Gearing up for a job interview can be an exciting, yet sometimes intimidating process.
We all want to bring our best to the table and make a good impression, aiming to convey why our skills and experiences can be a great asset to this (hopefully!) future employer. But what some candidates may forget is that the interview experience shouldn’t just be about the organization evaluating your fit for the role—you should also be thinking about if and how the company is a good fit for you.
This type of mindset can help you get to the heart of what you’re looking for in your next career move and dial back the nerves and stresses we often feel when we’re getting ready for an interview—as much as the company is interviewing you, you’re also interviewing the company! To make the most of this interview approach, you must do some work ahead of time, reflecting on your goals for this next big career step.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:
What are the skills and interests I have that align with this role?
Interviewers will usually ask you about your skillset, and it’s a good idea to understand your skills not just to have your answer ready but to also ensure you’re pursuing a role that’s right for you. Just as important as skills are interests. Consider how the job and the organization could allow your passions to flourish—that will not only help you bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview, but it can also help you see if the role is one where you could thrive.
What kind of organizational culture is best for me?
Going into an interview, you should have an idea of the type of company you want to work for—not just the industry or mission but also the environment you’ll be working in. Do you want to be a part of an organization that prizes competition or one that encourages individual expression? Do you think you could thrive in a place where flexibility is at the heart or one that has more strict expectations? Figuring out what kind of culture you’d do best in can be a great way to help you understand if your prospective employer is the one for you.
How do I want to grow with the company and in my career?
While a job interview is designed to evaluate a candidate’s fit for one specific role, it can also give a sense of how and where employees can move throughout the organization. Before heading into the interview, consider where you would ideally see yourself growing in the coming years and how you would want the company to support those goals—and then look for that perspective on the interview!