One of the most important things to bring to a job interview? Self-awareness. It’s essential to finding a job that suits you. Let me tell you why.
I’m a recruiter, so job seekers often ask me for advice about job interviews. I always say that there’s no fixed recipe to hold on to, but preparing yourself by looking inside you is definitely where you should start.
I am not talking about complex future plans, purpose in life or categorising yourself into boxes. It’s about knowing your personality, your thoughts, your motivation and more. Try to find answers to questions like:
- What does work mean for you?
- What is important for you in a job?
- What makes you wake up every morning?
- What are your strengths?
- And your weaknesses?
- What really drives you?
- What are your values?
- What don’t you like?
- What frustrates you?
By answering questions like these, your self-awareness grows. You start to deeply understand yourself. Especially when you can find examples to back your answers up. This understanding is necessary for both you and the interviewer.
What an interviewer is looking for
When an interviewer interviews someone the main objective is to see if that candidate is aligned with the position and with the company’s way of working. It is not about just filling a role, it’s the whole package. But how can an interviewer assess if you are a good match when you don’t really know who you are and what is important to you? Impossible!
Also, how can you know that you are making a good career decision if you are not being authentic and don’t show who you really are?
How to use self-awareness in an interview
Recruitment is about knowing people, knowing their motivations, knowing what they do very well and what they are not so good at. Changing jobs is quite an impactful event. Making sure that the change is positive, is a responsibility split between the candidate and the interviewers!
So as a candidate, make sure that you assess the things that are important to you during the interview. Try to ask questions based on your beliefs, values and preferred way of working.
After all, the interviewers know how things work inside the company, what the culture is like on a daily basis, how the team is structured and what are the opportunities inside the team.
Interview tip: develop self-awareness
So, my tip for candidates: develop your self-awareness, be authentic and honest in the interview process and rely on the interviewers and on yourself to judge if you are a good match or not for the company based on that. In the end, everyone wants the same: happy and productive employees.
Don’t forget that it is a big decision to make, so make sure you are secure and congruent about the move you are making.