Two Key Interview Questions for Cleared Job Seekers

Posted by R. Anne Hull

MotivationWhy are you interested in this job?

That’s a standard interviewer’s question. Or should be. The hiring manager is wise to ask about your motivations to determine if you’ll be a good fit with the team and organization.

In looking for your next cleared job, a first step is having a good idea of why you want a new job. It generally falls into categories of more money, better schedule or commute, meaningful tasks, or a contract that will be ending soon.

To ensure your next cleared job is a “better” one, think through what an “ideal” job will be for you:

1) What salary and benefits address your work-life balance needs? In an environment with many contracts seeing reduced salaries, this is critically important for you to thoughtfully review.

2) What experience and skills do you want to use and develop?

3) You also need to be able to describe the type of work environment where you will be most productive and happy. This could be to work on a larger scale, supervise a larger team, or master a new skill. Maybe you want the prestige of working for a particular organization, or in a consulting role, or the pleasure of having a larger role and responsibilities in a smaller organization.

Knowing these things helps answer the interview question, “Why are you interested in this job?”

But don’t leave the conversation one-sided. Balance the table by turning the question back to the interviewer, “Why would a top performer want to work in this job?” You’ll learn so much by asking that question. Is this a role that will meet your desires? You can probe deeper into the organization’s culture and values by asking the hiring manager, “What do you need in an ideal candidate that we haven’t talked about?”

You may not be the exact skill match right now, but with this information you can demonstrate your abilities to be successful in the position. Be ready to talk about how you took a similar risk and had a successful result.

I’ve made better decisions based on knowing the potential of meeting both my needs and the hiring manager’s needs by asking questions like these.

What questions have gotten you deeper understanding and greater satisfaction in career decisions?

R. Anne Hull  is a career consultant and instructor for Fortune 500, federal and local government agencies. You may reach Anne via email at [email protected]. Follow Anne on Twitter @Ahull7.



This entry was posted on Monday, April 14, 2014 7:34 am

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