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10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview

Job searching is no easy task. Whether it is navigating your first big step into the world of work or if it’s changing your career, there are a lot of things to consider. Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself before you interview for a job.

1. Will I be happy to wake up and go to work everyday?

People always say, if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Well, that statement holds a lot of water. I know many people who have been in their careers for 20-30 years and still love doing what they do. When you’re happy to get up and go to work, it’ll never feel like you’ve worked a day in your life. So take the time to think about the job you’re interviewing for and if it truly has the potential to make you happy.

2. Is this a place where I can begin building a career or is it a temporary solution?

You need to know before your job interview if you plan on this job being a part of a career move or if it is just a temporary fix to pay the bills. It’s important to know the answer to this before you interview so that you know what you expect to get out of the working experience.

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3. Will the job be enough to pay my living expenses?

Even if the job seems absolutely perfect, you should always look into about how much you can expect to make – especially if it is an entry level job. It’s important to get some kind of an idea of the salary range (if they don’t post it with the job posting there are a few websites, like Glassdoor, that you can check out) so that you know what you will be bringing in. You need to make sure that you make enough money to cover your living expenses with a little added breathing room.

If it doesn’t look like you will be able to do that with the job you’re interviewing for but your heart is set on it, then consider picking up a second job somewhere to make sure you can make ends meet. It’s no fun to have to leave a job simply because you are living outside of your means.

4. Is this a company I can build a future with?

If the job interview goes well and you get the job with this company, is it a place where you can grow in your career? This is important to think about because being able to grow in the company gives you goals to strive for while you’re working.

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If you get a job where no growth is available, it might hinder how hard you’re willing to work. But knowing that there’s something to continue to strive for will help you continue to push yourself.

5. Is this a company I believe in?

You also need to know if you believe in what the company does and whether or not you can stand behind it. Check out their website or research reviews from workers online (you can usually find this simply by searching the company name and reviews). Going into a job interview knowing that you are shooting for a company that you believe in will give you extra drive during the interview process. Also, being extra educated because of your research will impress your potential employers.

6. Are the hours what I’m looking for?

This is an important question because the hours you work will determine the lifestyle you live. Are you willing to work a job where you have to get up at 3:30 am to be at work by 5 am? Or are you willing to work nights or weekends? Make sure you think about what lifestyle you are willing to live for this job. If you aren’t happy about the life you’d have to live in order to work the job, chances are you won’t be happy working, and then your work will suffer.

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7. Is the commute worth it?

Depending on where you live and where you are trying to work, the commute may be a major pain. You might be commuting over an hour just to get there and an hour to get back home. You have to know if that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make. If it’s your dream job or a great foot in the door to getting started in your ideal career, then the commute may not matter to you at all. But it’s still a question worth pondering.

8. Am I ready for the job?

Sometimes, you can be offered a job that you may not be ready for and then you end up way in over your head. So before you go in for a job interview, think about all the responsibilities that will come with the job. Are you feeling overwhelmed already? Then you may not be ready for it.

However, if the responsibilities excite you, then you may be ready to dive right in! But it’s important to think about it so that you know what you’re getting yourself into before you even walk through the doors.

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9. What are the benefits?

Many times when employers post a job, they will post what benefits come along with it. If they don’t, then try to do a little research because it may be posted on their website or on company review sites. As boring as it might sound, it is important to think about 401k opportunities and health insurance. Especially with insurance, since it is becoming expensive and companies are changing what type of insurance they carry- it might be important to you to know what they offer. Single coverage? Family? It’s a daily expense so it’s important to think about what you need a company to offer you for benefits.

10. Will I be proud of myself?

If you get this job, will you be proud of yourself? Proud of where you work? Will you be excited to share your news with family, friends, and on all of your social media sites? If the answer is no, that’s not a good sign. But if the answer is yes, then you can bet you’ll be happy in the position. Being proud of yourself and accomplishing the task of landing this job is important, you want to feel good about yourself and what you do.

Many people spend more time working than they do at home so it’s important to make sure before you even go in for a job interview that you’ve thought through the decision. You want to make sure that you’re as ready as you can be, so that if the job is offered to you, you’re confident in your choice.

It doesn’t take a long time to think about these 10 questions, but they can help prevent you from making a huge mistake as you job search. Or, if nothing else, they can help to prepare you and give you the confidence you need before the interview. Happy job hunting!

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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