You should have an agenda when you enter the lion’s den for that much coveted job interview.
Yeah, yeah – I get it… Your agenda is to get hired. You just need a job. Man, been unemployed for months (years?) and you just need a paying job.
I get it.
Tough to have an agenda other than getting hired when you got alligators crawling up your butt! And yet you must have an agenda. It’s a simple agenda, nothing hidden or nefarious.
Your agenda is to simply discover if this is the right job for you. If this is the right company for you. What good is a job if you’re misery after 2 months. Or you hate what you’re doing in 2 months. Or the boss hates you and you hate the boss!
Job interviews are a two-way street. The interviewer wants to know if you can do the job. She wants to know if you are a good fit. She wants to know if you’re a long term hire with great potential to move up. And you want – need – to know the same things.
And as would have it, Dr. Marla Gottschalk offers some interesting guidelines in her article, “7 Questions You Must Absolutely Answer in a Job Interview.”
The title is a bit confusing in that the “questions” she refers to is not what the interviewer will ask you and you must answer. Rather, these questions are concerns you must address to yourself. These are questions that might arise after the interview, if you don’t address them during the interview.
With that caveat, Dr. Gottschalk thinks you must be concerned with:
- Does the role align with my strengths?
- How will I be spending my day?
- Does the role have a future?
- Am I like the other individuals that have succeeded?
- What challenges is the organization facing?
- What metrics will be utilized to measure my performance?
- Where do I stand?
You can read her comments and observations for each of those questions here: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2013/09/16/7-questions-you-must-absolutely-answer-in-a-job-interview
Personally, I think there are some other “questions” you should be comfortable with at the end of an interview.
If I were in an interview with someone from HR, I’d want to know:
- What are the cultural beliefs that drive success in the company?
- How does the company’s mission statement and values align with – again – success?
- What defines a good “team-player?”
- How do I increase my value to the company?
If I were in an interview with a hiring manager, some of what I’d want to know:
- What leadership traits contributes to success?
- What individual traits contributes to success?
- What actionable traits will lead to success?
- What are the benchmarks for success?
With all that said, there is no set recipe that will give the perfect set of cookies everything you bake. Each interview is different. The dynamics are different.
What’s critical is that you walk into an interview with an agenda of determining if this is a good job and fit for you. It’s a two-way street and you must “interview” her as much as you are being interviewed.
Easier said then done – yeah, I get it.
Nevertheless, it is what you must do and have; each time you walk into an interview.
Oh, and by the say – shameless plug – check out my resume writing resource page for putting together a “knock-em dead” resume that you need to get that interview!!!
And check out Kevin Donlin’s “How NOT to Write a Resume.”
Plus, Phil Baker’s “Resume Writing – The Top Three Mistakes That Can Eliminate You Instantly.”