Key Questions to Prepare for a Successful Interview

Photo via collegegrad.com

It is great news to receive an invitation to interview.  You stood out from the crowded field of applicants and the hiring manager sees something of interest.  Before you arrive for your interview, you can increase your likelihood of success by asking yourself some key questions.

What uniquely qualifies me for this position?  Think about the skills and experience you bring to the job.  What is unique about you for this role?  How can you demonstrate your unique qualifications in the interview?  How can you make a difference for the company in this role?  If you can’t answer these questions, you will likely not get the job.  Be prepared to demonstrate your unique value proposition.  If there is a key skill or experience they require that you are lacking, be prepared to address that.

What skills and experience are most relevant to this position?  You don’t want to ramble aimlessly in your interview.  Do an inventory of your skills and experience and prioritize what is most relevant to this position.  Be prepared to “tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume” in a way that emphasizes the most relevant skills and experience.  Think about your answers to typical behavioral questions.  Be sure to showcase examples that focus on the most relevant strengths and experiences.  Think about what the hiring manager will be most interested in hearing about you.

Why do I want to work for this company in this role?  What about this company is most appealing to you and why?  What concerns do you have about the company?  Based on your networking meetings and your research, what do you perceive as the strengths of this company and the potential weaknesses?  What about the job is most interesting and exciting to you and why?  Do your homework in advance to learn as much about the company as possible.  Are you a good fit for the culture of the organization?  If you can’t find a lot of details about the job try to learn more about the department and the manager from your contacts.  Go in well informed and with a clear sense of what additional information and insight you hope to gain from the interview.

What do I hope to gain from this opportunity?  Be honest with yourself about why you are looking to make a change.  What experience will I gain?  What skills will I develop?  What is your bottom line for salary?  What benefits are most important?  Answer these questions for yourself prior to the interview so you are prepared in case you receive an offer later in the process.  It is never appropriate to ask salary and benefits questions in the interview.  Be prepared to explain in a positive way why you are looking to make a change.  It is important that you speak well of your current employer and manager.

To maximize your success in an interview, you need to as prepared as possible.  Reviewing these questions in advance will help you increase your likelihood of success.

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One thought on “Key Questions to Prepare for a Successful Interview

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