Practicing for an interview typically centers on answering questions that speak to who you are, your past experiences, your expertise, and to showcase why you’d be terrific for the role.

Having a can-do, enthusiastic attitude is impressive, but not at your expense.

At times, you may need to sacrifice, postpone, or compromise on important aspects of what you want for a higher priority, especially when deciding on your next job. Yet forfeiting too much or spending too much time on things you dislike will impact how you feel, your relationships, and job performance.

That’s why YOU need to be the one making those decisions.

To assess what’s important to you, get honest and answer the following questions, so you can authentically shine at your next interview.

1. Do you know what you value most?

There’s no right or wrong, should or shouldn’t to this question. It’s simply knowing what you value most now based on your current circumstances. Keep in mind some preferences are innate and never change, and others fluctuate and are influenced by your environment and others. That’s why you must know what’s important now. For example, you may have just realized how much you love or hate remote working, and your monetary needs may or may not take center stage. Here are some ways to gain clarity on your career values.

2. Does the position align with your career ambition?

Sometimes when we’re looking for a new job, it’s because we’re frustrated with how things are going. If that’s the case, you don’t want to jump into something else out of fear or resentment. To stay on top of your career aspirations, put together a career plan that highlights your objectives, interests, values, and strengths. Be sure to emphasize any new skills or experiences you may need for advancement. This organized, written document will assist you in articulating your goals concisely.

3. Are your materials reflective of your key messages and stories?

Your brand should get to the heart of you – your essence – and depict who you are, what you do, and where you’re headed, with core principles that guide your actions and behaviors. As your own advocate, you can then “live your brand” and position yourself in an articulate, coherent, and consistent manner. Review steps to build your brand and unique value proposition, spruce up your resume, and amp up your communication approach.

4. Do your core messages include WIIFM and WINFY?

Applying for a job, interviewing, and preparing your stories to stand out are strategic undertakings. You need to put yourself in the shoes of recruiters and hiring managers and include “WIIFM”—what’s in it for me—messaging for why they should consider you. Work on ways to increase your relevancy and apply your distinct messaging to stand out. But don’t forget, you’re also evaluating. You want to get to know the people you’d work for and with, which means you’ll want to ask questions to assess whether the company culture will be the right fit and be able to articulate “WINFY”—what I need from you.

5. Are you prepared mentally and physically to show up at your best?

Interviewing can be exhausting. However, when the process is long, it affords you more time to consider the opportunities and alternative options. To get in the right mindset, review ways to unlock your potential. Shake off any self-doubt to communicate effectively and maximize your confidence to shine before every interaction. To remain upbeat and make a lasting, meaningful impression, check out these tips to keep motivated during your search and elevate your executive presence.

Stepping outside your comfort zone.

Recently I had the opportunity to share my personal experiences, tips, and strategies around my career journey and personal transformation with Carol Chapman on her podcast Hearts Rise Up—one of Feedspot’s “Best 35 Wisdom Podcasts.”

During the interview, I got real about navigating my makeover, starting with leaving the corporate world after 20+ years to start my own business. I talked about how specific patterns would keep surfacing until I finally admitted I was ready to change. Click here to listen to the podcast and view the show notes.

No obligation, no strings attached.

Schedule a free call with me if you’re looking for a coach, cheerleader, or sideline partner. I can take you through my customized approach to help you get started.

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