The Single Best Thing You Can Do in Interviews

Do you know what you want in your next role?

When it comes to accepting a job offer, are you spending enough time considering whether it has all the characteristics you want?

If you have a longer check-list for someone that you could potentially date than for a future role, chances are, you might be missing something very important. 

Many women I’ve worked with have shared that they “fell into” their role. They found a listing with their skills, had a good gut feeling on the interview, liked the comp and benefits, and went with it. 

But what about when that’s simply not enough consideration?

Jobs are serious business, and I think they ought to be treated that way. If you’re not taking the time to consider what you’re looking for in your next job, then you run the risk of being blinded by the perks or flashy name on a job description, instead of what factors really matter for you. 

Do you want a big company where you can specialize, or a small business with easier access to the CEO? What characteristics do you love about your current role? What do you need in a manager, peers, or direct reports? Figure it out, and start to build behavioral questions around it. That is the single best thing you can do before interviews: determine your non-negotiables and ask the right questions to vet the role.

If a culture of innovation is paramount but you only ask the hiring manager the standard questions like, “what does a normal day in this role look like?”, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Same thing applies if you’re not interviewing, by the way. If you don’t think about what you’re looking for in an opportunity, whether that be for internal or external role, you’re much less likely to stumble upon it.

Do yourself a favor and consider how you can start asking better questions. I even filmed a short training tip video about it. Even if you’re in a role you love, couldn’t we all benefit from deliberate growth?

The last time I ran my Career Clarity program, one of my most exciting wins was when one of our members turned down a role she interviewed for. As funny as that may sound, it was a success because she knew what she was looking for.  She had her list of needs for her role, and was able to realize that this company (flashy name and all), wasn’t right for her.  If she had taken the role she would have been settling to “fall in”, and no doubt would have been back on the hunt within a year or two.  Her drive to find the right role was what eventually led her to find (and accept) the perfect fit, which she is now thriving in.

Sometimes the biggest wins are simply in the clarity.  That’s why I’m opening up my interview question guide and 1×1 feedback for everyone in my October/November Career Clarity Camp.  Everyone needs this stuff, regardless of where you are within your career.  If you’re looking to get more deliberate in your career progression, you can check out more information on the Career Clarity Camp here.  It’s set up to make it as easy as possible for a community to support each other and receive individualized support.

At the very least, take the time to watch this video and get clear about what you need in your role. You owe it to yourself, so make your list and check it twice. 

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