Is There Clarity on the Responsibilities for the Role?

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.

Is There Clarity on the Responsibilities for the Role?

For there to be clarity on responsibilities, whether a backfill or new position, the hiring manager would need to assess relevant changes to the business and how those might impact the profile of talent, goals, or requirements associated with the position. It’s the combination of reflection, forward-thinking evaluation and effective communication to the hiring team that will lead to a consistent view into the role and set an interview process up for success. To do this requires extra work. Often, the hiring manager doesn’t have the ability to reflect and assess thoroughly so the burden to connect what you are seeing and hearing is your responsibility.

dangerWarning Signs!

  • The way the interviewers describe the work does not align with what is outlined in the job description. Do the interviews add new responsibilities into the mix or talk about an entirely different type of work? It’s possible that, depending on their own role, people will highlight and focus on different things so be cognizant of the nature and significance of the gaps.

  • Signs of confusion or misalignment with ownership or execution responsibilities connected to the position. Do different interviewers share contrary information about how the work will be done or who will be driving specific activities?

  • The interview process design or execution seems haphazard. Is there a clear and organized approach to the interview process to screen for the capabilities that a new hire will need in order to be successful? Do your conversations seem redundant, or does each interview increase your knowledge and understanding of the role and how you’d contribute?

Is the Hiring Team Invested in Your Success?

Often the person writing the job description and crafting the expectations has a credible understanding of what needs to be done, the skills required, and how the role fits into the broader context or team. Perhaps they have done similar work themselves or managed a team with similar positions and goals. If this is the case for the role you’re interviewing for, it will be to your advantage. However, it is possible that the hiring manager is scoping a role that is distant from their own expertise and experience. In this scenario, there is a chance that, despite their best intentions, they miss the mark on defining the work and aligning the requirements to specific skills, capabilities, and knowledge and may not be as targeted or effective in screening candidates at every stage of the interview process.

dangerWarning Signs!

  • There is a significant disconnect between the title and responsibilities. For example, they are hiring a “Director,” but the responsibilities represent those typically fulfilled by entry-level positions or use terms and descriptions that don’t quite align with what you’d expect to see in that position.

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