they may have had during the interview but also deficiencies on the resume, etc. It also gives you the chance to rebut their response in a positive way: "I know we didnt get to talk about that much, but my experience with... has given me lots of exposure to...".
And BTW, a little OT, the last response to "Do you have any questions?" should always be "Where do YOU see yourself in 5 years?". I've often found that one answer to be more telling of the company than a stack of annual reports, plus it gets them talking about themselves without you looking like a suck-up.