Define the Job to Interview Your Best

Research shows the main reason employees leave jobs in the first 12-18 months is that they were unhappy with the day-to-day requirements of the position or they were a miss-match for the job. In other words, during the interview there was no clear understanding between the candidate and the hiring manager of what the job was about.

I had this experience when I was hired as an “Account Manager” for a new software product in California. Three weeks into the job it turned out it was a project management job. I did not have the depth of experience in project management to manage a $6M software development project for a government entity with 3000 users. I stuck with it until the project was transferred to a vendor, however it was a stressful and unpleasant experience.

Start your interview by finding out as much detail as possible about the job and its exact requirements. Ask questions about day-to-day activities, success metrics, and priorities. Who will you be working with, what departments will you interact with, is there an unusual work schedules. How will you be “onboarded”? Is there training or an orientation period. No detail is too small to ask about and discuss.

Be aware of how well the job is defined. Can the hiring manager provide an in-depth description of the job and it’s duties and responsibilities. If the hiring manager is unclear and the job is poorly defined, this may indicate the organization will be difficult to work for. Take this into consideration when you are making your decision about accepting the job.

Also, in terms of the interview, once you have the details you will be able to target your answers more specifically to the job requirements. Your answers will be more focused and your interview performance will be more persuasive.




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