So, you’ve gotten an interview – CONGRATULATIONS!  That’s not an easy thing to do.  It means your cover letter and resume did their jobs, and it means someone already believes you meet the basic qualifications for the job.  How cool is that? It’s super-cool – but, hang on…don’t get over-excited and stop sending our resumes just yet.

Now it’s all about FIT.  That means figuring out if this specific job opening at this specific company meets your needs.  That’s right, I’m suggesting that now is the time to be picky.  Not uncompromising, but definitely picky.  Each of steps below will help you figure out if YOU want this job.  Does it meet your minimum requirements?  I’ve seen clients skip this step because they were worried another job might not come along.  I get that.  Still, the last thing you want is to be job hunting again in six months because it turns out that the job you accepted involves a long commute to a job where you’re underpaid, doing work you dislike for a company whose values run counter to your own.  Think this doesn’t happen?  Think again!

You may think you’re anxious about the interview, but believe me, they are just as anxious as you are.  The hiring manager can’t blow this.  That means that if they select you, you’ve actually got to be able to do what you say you can do or be very quickly trainable.  You’ve also got to merge well into the existing structure.  The personalities, the skill sets, the work culture, the tempo, the style.  If it’s not a good fit, everyone including you will be miserable and the hiring manager will look like a jerk.

Do these four things ahead of time and you’ll feel much more confident and capable of making a good decision when you get the offer.  You’ll also give yourself the very best shot at getting a job someplace where you can thrive.

1.) Do your research – about the company, the people, and the job itself.  Identify as many details and insights as you can about corporate culture, work environment, employee profile (Young? Older? Diverse? Casual?)

2.) Know what questions YOU have for them – e.g.,” What type of training is offered for this role?”

3.) Know for real, not in your dreams, how much money you need to live on.  That’s your minimum. Then go on, and look at the range for the job title in your area to determine your target number.

4.) Do a dry run of the experience several days ahead – actually get in your car and go.  Do this during the actual time of day you’ll be making the trip for your interview.  And, do it during regular commuting hours.  This will give you an authentic idea of commuting time.

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