Editor’s Note: This is the final in a four-part series about how to answer common interview questions. See part 1, part 2 and part 3.

asking thoughtful questions can set you apart from the crowd

The interview is a time for you to make yourself stand out from other candidates. Asking thoughtful questions during the interview can set you apart just as much, if not more, than how you answer questions. Questions are the best way to show your interest in the company, demonstrate confidence and highlight your qualifications.

The key to asking good questions is the same as answering them. Do your homework before the interview. Practice and be prepared. Here are some recommendations to get you started.

  1. Ask a question that shows you have done your research. Address one of the company’s core values or goals and ask how the position you are interviewing for connects to it. For example, “Your core value of sustainability and reducing environmental impact is something I believe strongly in. How does this position contribute to this value, especially in day-to-day work?”
  2. Ask questions to learn more about the company culture. A question like, “What do you enjoy most about working here?” is an opportunity to see a more personal aspect of the company. If the interviewer struggles to find an answer, it may be a red flag.
  3. “What skills and experience does the ideal candidate for this position need?” If the interviewer mentions a skill that you haven’t addressed yet, here’s your chance to provide an example.
  4. Finally, the following questions can help you determine is the job is a good fit for you:
  • “Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position?”
  • “What are the top challenges this position faces?”
  • “How do you define success for this position?”

Come prepared with at least four questions to ensure you have something to ask at the end of the interview.