woman waiting for interview

You’ve crafted dozens of warily personal cover letters and designed multiple versions of your resume in anticipation of a big career move, and it’s finally paid off with an optimistic interview. A little anxiety before a monumental meet-up is expected, but there are a number of ways you can mitigate some of the stress. If you’re already qualified for the position, a bit of research about the company will go a long way, such as knowing its stated mission, leaders, and interviewers. Additional research such as dress code and company history is another way to reduce pre-interview jitters. In your research, you’ll probably have a multitude of additional questions about the company and its atmosphere. At the end of your interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any follow-up questions for your interviewer, and these questions can better demonstrate your understanding of company motivations and challenges. Asking the right questions at your interview can give you a much-needed edge in a competitive job market.

woman in glasses thinking

What are your expectations for this role during the first year?

Regardless of your experience level, there’s a steep learning curve when beginning my new job. Confirming what your expectations will be if you’re offered the position will allow you and your employer to remain on the same page moving forward. You don’t want to be blindsided by a brutally unexpected workflow or duties during your first week.


How would you describe the atmosphere on any given day?

If a workplace culture is toxic, you’re not going to want to stay there in the long run. While your employer may not be fully aware of the daily grind realities, you’ll know if their answer to this question seems sincere or not. You want to guarantee that your input and effort will be appreciated rather than undermined.


What are the company’s greatest challenges right now?

This question may be bold, but it’ll lead to an insightful answer. Turning the tables on the interviewer is more likely to impress them if your questioning comes from a genuine place. It’ll also help you with your pro/cons list if you’re offered the job.


What do you value most as a company?

A company’s dedication to its mission and the well-being of its employees is the foundation of a healthy workplace. You don’t want to work for a company that puts profits and acclaim before its human resources.


Where do you see the company in five years?

This question helps you confirm job security and long term company goals. It allows your interviewer to reflect on the state of the company and could lead to judicious dialogue.