Asking questions is an important part of any job interview. The whole purpose of a job interview is to get through to the next stage of the recruitment process as well as to show the interviewer you’re the ideal candidate. You may have the perfect experience and background to be able to get the job, but there are questions you should ask to make your interview stand out from the crowd.

Asking questions to the person who will make the decisions on your future career isn’t for the faint hearted, but it’s important to show that you are inquisitive and that you show a genuine interest in the company and role. Interviews are intended so you can show the real you rather than just being a CV with a name or a voice on the other end of the phone. The interviewer not only wasn’t to see that you’re the ideal candidate, they also want to see you. Sure, you dress smart and act professional, but there’s no point hiding your personality behind stiff posture and twiddling thumbs.

Smash (don’t break, smash) the ice by asking the interviewer what the most important thing they need to know about you is and confidently answer their reply if you haven’t done so already during the interview. You don’t want to walk away from the interview without having the opportunity to fully showcase your potential, especially if it is directly relevant to the position you’re being interviewed for. Asking a questions like this shows you’re confident and forward.

Asking questions on company decisions show you’ve done your homework and that you are genuinely intrigued by what they do. The question could be regarding their current product line or a recent market investment. However, you do need to be careful with this one as you don’t want to come across a bit of a know-it-all as this may deter the interviewer.

Instead of questioning your future at the company by playing the “career progression” card, as about the company’s future. Ask about the company’s future plans, their future directions and how then intend to organically grow over the next few years. Propose how you’d be able to adapt your position to follow this progression.

No interviewer wants to talk about themselves, but being faced with a question regarding their choice to become part of the company will show you’re interested in the company’s ethics as well as landing the job. The answer can lead to a mutual discussion and a friendlier atmosphere – as if you were communicating with a colleague rather than your career-decider. This can lead very nicely to asking what’s so great about the working environment. It’s important to ask more personal questions without making the interviewer feel you’re delving too far into their own working life. Asking questions about day-to-day work will show the interviewer you’re interested in the company’s value system and how colleagues communication with one another.