two men talkingJob interviewing is a skill, and most of us get better at it the more we practice answering questions. That said, even those with experience can sometimes miss the opportunity to answer the most important question of an interview: “What questions do you have for us?”

Whether it’s lack of preparation or a desire to finish the interview quickly, many people answer this with “no, I don’t have any questions.” However, asking some thoughtful questions demonstrates your interest in the position, your enthusiasm, your diligence and the fact that you were well-prepared for the interview. Here are some tips to help you prepare a few good questions before the interview.

Ask about the position

To demonstrate your careful consideration of the job, ask direct questions about the position based on what you’ve been asked during the interview.

  • What do the day-to-day responsibilities for this position look like?
  • What does success look like in this position? How is it measured and evaluated?
  • What type of training is needed for this position? And what is the onboarding process like?
  • What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
  • Is there anything on my resume or in my experience that makes you question whether I would be a good fit for this role?

Ask about the company

To demonstrate that you value company culture and have done your homework before the interview, ask some questions about the company. Also, if the company has been in the news or has had a noteworthy change, you can highlight that through a question.

  • What would you say are the top values of the company?
  • What type of people tend to thrive in this company?
  • I know the company was acquired by __________ last year. What has that transition been like?

Ask about the interviewer

Any time you can get the interviewer to talk about themselves or tell personal stories, the stronger the interview will be. Demonstrate that you value the interviewer and their opinion by asking about their work.

  • What do you like best about working for the company?
  • What advice would you have for a new person in this position?
  • If you were in my shoes, what else would be good to know about this company?

Ask about the process

This is not the time to ask about specific things like salary, start date, vacation or any similar details. That will happen in the negotiation stage. However, this is the time to ask about the next steps in the hiring process. You can also use the question to reiterate your interest in the position.

  • After speaking with you, I am very interested in this position. Can you tell me what the next steps are in this process?

Remember, interviewing goes both ways. The interviewer is assessing whether or not you’ll be a good fit, and you should be making the same determination. Take advantage of the point in the interview where you can control the conversation and ask questions. Use this window to make a good last impression and learn what you need to know to make the right decision for you.

For more tips, meet with a career development advisor. We’re here to help you practice your interviewing skills and give you advice on the process. Make an appointment through your Handshake account.