Woman shakes hands with her interviewer.

Before interviewing, job seekers commonly consider the position from the company’s perspective. It is incredibly helpful to look at the job from this viewpoint. It helps to get you into right mindset to market yourself as a candidate. However, thinking about a new position from a more personal standpoint is always necessary. Considering that you may be committing 40+ hours of your week to this job, it’s not selfish to consider it from where you stand. The questions listed below will make sure you get what you want out of a new job. They also will help you answer questions better, which we’ll explain below. Read on to discover the questions you should always ask yourself before an interview.

1. What Do I Want Out of This?

This is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for an interview, besides traditional methods. Asking yourself this question will get you thinking about what you hope to accomplish in the role and for yourself. Not to be confused with Question #3, which is only asking if you want the job itself. With this, you should be thinking about what you want to get out of the job if you take it. That could be a higher salary, new technical skills, or experience at a larger company.

There are many different reasons people take jobs, but think about what stood out to you for this position. Figuring out what excites you about the position will make help your eagerness and energy come through in an interview. No matter the qualifications, many companies look out for candidates who are genuinely invested in a position. Find out what you want from the position and bring that into the interview.

2. What Sets Me Apart?

Almost no job search goes ‘uncontested’. What this means is that you will be working against a wide variety of candidates in most situations. So it’s important to look at yourself and say, “Why am I the best candidate for this job?”. Answering that question will help you realize if you are properly qualified. In the event that you are qualified, you can now feel more confident speaking to your own skills and qualifications in the interview.

On the other hand, if you recognize that you’re not a strong candidate, you can now adjust your expectations for a second callback. It’s good to know going into an interview if you have a reasonable chance at getting hired or not by giving yourself an honest assessment. This will also help you pick out your unique traits, skills, and qualities that could set you apart and then highlight them. You know yourself better than anyone else, and can determine if you would be successful.

3. Do I Want This Job?

You may think it is silly to be asking yourself this question since you’ve already landed the interview. Surely you applied in the first place because the position interested you. However, going into the interview, are you excited to potentially land the position? Figuring out if you truly want the job is important to know. This isn’t something you should be certain of before the interview. When you are in the interview though, you can process what the interviewer is saying and make a judgement. Trying to figure out if you want the position in the interview will also motivate you to ask specific questions. This will showcase your genuine interest in the position to the hiring manager, which will win you some points.

4. Do I Need This Job?

This last question is a follow up from #3, especially if you answered no. If you don’t want a position but need to get hired for some reason, it’s time to change your approach. Maybe you need the money, or maybe you need to keep working so your knowledge stays fresh. Whatever the reason, knowing that you need a job is quite the driving force. This is something that should motivate you to be your best in the interview. At this point, you should consider circling back to Question #1. If you need the job but don’t want it, consider what you can get out of it to make it a positive experience. Even if it is only the salary or pay, it’s an important realization going into an interview.

Knowing where you stand personally on a few topics regarding a new job is incredibly important and will inform your interview. All too often candidates wonder what the company is looking for without their own considerations crossing their mind. While the company’s perspective is certainly important, don’t let it distract from the person you should be most concerned with: yourself. Accepting a job offer has a huge impact on your own life, so it’s something you should absolutely consider from your perspective. If you have any advice you want to share regarding interviews, please let us know in the comments!