Interview Preparation: Questions

Previously, I shared what I believe to be the 5 things you need to do before an interview, to make it a success. One of the key things to prepare for an interview is questions, and with this being such a big step, here is a dedicated post to what to ask and why?

Before I share with you some questions I have used in the past and recommended others use, let me explain why questions are so important.

Interviews are:
  • As much for you as they are for the business you are interviewing at. They are an opportunity for you to find out more about what the day to day of your role will be, progression opportunities and what the team is like. Understanding more about these areas should help you make sure you are moving to the right role for the right reasons.
  • They are an opportunity to demonstrate your interest in the role, the business, and your potential manager.
  • It’s an opportunity to show off your ability
What is it about the business that made you join?

This question is only appropriate if you are being interviewed by someone you will be working with, but it can be a great chance to connect personally with the interviewer.

How would you describe the company’s culture?

Asking about the company emphasises your interest in working there and shows you are sociable.

If I was to get the role and we were to be sat down a year from now at my review, what would a success look like?

This question will give you a chance to understand what will be expected of you in the role BUT will also help the hiring manager visualise you working at the company. This  in turn means that when making a decision the subconscious mind will have already  envisioned you working at the company and thus make it easier for them to say yes to you joining the business.

What do you think distinguishes your company from its competitors?

Showing an interest in the competition shows you are interested in the industry as a whole.

What are the three most important skills you’re looking for in a candidate?

The answer to this question can give you some insight into whether you’ve shown those skills during the interview while also giving you a chance to point out that you have those skills.

Who previously held this position? Where are they now?

Unless you know that the position you are applying for is brand new, this is a good question to find out more about what your potential future at the company may hold.

Would you like to discuss any concerns about me or my qualifications in respect to this position?

While this is a rather bold move, asking whether the interviewer has any concerns about you may give you a chance to put some things straight and stop them from not picking you.

What is the next stage?

Finding out what comes next can help you prepare for the next step – whether it is knowing there will be another round of interviews or that you will have to wait at least a week before you get feedback.

I hope these bits of advice serve you well!

If you are a Search Marketing professional in London thinking about making a move then please do get in touch with me. It would be great to speak further. You can call me on +44 (0)1202 203 318 or email

5 Things to Do Before an Interview

Plan Prepare Peform

As a recruiter, I often found one of the most overlooked areas by candidates is interview preparation, with a little preparation a candidate can improve their chances to land that perfect role because to undersell yourself when it has taken so much work to get the interview in the first place is a huge shame. So here is my post on the “5 Things to Do Before an Interview”.

I believe that the simplest way to increase your chances of success at an interview starts before you even step into the building, as it is so often said across all areas of life preparation is key, please insert generic and laboured LinkedIn meme of a former President making a statement about preparation with an image of an iceberg.

Below are what I believe to be the 5 steps required to significantly improve your chances of success at interview.

1.       Understand the company

From all the things I will mention in this ‘TOP 5’ if you only have time to do one of them this is the most important. This simple step demonstrates to the interviewer that you have taken the interview process seriously and shown commitment by preparing, an additional benefit is direct to you it helps you understand if this is really the company for you.

When researching a company the key areas to look at are;

  1. What they do
  2. Why they do it
  3. Company Culture
2.       Read the Job Description

Understanding the role you are applying for seems basic and if it is similar to your current position this step can often be overlooked, equally it is when overlooked this step can end up talking yourself out of the role you’re hoping to land. If you are fortunate enough to be working with a knowledgeable recruiter when applying for a role they should help talk you through the key points of a role and what the interviewer/company will be looking for, understanding these details and ensuring you are clear on how your experience links back to them will help raise your stock.

3.       Research the Interviewers

I have known people argue this point and have even been told it is a bit ‘stalkery’, and I understand why people think that way, I would argue we live in an information age and if you have the opportunity to gain an advantage with data that is publicly accessible you would be mad not too. Equally, I would not research your interviewer and walk into the interview saying congratulations on your recent engagement, I believe the research done here is meant to be subtle, find common ground with your interviewer and be conscious of this common ground when talking about your experiences or interest.

Additionally, if they have written blogs or a detailed summary on their LinkedIn, read them, take note of the language they use, do they describe things with visual representations? If you can use this back to them it is a great way to build rapport.

4.       Think of Some answers

I am yet to be in an interview or have feedback from a candidate whereby the interviewer hasn’t asked questions, furthermore, I have found that in the majority of interviews you will have similar core questions such as:

“Why do you want to leave your current employer?”

“What is your greatest weakness?”

“Why do you want to join us?”

“Where do you want to be in 3 years?”

Preparing your answers to the questions will not only ensure that you don’t blurt out a crazy answer, it will mean that when answering you will come across confident, considered and someone that would be an asset to their team and business.

5.       Prepare questions for the interviewer

A key thing to remember about the interview is that this is as much of an opportunity for you to find out about your prospective employer as it is for them to find out about you and this is something the majority of employers will be thinking too. If you want to find out more about questions to ask at an interview I will be releasing

Doing all of the above should hopefully mean that when you walk into the room you feel more prepared for the interview, giving you the foundations to show yourself in the best possible light coming across informed and confident.

What is your essential preparation for interviews is it different from the above? Please leave your comments below I would love to hear from you!

Here is a link to my original post on LinkedIn