Zuleika SgroZuleika Sgro is a certified human resources professional and the vice president of people at Saje Natural Wellness. 

Taking a new role is like starting a new relationship. Your interview process is a critical time to be strategic about your choice ahead. It’s an evaluation opportunity for both the prospective employee and employer to consider whether this is the right fit. Here are some of the top things to consider during your interview process:

1. Decide what's most important to you

Write down a list of “must-haves” your new role need to provide, and what things you are willing to compromise on. Is compensation your top priority, or is it more important that your future employer gives back to the community? This will help you refine your search and uncover priorities to consider during the interview process.

2. Do your research before you apply

Don’t just apply anywhere. It’s important to be intentional about where and what you apply to. Your energy and time are better spent targeting your search. Plus, prospective employers will likely recognize your intention. People can see when others are naturally interested in the role. Approach your search with a quality-over-quantity mindset. By applying to only the highest quality jobs for you, you're likely to find a match more quickly.

3. Invest your time before the interview

When you get an interview: prepare, prepare, prepare. The interview process offers a short window of time to make important decisions. The better you prepare, the better chance you have to interview well while having your questions answered too. I usually suggest blocking time to prepare for each interview. It can help you avoid distractions when time is limited.

4. Ask questions

The interview process is a time for employers to assess candidates, but it's equally important for you to assess an employer. Go back to your “must-haves” list, and create questions that will help you evaluate the employer against your priorities. To better understand the role itself, consider what you would ask on your first day of work, get curious about how teams work together, how performance and success are assessed.

5. It doesn't end with the interview

After the interview, document how you feel and how you think it went. If any questions or comments come to mind, be sure to follow up. For example, if you have a work sample that is relevant to the discussion, send it with an email. When you do follow up, include an invitation for the employer to do the same—it’s important to keep the dialogue open as you consider the decisions ahead.