An employment interview is NOT a one-way street.  Not only should you ask questions of your own, you’re expected to do so.  This shows not only interest on your part in the opportunity, but also initiative—and both could curry favor with those conducting the interview.

However, the benefits don’t stop there.  In addition, the questions you ask indicate your grasp of fundamental issues, reveal your ability to probe beyond the superficial, and challenge the interviewers to reveal their own depth of knowledge about the position (and their urgency in filling it).

The questions you ask should show empathy for and an understanding of your potential employer’s needs.  After all, if the company extends you an offer, part of the reason is because they believe you’ll be able to help them meet those needs.

Below are 10 questions to ask during your face-to-face interview:

1. What specific skills are absolutely critical for this position?

2. What kinds of “soft skills” or “people skills” do you believe are important?

3. How long has this position been open?

4. How crucial is filling this position to the day-to-day operations of the company?

5. What’s the biggest challenge facing your company at the moment?

6. How long has this been a challenge for the company?

7. What efforts have been taken to this point to address the challenge?

8. What has been the result of those efforts?

9. How can I help you address this challenge?

10. Is there a part of my background, experience, or skill set that you believe would help you address this challenge, as well as accomplish other objectives?

As you can see, the questions above are related to both the position for which you’re interviewing and issues within the company overall.

Questions like these will not only give you a sense of the company’s goals and priorities, but they’ll also indicate that you have a desire for helping the company achieve its objectives . . . which is why they’re looking to hire somebody in the first place.