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.
Now, I want to remind you of your power in this process so you can seize your potential.
When you know and commit to your priorities, you have power. With reflection and preparation, you’re going to hone in on what is most important to you as you go through the job search and interview process. Then, when you’re in the interview room, you can focus on being authentically you. If you feel yourself putting on an act, projecting something that is not naturally you, or compromising on one of your priorities, beware! Think of the effort it’ll take to sustain and maintain energy, engagement, and commitment to the work if you’ve made compromises on the things that matter most.
When you have a plan, you have power. You might have wondered while reading why you should take all these steps to prepare for your interviews and might still be doubtful about your intent to follow through. Having a plan gives you power; you aren’t only subject to the company’s process but can take steps to ensure that your priorities are covered as well. When you walk in with a plan, you can maximize the limited amount of time you have with each interviewer and target your follow-up on the most important items. Getting to interview for a job you’re really excited about is hard enough. If you don’t know what you want out of the process, you’ll miss the opportunity to get the job that could be right for you.
When you are proactive, you have power. Knowing what is most important to you, asserting your preferences, and collaborating throughout the process (interviews are a mutual exercise!) is empowering. By asking targeted questions, you’ll demonstrate your capabilities and confidence far more effectively than providing polite, respectful, diplomatic answers. Both the company and you want the best outcome—a strong mutual match based on known strengths and acceptable tradeoffs. If someone pushes back when you ask questions to get the answers you need, think about whether this is the kind of place you’d be inspired to do your best work.