Is this job the right fit for you?
Determining whether a job is the right fit for you can be tricky, but it's essential if you want to increase your chances of landing the right role and finding job satisfaction. Here is a range of questions you should ask yourself to make sure a vacancy fits your skill set, career goals and personality, as well as some questions to ask your interviewer to ensure you make the right decision.
1. What am I qualified to do?
The most common error job seekers make when looking for a new job is applying for a role that they're under or overqualified for. It would be more beneficial to review your qualifications with a realistic eye in order to work out what jobs you can genuinely carry out.
Make a list of your best soft skills, such as communication, organisation and teamwork, with examples of how you demonstrated these abilities. Then identify your hard skills – these are the job-specific skills and certificates, such as degrees or other core industry competencies.
You should be left with a document that details your natural strengths. Use this and compare it with the requirements listed in any job description to see if you line up. Ideally, you should match 80 per cent of the job and person specifications to consider yourself suitable.
If the job seems like a match, here are some questions you might like to ask the interviewer about the role and your skill set to make sure you're a fit:
Why are you hiring for this position?
What challenges is the company facing that this role addresses?
What are the most important qualities for someone to excel in this role?
Do you have any reservations about my qualifications or experience for this position?
How do I compare with the other candidates you've interviewed for this job?
2. What job do I really want?
It's all very well working out what you're qualified to do, but you must also consider what you want to do with your career.
For many of you, your skills and qualifications will match up with the role you want. For example, if you studied marketing at university, have worked as a marketing assistant for the last year and are now looking for a job as a marketing executive, your experience and skill set will easily leverage you into this new role.
However, career priorities change. Research from leading culinary arts school Le Cordon Bleu revealed that 52 per cent of Brits long to turn their hobby into a career. In addition, a survey from the London School of Business and Finance suggested that 47 per cent of the UK workforce want to change careers, with a further 21 per cent planning to make the switch in the next 12 months.
Therefore, if you trained for a career in marketing, but no longer have an interest in the industry, spend some time thinking about what it is that you want to do. Review your qualifications and see which are transferable and will help you land a job in a new industry, and pinpoint what skills you need to buff up to make a career change possible.
Yet, sometimes the position might help you move towards that career change, so here are some questions you could ask your interviewer to see how the business handles career progression and growth:
What opportunities do you offer for advanced training?
In what way do you measure performance?
What are some core KPIs for this role?
What can I expect from you regarding development and support?
What are your expectations for this role during the first 30 days, 60 days and year?
3. What are my salary and benefits requirements?
Around a third of the nation's professionals cite salary and benefits packages as the key factors that impact workplace happiness. Therefore, when deciding if a job is the right fit for you, review the proposed compensation package and ensure you're satisfied with it.
When reviewing your salary requirements, be realistic. Weigh up the figure you have in mind against the industry standards for someone with your level of experience and qualifications. Also, check out the averages in your location as salaries tend to fluctuate depending on the cost of living in an area. Don't forget to consider your personal expenses too to work out the minimum amount you need to get by.
Bear in mind that large, corporate companies often have more flexibility with the salaries they offer due to their sizable ROI, whereas smaller businesses may not be so adaptable. Therefore, consider the work perks that are on offer too, such as gym memberships, free food on your birthday and retail discounts. These benefits may compensate for the lower salary – just check out these killer perks and benefits offered by top companies to see what we mean.
Here are some questions that you might like to ask your interviewer to gain a better insight into the salary and benefits on offer:
What have you budgeted for this role?
What is the salary bracket for this position?
What did you last do for a company outing?
How many sick and holiday days are provided and when do benefits start to accrue?
What benefits are focussed on work-life balance?
4. What do the ideal company culture and working environment look like?
A job that's a good fit goes beyond the day-to-day duties and how much you'll be paid for doing the work. It's also about whether you and the business are compatible on a cultural level; are you a cultural fit regarding values, beliefs, personalities and behaviour?
To determine if you align, consider whether you'd prefer to work in a formal, corporate organisation, or a relaxed startup, for example. Debate what management style would bring out your best work and what type of working environment you'd be most productive in.
Have this criteria front of mind when reviewing job descriptions, as even though you may ace the job because you're qualified, you may ditch the gig after a few weeks because you can't get on with the company culture.
You may struggle to find out information on company culture from research alone, so it's wise to ask the interviewer. Here are a few questions you might like to use:
What do you like most about working here?
How would you describe the working environment here?
How does employee feedback get incorporated into day-to-day operations?
What employee achievements does the company recognise and reward?
What role do company values play in hiring and performance reviews?
These aspects of jobs do not make up an exhaustive list, but they are the most prominent features to consider when determining whether a job is the right fit. Ultimately, you will feel it in your gut if a role interests you. Once you have decided you should apply for a role, simply tailor your CV to the vacancy, zooming in on your relevant strengths and achievements, to show the employer what a great fit you'd be.
A strong CV will help you land the job that's right for you. Submit yours for a free CV critique to find out where you stand.