Are you craving a stretch job? Maybe you’ve already landed an interview or an offer… but you’re scared you won’t be able to hack it if you do land the job?
I know a woman who desperately wanted to pivot into a company that did more innovative work—something she’d never had in her job history.
She landed an interview with a dream company.
The interview was going well. The company was excited about the experience she would bring to the organization. She faced a sudden urge to “insecurity-vomit” all over the interview.
“Wait, I don’t have enough experience. I need more mentorship!”
What she was really saying was:
“What if I can’t do it?”
“What if I disappoint you?”
“What if I don’t know *exactly* how to do everything before I start?”
If you ever feel the urge to insecurity-vomit during an interview, first of all, don’t do it. 😂
And second of all, here’s what I recommend instead.
- Resist the urge to blurt out any “I am not enough!” statements. Remember, you can always ask for a follow-up interview to ask more about the role.
- In order to switch back to a place of curious confidence in the interview itself, take a breath and focus on being curious about what they’re saying. Almost imagine you’re a researcher or consultant who needs to write up a list of what they hope for in the role, and you’re just doing research to collect their bullet points.
- When you’re away from the situation, take a few minutes and write down all the things you’re intimidated by and are worried you don’t know exactly how to do.
- Pick out the 1-2 that scare you most, and for each, make a short, three bullet point plan of how you would respond if you were in that situation. Many jobs (especially the challenging ones!) require us to find new answers to questions or to try something new. But whether it’s “I’d call X and ask them what they would do,” or “I’d take a class to brush up on a skill I need to learn,” when you put your problem-solving hat on instead of your I’m-not-enough hat on, you’ll be surprised at how solvable these problems really are.
- Your potential future bosses might be unrealistic about what can get done in the role or how much that role needs to be resourced. Make a list of a few questions you might ask them in a future interview, such as, “How do you as a leadership team think about professional development and mentorship for your directors?” Or, “If I wanted to invest in adding to my skill set in this role, is there a professional development budget?” Or “What do you think the biggest issues will be on the first project you hope to staff me on?” Inquiring in this way helps you address your concerns but helps you sound strong and curious rather than scared.
- Remember, you don’t need to know everything before you take the job. You can trust in your own strength and curiosity to see you through the exciting challenges that will come and will grow you.
The woman I mentioned ended up landing her dream job, and she loves it! She’s finally doing work she’s excited about. And you can too!