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These days, there is plenty of talk in the nonprofit sector about mentorship, personal advisory boards, and professional development. But at Idealist Careers, we understand that not everyone has access to a cracker jack team of career cheerleaders and sadly, many of us have to navigate our professional path without our own social-impact Yoda.

In light of all that, we're kicking off a new series called "One Thing I Wish I Knew Before..."

In each post, we'll select a topic and share real answers from real folks in the social-impact and nonprofit space. Here are a few topics you can expect to see over the coming weeks and months:

One thing I wish I knew before ...

  • ... the big interview
  • ... resigning from my last job
  • ... transitioning to the nonprofit sector
  • ... choosing my major
  • ... becoming a manager

So without further ado, let's tackle our first topic ...

One thing I wish I knew before the big interview

We asked our community of nonprofit professionals to share one thing they wish they knew before they went in for their last big interview. Here's what two Idealists had to say:

"The answer to the very tough question, 'What is your biggest weakness?' I wasn't prepared for this, went awkwardly silent, and turned bright red while trying to think of something. In the end, instead of making something up or showing frustration or worry, I smiled and said something honest, 'Sorry, I haven't done this for a while!' The interviewers were great and we had a good laugh about it." ~ Bradley Michelson, Director of Business Development,

"Make sure to come with questions. Ask ones that really help you get the info you need to make your decision. A very simple one I've found yields a lot of helpful information is 'What is your favorite and least favorite thing about working here?'" ~ Anonymous Idealist

Is there a "One Thing I Wish I Knew Before..." nugget of knowledge you're itching to know? Tell us what we should ask our community of social-impact professionals, job seekers, leaders, and nonprofit superstars. Email us at

Alexis Perrotta profile image

Alexis Perrotta

As the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Idealist and a lifelong nonprofit professional, Alexis offers job seekers, game changers, and do gooders actionable tips, career resources, and social-impact advice.

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