20 Questions To Ask Yourself Before A Job Interview

Your marketing has done its job.  You have got an interview for the job.

All you need to do is show up, perform well and the job offer will  follow.

If only it was that easy.

Most organisations will typically invite 5 or 6 to interview for the role.

So you have an 80-85% of rejection and a 15-20% chance of success.

Now the odds don’t look so great.  Of course there is plenty you can do to increase your chances of being the candidate who gets the job offer.

So what are 20 questions you should ask yourself before a job interview?

The 20 Questions


What do you know about the organisation?


Hopefully plenty.  You should be able to speak confidently for a few minutes about the organisation.


What issues or challenges is the organisation facing?

It’s good to be able to talk about the organisation issues.  If you can give examples of ways in which you can help solve them, so much better.


What’s the financial performance of the organisation like?

Vitally important if you are going for an accounting role.  Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if you turned up for interview, was asked a question about the financial performance and couldn’t answer it.


How is the organisation different from competitors?

Yes it will have similarities to others in the sector.  On the other hand how is it different from competitors?


Who are the organisation’s key competitors?

Even though getting access to information has never been easier, it’s surprising how many candidates struggle with this basic question.


What’s the outlook for the sector in which the organisation operates in?

Is it fairly stable, is it a growing sector or is it in decline?  Are there disruptors in the sector? Is the business model changing?


Why do you want to work for the organisation?

Yes it’s a job.  But what really attracts you to this specific organisation?


What attracts you to the role?

You might like the organisation.  But what is it about the specific role that you are interested in?


What do you know about the people interviewing you?

In the past this would have been difficult to find out.  Now some searching on LinkedIn and other social media platforms will give you some insight.


What’s critical to success in the job?

There will be a lot of responsibilities.  There will be clues about the type of person.  Cutting through all of that what’s really critical to success in the job?


What examples do you have that demonstrate that you can meet of all of the factors that are critical to success in the job?

The vast majority won’t make the time to work on this in my experience.


How many potential questions have you identified?

Whenever I’m speaking on landing your next job or running a workshop, I ask people how many potential questions they identify.  15 or less is the most common response.

In reality you should have at least 30 if you are remotely serious about getting the job.


Have you written out detailed answers to all the potential questions?

Few will bother doing this or do it in outline.  If you make the effort it will make a massive difference to your confidence on the day and your performance.


Have you audio and/or video recorded yourself answering potential questions?

This has several advantages.  It internalises the answering of questions.  It lets you see where you are struggling to answer.  It helps you see where answers are too short or you are rambling on for too long.


Have you done a mock interview?

Few do interviews often enough to get really good at job interviews.  A mock interview will help you get better at interviews and provide you with helpful feedback.


How will you build rapport with the interviewer?

A good interviewer will take the lead and try to put you at ease.  If they don’t how will you build rapport with them?


How will you manage nerves?

You will be nervous.  Everyone is.  Nerves can be a catalyst to better performance.  They can also hinder your performance too if you don’t take charge of your nerves.


How will you handle the initial question?

Usually it’s the kind of question where they ask you about your career or experience.  It shouldn’t be difficult to answer.  What I’ve noticed over the years is that it is often a question many struggle with.

What you need to understand is that how you answer this first question creates an impression of you in the mind of the interviewer.


What will you wear?

I’m no expert in this area.  You need to decide what’s right for you.

What questions will you ask the interviewer?

Yes the interviewer will ask you plenty of questions.  It’s a big decision to employ someone.  Equally it’s a big career decision for you to accept a role.

What questions will help you to determine whether the role is really right for you?

Interviews are demanding and so they should be.  

Spending some time thinking about the above questions will really help you to perform well in the job interview and increase your chances of getting the job offer.