cft

How to Win at Interviewing

Don’t worry, even if you’re already deep in the interview process, these 4 strategies will still help.


user

Tutti Taygerly

3 years ago | 4 min read

Do you remember the last time you interviewed for a job? Most people put this off as long as possible. It takes a lot of work to put together a resume, start looking around for opportunities, and then going through the actual process.

Most people wait until it’s absolutely necessary. When the situation means that you MUST now start looking for and move into a new job. Perhaps you got passed over for that promotion or raise. Perhaps you’ve moving to a different location.

Perhaps your boss has broken your trust one too many times. Perhaps you’ve just been given a negative performance review. Whatever the situation, it might be the last straw the triggers you into finally starting the long, arduous process.

But what if we’re approaching this all wrong. What if interviewing was simply a natural part of your career? Could interviewing be an exploration and data-gathering process to better understand what fulfills and energizes you at work? What if you didn’t have to be unhappy with your current job to start interviewing?

Don’t worry, even if you’re already deep in the interview process, these 4 strategies will still help.

1. Ask yourself what you really want

If you’re currently working, take a long hard look at your current job. Ask yourself what you love the most about your job, and what frustrates you about it. These are common theme areas that I’ve heard from people; they can be causes of love or frustration:

  • Mission and vision of the company
  • The company’s top leaders. This includes how visionary, inspirational, trustworthy, or deserving of respect they may be
  • Your boss / direct manager
  • Company culture & processes
  • Recognition, both in the form of verbal acknowledgement / praise as well as compensation
  • Tenure
  • How much you’re continuing to learn and grow
  • Ability to meet job expectations and achievements
  • What else is there that’s unique to you?

Consider which parts of this are lacking in your current job and leading to feelings of discontent. How bad is it truly? Consider tracking your happiness or energy level day-over-day and week-over-week in your current job to see if there are long-term patterns are trends.

When you dream and yearn for a new job, what do you concretely need to see in it that will make you feel more energetic and excited to go to work? Listing out these must-haves helps you get closer to knowing what you’re looking for throughout the interview process.

2. Interview for Learning

While it’s helpful to ask yourself what you want and what conditions you’d like to be in place for a dream job, the reality is that you may not know. And it’s OK not to know. Many people jump into the interview process because they envision themselves starting a new job in 1–3 months.

Consider a reframe. Instead of interviewing to get a new job, interview for learning. Talk to as many people and companies as possible to understand what working there feels like. Use these conversations to evaluate how much you’d like to work there. After each conversation, do a retrospective and ask yourself what excites you about that person, product, role, company, or industry.

Does the conversation open up new things that you’ve never thought about? Similarly, notice what red flags come up for you. Watch all the little concerns and judgements that are already coming up.

Use the interview process to better understand where you’d like to be.

3. Are they a good fit for you?

One common fear that I’ve heard around the interview process is a fear of judgement. You’re going to put yourself out there to be judged. You’re putting out your work identity through sharing your resume, work experience, case studies, and stories.

And you’re going to hear a black or white answer—yes, we want you at this company or no, you’re not right for us. We have a huge fear of being judged and found wanting.

Think of interviewing as being more like dating. It’s a dance, a conversation between two parties to decide how to move forward together. Rather than solely focusing on their judgement—am I good fit for them?— instead evaluate if they’re a good fit for you.

4. Negotiation to Get What You’re Worth

As you proceed through the interview process, there comes a moment of truth when the company makes a decision on whether to give you an offer. If you’re not getting an offer, ask for feedback so that you can continue your learning process and build out your network for the future.

However, once you’ve gotten an offer from the company, know that the power balance has completely changed. The power is now in your court.

The company will do everything they can to hurry up the process and get you to commit. Your job is to slow down the process, find out as much information as you can about the company, and ask for what you want through the negotiation process.

The recruiter or hiring manager on the other side likely has more information, data points, and experience than you have. But you still have the power because they’ve said that they want you. Never forget this.

You can read more specific tips about the tactics in one of my previous articles, The Art of Salary Negotiation.

Bottom-Line

The best time to interview is when you already have a job and you’re still relatively happy with your job. However, most likely you’re reading this article because you’re past that point. It’s OK.

Regardless of where you’re at, depressurize the interview process and have more fun with it by: 1. Asking yourself what you really want, 2. Interview for learning, 3. Ask if they’re a good fit for you, and 4. Negotiate to get what you’re worth.

Upvote


user
Created by

Tutti Taygerly


people
Post

Upvote

Downvote

Comment

Bookmark

Share


Related Articles