You might not think so, but saying “no” can sometimes be the smart move when…
John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
Imagine a first date who prefers to sit back, trying to figure out how to ‘win’ with you. Don’t you want someone to be themselves and just talk to you? So does the employer who invites you in for an interview.
There’s an inclination (a strong one, sometimes) to want to understand better what the job is about; what the employer wants. If you learn that, you think, you can cast yourself in the best light. You can put on that “magic jacket” that will win the offer.
In the process, though, you could be undercutting your attractiveness as a candidate. “Figuring out” the position is a defensive move. It can have you hanging back in a way that can make you look hesitant. You need to play offense.
Consider your capabilities more broadly; like finding a new solution, smoothing a client’s ruffled feathers, or raising a practice’s profile. As you answer the interviewer’s questions about the work you have done, insert examples that illustrate those capabilities. Use one of those examples to lob a question back about whether you would have the opportunity/support to do something similar here. The reply you hear will give you a real-world read on the position.
You can leverage that reply into additional dialogue about other roles, or components, of the position. Questions about whether A, B, or C components are there, helps demonstrate that you know what likely goes into the role and are capable of executing it.
In the end, you’ll get a keener sense of whether this position will have the satisfaction and growth you want. You may hear about a history of employees doing exactly those things. On the other hand, if it turns out that there’s little or no support for the sort of things that have made you happy and successful in the past, you’re better off knowing that now.
Forget about that “magic jacket”. Show the employer who you are and the two of you will make a smarter decision about fit.