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Episode # 003 – What was your favorite job? Why?

What was your favourite job_ Why

Career Fitness – Job Interview Preparation Series for Mid Career Professionals (Technology, Product, Corporate, Startups)

I have conducted 1000+ interviews, not as a recruiter but as a co-founder of a company. I have been recruiting for my own company. So it is 100% ownership with very high diligence to select people at entry level laterally and even leadership hiring.

The question for the day is – what was your favourite job and why? 

It’s very interesting to note. Why is this getting asked? Say if you’ve been working for 10 years, 12 years, 14 years, most likely you have anywhere between 1 to 6 Jobs on your resume. One being the extreme left and the 6 to 8 extreme right. If you have had the same job for a long time, then people want to understand what role you have enjoyed the most.

Or, if you have hopped along too much – you want to understand what was interesting to you and then want to draw parallels with the offer on-hand. 

So let’s look at how we even start thinking about answering this if you look at why this question was asked, specifically regarding stability concerns or people motivation. The thing to not do over here is to put a designation and organisation. That’s not the best way to answer this particular question. It’s not the best way to put your foot forward. 

What you may want to do is – that you want to understand what role you’re interviewing for this product, or growth or marketing or design or UX. Have you done something that is in this particular spectrum? 

Experience Inventory 

So have your experience inventory very, very handy. So even before you start any of these interview questions, if you go to prepare and put together your guide, which is going to help you want to attempt interviews, and in that, you want to identify nuggets, specimens, pieces, parts of your job, the role, state of your progression, where you need to have your experience inventory and evidence. It is handy to cherry-pick from there and be able to position them for this particular question. So rather than saying this is your favourite and the most, I need a shortlist. So if this question is asked, you don’t say just my favourite part, ‘this’ role, but essentially put together maybe two or three instances. These are the three roles, projects, initiatives, what you currently enjoy and why you enjoy them. Because it was bootstrapping something, you enjoyed. It was scaling something. You enjoyed. Just make sure you can get out very, very quickly. 

Make sure whatever you bring out over here, you’ve done it for a certain interval of time. And that certain interval can be three months; six months can be 12 months. But just make sure that you have gone in-depth. It is not something you tried accidentally. You raised your hands for it because you showed initiative, and you went deep. So deep work is something that you want to recap over here, and you really enjoyed. It has to be relevant. 

Past & Present

Be careful to draw a line between the past and present. There are roles, and job profiles, especially if you’re interviewing vertical – if you’re interviewing for a role that requires you to not shift laterally but to shift vertically. (Promotion or Higher Designation) 

In those things, you want to make sure that you are also carefully distancing the aspects of the role that you like or didn’t like. You identify the aspects that are critical. So you understand the nuances, but you have moved on from it. You understand the nitty gritty, you understand the technical way of doing things, but you are essentially evolved to now be at the next level. So that’s the point. You don’t want to come across as someone who’s deeply in love with what they were doing. And you’re not willing to let go of that. Or you’re just too deeply on. You want to do it again. “I am looking for new things”, and that’s the sentiment that you want to project.

Awesome. Great. I hope this helps you answer this question. What’s your favourite job and why? Thank you for being with me in this particular career fitness series. My name is Mayuresh. If you have any questions, feel free to comment here in the next episode. Thank you so much.

Career Fitness – Job Interview Preparation Series for Mid Career Professionals (Technology, Product, Corporate, Startups)

For 6 – 14 years experience bracket folks. People who are looking to meaningfully pivot the career, leapfrog into a new domain, change focus areas. Advice on how to navigate your career for stronger longer-term RoI.

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Mayuresh S. Shilotri writes on Product, EdTech, UX, Customer Development & Early Stage Growth. 2,000-Word posts only. You can discover more about me here

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