Engaging With the Company During Your Interview

The job interview isn’t just a one-sided affair where you answer a barrage of questions and then leave. Your time with the hiring manager or panel is also an invaluable opportunity to ask strategic questions demonstrating enthusiasm and interest in the company. Engaged, thoughtful inquiries also enable you to gather crucial insights into the role, team dynamics, values, and culture to determine fit. Plus, the conversation flows better when you actively participate.


But blurting out generic questions like “So, what does your company do?” won’t cut it. Thoughtful preparation and planning are required to develop inquiries that impress interviewers and potentially give you an edge over other candidates. Avoid wasting this prime opportunity to show your passion and engagement.


With effort and strategy, you can craft questions that cast you in a positive light as someone who deeply understands the employer’s goals and priorities. Here are techniques to help you shine during the interview by asking intelligent, tactical questions.


Do Your Research

Thorough preparation is key. Closely examine the company website, social media, press releases, and reviews to understand their mission, values, culture, products, challenges, and goals. This allows you to ask informed, strategic questions. Avoid anything easily found online. 

Building on your research, delve deeper during the interview. For example, a question like, “I noticed on your About Us page that transparency is a core value. How does that translate day-to-day?” shows you did your homework.


Inquire About the Role

One of the best ways to demonstrate interest and learn more about the open position is to ask detailed questions about the day-to-day responsibilities, priorities, and challenges. Open-ended inquiries like “What does a typical week look like in this role?” and “What metrics or goals are most important?” prompt the interviewer to provide illuminating information. This serves the dual purpose of both showcasing your engagement and gaining valuable insights you need to evaluate the role.


Some examples of insightful questions about the particular position include:

  • What are the key projects and deadlines that make up the rhythm of the job?
  • How would you describe the culture of the team?
  • What challenges is the team currently facing? How could the new hire help address those?

Asking intelligent, well-researched questions about the role enables you to determine fit while demonstrating your interest in truly understanding the company’s needs and priorities.


Demonstrate Alignment

Another way to stand out is to prepare several questions designed to highlight your qualifications, values, and passion. These inquiries subtly underscore how you’re a great match for the employer while enabling you to gauge compatibility.


For instance, you could ask:

  • What qualities make someone really thrive in this role?
  • How would you describe your management style and what you look for in team members?
  • What opportunities are there for professional development and growth?

This shows the hiring manager what is important to you as a candidate and employee while reinforcing your fit.


Build Rapport

Don’t underestimate the power of questions designed to simply build rapport with the interviewer. Relationship-building inquiries foster positive, genuine interactions and conversations that flow naturally.


Consider asking:

  • How long have you worked for the company? What has kept you engaged?
  • What do you enjoy most about working here?
  • How would you describe the culture and values?

Making personal connections can leave interviewers with strong, lasting positive impressions that may provide that extra edge over other qualified candidates.


Leaving a Lasting Impression

Thoughtful preparation and planning allow you to develop meaningful questions that impress hiring managers while helping determine fit. Be ready to actively participate in the interview conversation. For help crafting impactful questions and practicing your interview skills, consider working with our career coaches. They can empower you to put your best foot forward, leave a lasting impression, and secure the job you want.