Treat the Interview Process as if it is Your Business

1-2-3 of Interviewing

Recently I was asked for insight on how someone can find the right job and be happy at it.  To be most successful, I think that people need to act more like internal entrepreneurs.

It starts when you are looking for a job.  You need to treat the interview process as if it is your business – you need to have a plan, demonstrate drive, understand the customer’s need (in this case the Hiring Manger) and sell yourself as the solution.

Here are a few tips that I’ve found valuable in job searches I’ve done from both sides of the desk:

One – As an applicant you have a personal brand.  Who do you want to be known as?  You need to be clear on what you stand for and stay true to that in the interview process.  Don’t just tell the interviewer what you think they want to hear.  The down side of not being true in an interview is that if you get the job you will have to be an academy award winning actor to keep it and will need to do so by being something that you are not.

Two – Ask meaningful and well thought out questions.  Think about what is important to you and interview the company on how they stack up.  Some of my favourites:

  • Why do people leave your company?
  • What will success in this role look like in 12 months?
  • What does a bad day at this company look like?
  • How would you describe the culture?

Asking questions that both affirm the good and investigate the not so good will help provide a perspective of what your job may look like after the honeymoon phase and as an employee what you may be getting yourself into. The depth of the questions you ask also shows a high level of interest and judging by the company’s response will give you insights into what they value.

Three – Think about your next position after this job.  It sounds a bit counter intuitive to be thinking about leaving this company before you even have the job but ask yourself how you will explain in future interviews making the move to this role.  If the answer isn’t one that feels right or fits in with your desired career progression then by discovering this in an early stage of the interview process allows you to change course if needed.

So, don’t just find a job. Follow these one, two, threes of interviewing to achieve your next career-building position.

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