You’re reading an excerpt of Ask Me This Instead: Flip the Interview to Land Your Dream Job, a book by Kendra Haberkorn. This powerful work is written by a veteran recruiter for job-seekers who want to find their dream job—not just the next job. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, worksheets and a question database, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.
Determine Your Job Priorities
You can’t optimize for everything. It is incredibly rare for a particular job to meet or exceed all of your expectations. There are many aspects of the work experience that you will have to understand and evaluate while you are looking for a new job. Some, such as the role, your pay and benefits, and the people you’ll collaborate with on a daily basis, are easy to connect to your personal experience right away. Others, including broader company context and long-term career opportunities, may not be as tangible from the start, but may be among the most important criteria for you.
As you pursue the application and interview process, you will receive a lot of information about each of these topics. Most of the time, the messages will be subtle and embedded into a larger conversation. This is why a clear understanding of what you want to prioritize will enable you to proactively listen for signals and ask specific questions to get a comprehensive picture of how a particular opportunity aligns with what matters most to you. When your core priorities and actual work experience complement one another, you can focus on your achievement and fulfillment. However, if aspects of your work experience don’t match the factors you know are most important to your satisfaction and success, problems will emerge. Initially, the problems might be subtle frustrations. Over time, those annoyances will build and the cumulative impact of an ongoing, growing issue can become intolerable.
As you read through the priorities outlined in this section, reflect on your past experiences and take the time to complete the activity, Rank Your Top Priorities. By doing so, you’ll have clarity about what priorities you should focus on as you interview for jobs. Later, in the Ask Me This Instead section, you’ll have the chance to select questions tied to your priorities that will help you get to the heart of these matters in each of your conversations.
The combination of responsibilities and expectations that fill your days at work are what constitute the role. For many people, the role is, without a doubt, one of their top priorities in the job search. Choosing to focus on the tangible foundation of what work represents, particularly as we spend many hours of most days focused on those activities, makes sense.
So, what are the indicators that the role might be one of your top priorities?
This role is a critical stepping stone on a longer-term career path.
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This book is about helping you find the right job—not just the next job. No matter what field you’re in, whether you’re looking for your first gig or exploring options later in your career, this book will empower you at every step of the hiring process. Traditionally, the interview is seen as a grueling grilling of the candidate—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Ask Me This Instead will teach candidates how to use the interview to uncover the truth about the role, as well as the team and company, through behind-the-scenes insights, preparation tools and strategies, and a focused list of questions that can be tailored to your priorities. Gaining clarity about what matters to you and learning how to flip the interview to get answers to your most important questions will help you enter any interview with renewed confidence. This book was created by a highly experienced recruiter, hiring manager, and consultant, who was inspired by her years of experience seeing candidates let interviewers hold all the power. The lessons and activities in this book will help you stand out from the moment a prospective manager reads your resume, ensure you make the most out of the interview process, and confidently prepare to step into your new role.
Rachel Jepsen — Editor
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