In the past, in my search for the right job, I put myself through countless interviews in search of a role that fit my ambitions and preferred working style – thankfully, my recent career has been shaped by making a number of the right choices. And so, I’d like to pass on some of my learning’s that may well benefit you in your search for the right job.
It’s good to make mistakes
Let me first say that my ‘wisdom’ has only come about by making some painful career choices, and then learning from them. For example, I spent 3.5 years travelling up and down the M27 to Portsmouth from Basingstoke, to work for a decidedly unpleasant little man – pride prevented me leaving sooner, a mistake.
The mistake here began at the interview stage where I simply did not ask the right questions to gain a true measure of my potential manager.
So in an effort to help you not repeat the same mistake, my advice for you is simple: step into the shoes of the interviewer.
Turn the interview around
In order to find a role in which you remain happy and fulfilled for many years to come, it’s as important to interview the interviewer as it is to give them the answers they’re seeking.
In most recruitment processes you’ll be put through 2 or 3 interviews, so as well as working to get your capability and employability across, use this as an opportunity to find out more about:
– The organisation. Dig into their background and find out what sort of work environment they have developed – is it somewhere you would be comfortable working in? And what of their future aspirations; if they’re ambitious then it could be a fun fast paced journey.
– Your manager: What’s their background? Are their any commonalities you can relate to and build a conversation point around? Find out how they operate and what they expect of people working for them.
You’ll now be developing a clearer idea of whether the role and company is the right fit for you, but don’t forget to ask my favorite question.
Ask the killer question
A favorite question of mine was always to ask about the hiring managers management style.
The best managers I’ve ever worked for were always relaxed and engaging in their response to this question, but beware those who come across as though they are trying to exert authority from the outset – you want to build a relationship based on mutual respect not tyranny.
By formulating a series of questions that went into more of the intricacies of the manager and the business, I always found it relaxed both myself and the interviewer making for a far more interesting and enlightening interview. Perhaps more on those questions I used, in another blog.
Remember, the interview is as much about you finding out about them, as it is them finding out about you.