20 Questions to Consider Before Your Next Job Interview

Imagine you're the person responsible for conducting interviews for a company. You have the distinct privilege of representing the company as you meet with a large list of people who would like to become part of your future success.

You've screened hundreds of resumes and narrowed the pool of potential candidates down to 12. With the help of your Human Resources (HR) Department, their series of screening interviews and phone interviews, you're ready to meet the best of the best.

Excitement fills the air as you begin to think about the impressive feats displayed on each resume. You've got some top picks here. You eagerly await the opportunity to finally meet the "chosen dozen" in person. You're ready to see that day when you go counter to those famous words from reality television, "You're hired!"

You know I like lists and you know I like questions. I'm a firm believer that if you ask the right questions, you can discover the right answers. So, here we go!

The person sitting across from you conducting the interview might be wondering:

  1. Who will impress me the most today?
  2. Can I see this person not just doing the job, but exceeding and succeeding in the job?
  3. Does this person fit into the corporate culture?
  4. In five years, will this person still be contributing to the company's success?
  5. How many more interviews until lunchtime?
  6. Why does this person repeat themselves so much?
  7. What value does this person bring over the previous candidates?
  8. Is this someone who is a self-starter or someone we'll have to manage closely?
  9. Is this person just looking for a steady paycheck or are they looking for a long-term career?
  10. Why did I eat that for lunch?
  11. Why has this person had so many jobs in such little time?
  12. Why does this person act like they're still in the military?
  13. How does this person's skill set fit into the overall mission of our company?
  14. Where is evidence of this person's experience related to this position?
  15. What time is my next interview?
  16. I know who this person will report to. How well will they be able to work together?
  17. They used to work for our strongest competitor. Why are they here?
  18. Which group does this person fall into? Type-A personality? Mr./Ms. Nice Guy/Girl? Paralysis by Analysis? Sir Talk-a-Lot or Chatty Cathy?
  19. Does this person answer questions well? Do they provide examples of the situation and what specific actions they took in order to get the job done?
  20. Who is the Number One pick for this job?

Of course, this is just a list of examples, things your interviewer might be asking silently. You should consider the answers to these and other questions BEFORE you have your interview. Don't expect the person across the desk from you to be a mind reader! You need to spend some time developing your overall impression — the impression you wish to leave once you walk away from the interview!

And remember, the first part of the word impression is IMPRESS!

I wish you the best as you strive to impress!

Now, stop imagining your role as a Hiring Manager, and think about what you need to do in order to land that new job!

Have you ever interviewed someone? What questions came to mind that you'd like to share?