THE HARDEST QUESTION IN THE INTERVIEW IS USUALLY QUESTION #1
IF YOU CAN NAIL THIS QUESTION, YOU ARE SURE TO SET THE INTERVIEW OFF ON THE RIGHT TONE
I think I have interviewed in the past four months more than I have in my entire career combined and yes, it can be utterly exhausting, but it has also made me a much more reflective person. It becomes fairly monotonous to search on Eluta or LinkedIn and find a role that fit certain parameters (location, level, pay) and whip up a semi-custom resume and cover letter. After creating yet another login and username combination, the process is practically over and I have moved onto the next one. Mostly because we all know that you are lucky if you actually hear back from online applications and even then it is usually not for weeks after you have applied.
Then you get the call - they want you to come in for an interview. Yippee! But, having been through this a few times, I know the first question that will be asked is "why did you apply for this role?". And saying it met all of your basic criteria in terms of location, level and pay is not the most impactful way to start an interview. I have even turned down a few second interviews because I really did not know why I applied - like one for a luxury home goods retailer (a wonderfully casual and insightful conversation with the manager, but I could not come up with a good answer to why!).
Apply, apply, apply (because realistically you may need too), but take some time to reflect on your own WHY before your first interview. We are often coached to make sure we emphasize how we can add value to the employer as a new employee, but I strongly believe that engaged employees contribute ten-fold and to be engaged you probably need to find your WHY!
What are you hoping to get out of this role?
Why will this company make your life better?
How does this align with your goals?
If you do not know where to start in discovering your WHY, think about what you are passionate about or what in your life does not feel like work. For me, I love education + leading/mentoring (like learning how to build a blog from YouTube and editing friends' resumes on my spare time!) and I hope my next role can really build on these interests.