Determining What’s Really Critical To Success In A Role Before The Job Interview

Job interviews are becoming more and more challenging.

There’s much more competition.

Even getting to the job interview stage itself is challenging.

Your application might not even get looked at by a human being initially if applicant tracking software is being used.

If you have made it through the screening process and being invited to the job interview, your marketing clearly has been effective.

Of course there’s still a lot to do to get over the line and get the job interview.

Best case scenario you probably have a 1 in 5 chance of being the candidate.

For some roles this might be even higher.

There’s a lot you need to be doing as part of your preparation.

One aspect that few will consider is what’s really critical to success in a role ahead of the job interview.

Often this can be the thing that gives you the edge over other candidates.

So how do you determine what’s really critical to success in a role ahead of a job interview?

4 Steps To Determining What's Critical To Success In A Role

Step 1: Carefully Scrutinise The Job Advert

The job advert has to be fairly short. 

It has to sell the job, highlight the skills, experience and type of person they are looking for.

What some fail to realise is that the job advert is going to highlight the most important things.

Anything in the job advert could be a potential question you might face in the job interview.

Step 2: Forensically Review The Job Description

The job description sets out things like:

  • Key responsibilities
  • Who you will be managing
  • Job purpose

Even if it’s relatively short it’s full of detail.  Use that detail to really understand the key experience you are going to be questioned on.

Step 3: Review The Person Specification

The job description tends to focus on the job content.

The person specification typically focuses on:

  • Qualifications required
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Personal qualities

Anything listed here could well be the source of questions.

Step 4: Use Your Own Knowledge and Experience

If you are applying for a role, you probably already know quite a bit about the job.

You may even be doing a very similar job right now.

If you are you will have a good idea of what’s critical to success in the job.

This will help you not just identify questions but also to build up examples and stories that you can use when answering questions.

In reality only the best candidates will rigorously prepare for job interviews.  Taking the time to determine what’s critical to success in the role really can give you the edge on the day in my experience.

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About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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