By Eve Vlemincx.
Some time ago I wrote the article: we all want the best candidates but who are the best. This article is in tandem with that article, focussing on the perspective of the candidate.
Preparing for a job interview involves more than just crossing off a checklist of questions and answers. It's an opportunity to truly connect with the person sitting across from you and gain insight into their character and values. Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, filled with anticipation and uncertainty. However, with proper preparation and self-awareness, you can transform this daunting process into a stepping stone towards your dream career. In this article, we will explore effective strategies to help you prepare for a job interview that goes beyond the surface level and delves into aligning your purpose and values with potential employers.
Traditional job interviews often revolve around standard questions and a focus on the content of your resume. Questions like "Tell me about your 3 strengths and weaknesses" may seem like common interview fodder, but merely relying on prepared answers can lead to missed opportunities for both the candidate and the firm. Instead, it is essential to discern the type of interview you are attending and understand if it is a traditional one or something more profound.
To truly connect with a job opportunity that aligns with your purpose and values, it is crucial to tap into your inner self. Reflect on what truly drives you, what makes you unique, and what you stand for. Consider the aspects of work that bring you joy and fulfillment, as well as the frustrations you have encountered in previous experiences. By closely examining your definition of success and what you value, you can effectively communicate your aspirations and find a company that resonates with your core beliefs.
However, preparing for such meaningful questions requires more than a few hours of last-minute research. It demands deep reflection and self-knowledge. Begin by examining your past experiences, both professional and personal, and identify the key lessons and values you have gained along the way. What do you stand for? What provides a sense of meaning? What are energy drainers? Assess your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement, and think about how they can contribute to the role you are applying for.
Additionally, research the company you are interviewing with and familiarize yourself with its mission, values and culture. This will allow you to understand how your values align or misalign with the organization’s objectives and values.
Lastly, remember that a job interview is not just an opportunity for the firm to evaluate you. It is a chance for you to assess whether the firm and role align with your career goals and what is important to you. Prepare a list of questions that delve deeper into the organization's work culture, growth opportunities and the potential for you to make a meaningful impact. This will not only demonstrate your enthusiasm but also enable you to make an informed decision if an offer is extended to you.
In conclusion, job interviews are not solely about the exchange of information; they provide an opportunity to establish a connection and truly understand the person in front of you. By expressing your beliefs during the interview, even without extensive preparation, you can showcase your authentic self. Take the time to prepare, reflect on your own values, and actively engage with the interviewer. By going beyond surface-level discussions, you increase the likelihood of finding a job that aligns with your aspirations and values while building meaningful professional connections along the way.
About the Author Eve Vlemincx is a strategic advisor with expertise in a wide array of areas including legal digital transformation, innovation and leadership. She serves as an advisory council member for Harvard Business Review and is a Course Facilitator at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Eve is highly sought after as a keynote speaker and guest lecturer in various professional settings. Notably, she has been honored as a five-time recipient of the Stanford GSB LEAD Award.
Operating at the dynamic intersection of legal and business, Eve holds certifications from esteemed institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, Kellogg and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Additionally, she brings substantial experience as a seasoned lawyer specializing in corporate law and restructurings.
Eve's guiding philosophy is centered on working smarter, not harder, as she helps individuals and organizations navigate the complexities of today's rapidly evolving landscape.