I’ve been writing this newsletter for nine years now and I’m asked for career advice all the time. So I thought I’d help you get off to a great start here in 2012 with my single best career tip, which is:
When it gets to that part of the interview with your future boss where they ask, “well, do you have any questions for me?”, say yes, and ask:
“How do I help you get a gold star on your review next year?”
This bit of advice has helped more people in more interviews than any other bit of advice I’ve shared over the years.
Well, the interview process lends itself to our becoming self-absorbed and talking only about ourselves.
Or conversely, we become “job analysis engineers” and ask all sorts of questions about the job and reporting structure and how it fits in with the company’s five year plan and so on. I love getting questions from candidates in interviews, but I do have to admit I feel that they’re not quite getting the point of an interview if they pull out six pages of typed, single-spaced questions.
We get so obsessed with the details of the job that we forget about the work.
Working together and being a good addition to the team mean being concerned with how you are making the team successful. And that means being concerned with how much you are helping to make your boss successful.
Asking this question shows that you have empathy. It shows that you have an interest in your boss’ career and future success. It shows that you are not just a self-absorbed “what’s in it for me” kind of person. And it shows that you know you are there to “give” as much as you are there to “get”.
Subscribers like you say the interviewer’s face lights up when they ask this question. I have heard time and time again from our four-and-a-half million subscribers how effective it’s been in interviews:
It’s an easy tip to implement in your job search: it’s easy to do, easy to understand and it’s easy to measure.
So thank you, Dear Readers, for all you’ve done for me over these past nine years, and I will continue to do all I can for you, now and in the future.
Have a great 2012!