Being invited to an interview can be a real boost when job hunting. It is a sign your CV or job application has appealed to the employer. Whether you are out of work and need a job that started yesterday or is simply looking to see what is around, an interview is an opportunity for both you and your potential employer to see if you would fit well into the company.

The company interviewing you is clearly asking the questions important to their needs, but there is normally also a chance for the interviewee to ask some questions in return. Not only can you find out answers to any burning questions you may have, but your questions may also help secure you the role. Intelligent well worded questions can show you are keen, have prepared well and can use your initiative. This could be enough to separate you from the other candidates.

How can you impress your interviewers at this stage? It is sensible to prepare several questions based on the research you’ve done prior to the interview. For example, questions about where the company is headed or even about its competitors show that you are keen and have researched the industry. Questions related to topics discussed in your interview are great if you are good at thinking on your feet, as they show you have been paying attention and can quickly digest information. Aim for open-ended questions and not those that require a yes or no answer. However, you don’t want to baffle your interviewer, so ensure it is focused and relevant. Alternatively, try some of the questions considered below.

What qualities are important for somebody to succeed in this role.

A question like this can reveal information that wasn’t in the job description, perhaps even about the company itself and this knowledge could help you show why you would be the perfect candidate.

What challenges is the company facing at the moment?

Issues facing the industry or company specifically at the moment may help you identify ways that you and your skills could be crucial.

What opportunities are there for the company at the moment?

Conversely, try asking about opportunities. Identifying what is important to the firm may help reveal where their efforts will be focused and enable you to show how you can assist.

What does a typical day in this job role entail?

Learning more about the day to day responsibilities of the job will help you decide if this job will suit you. In addition, finding out about daily tasks will help ensure you have mentioned any relevant skills or strengths that haven’t yet been discussed.

What is your favourite part about working for the company?

Asking for the personal opinion of your interviewer may help show if this company will suit you.

What happens next in the interview process?

A question like this shows how keen you are, but also helps you understand the timeline for the recruitment process.

Remember not to ask about the salary or benefits at this point in the process and leave any negotiation for further down the line with the hiring or HR manager.