How to Read the Interviewer’s Mind: Thoughts to Consider before Your Next Transition

By Kim Monaghan

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No, I’m not an expert on mind reading, nor do I suggest bringing a crystal ball to your next interview. What I am encouraging, is for you to think like an interviewer during your next transition. What interviewers seek to hear from a potential candidate is roughly the same qualities that you would look for when hiring someone to care for your children or manage your money.

To begin, you would like to know if they are capable of performing the job, if they have a strong work ethic, if they are likable, creative, trustworthy and of course, if they plan to stick around for a while.

So if you really could read the interviewer’s mind, you would probably see the following questions ruminating around in there somewhere.

  • Is this candidate a go-getter?
  • How long did it take to progress to this level of responsibility?
  • If hired, will they stick around?
  • Did they stay long with any one employer? Why or why not?
  • Are they capable?
  • Are their credentials an accurate reflection of their ability to do the job?
  • What makes them unique?
  • What can they bring to our company that will be of value?
  • Do they have a strong work ethic and seek to make a good impression?
  • Did they spend time on their resume and cover letter and prepare for this interview?
  • Are they open to change?
  • Did the candidate take any risks along their career path?
  • How will they handle conflict, changes and challenges?
  • How do they solve problems?
  • Are they likeable?
  • Will they be a good fit with our team?
  • Do they really want this job, or is this just another paycheck?
  • Will I regret hiring this person?

So now that you have read their minds take some time to reflect on how your resume, cover letter and interview responses will answer these questions and put them at ease. You can do so by delivering solid answers and backing them up with concrete actions and results. 

Remember, it is not your job to shower an interviewer with tales of your adventures or lull them into a mystical trance. It is your job, however, to take their queries under serious consideration and convince them that they will never regret hiring you.


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