predicting

Inside the Mind of an Interviewer: How I Predict Interview Questions

Interview Questions

Hi there! Welcome to the Greg Langstaff Resume & Interview blog. I'm here to give you a quick burst of useful information so you can build a great resume and nail your interviews.


An interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. The toughest part is often the uncertainty we feel during our preparation process. What are the interviewers looking for in their ideal candidate? What do they expect of me? What will they ask?

Thankfully, it’s not all that hard to get into the interviewer’s head as we prepare for our interview. Most of the questions they will ask are sneakily hidden somewhere inside the job posting to which we applied. That's why I save those bad boys, every time.

Here are a few quick steps I follow to help forecast the interview questions (I like the term forecast better than predict because, like the weather, you won’t get it exactly right, but it will give you a good idea what to expect). These steps are quick and easy so follow them and then get started on preparing your A+ answers!

  1. Carefully read the job description and make a list of every task, responsibility, experience, or skill they mention.

    • For example, if the job posting said “Will coordinate the annual office team-building retreat” we could list Event Planning as a skill.

  2. Add any standard workplace skills or traits you think might apply to this position to our list.

    • Examples include Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Organizational Skills.

  3. Turn each item on our list into questions which ask us for an example of a time we demonstrated that skill or experience.

    • For example, if the skill was Budget Management, we could create a question something like this: “Tell us about a time when you managed a budget effectively.”

Most interviews will include between 10 and 20 questions depending on the duration of the interview and the seniority of the position. When I do this exercise, I generally find it’s not hard to come up with at least 25 questions. The more we have, the better prepared we will be. Don’t worry about going overboard, it can only help.

For more interview tips, check out my blog on staying calm, cool, and collected during interviews: 9 Interview Tips That’ll Make You Feel Confident, Professional, and Relaxed.