Job interview is not only about saying the right things and conveying the proper attitude. Experts advise job seekers to think of job interviews as a two-way street—don’t forget that you are interviewing them too. If you don’t want to end up regretting things at the end, you need to get as much information about the job and company you’ll be working for before you sign on the dotted line.
Job seekers often rush themselves into accepting a job offer to what they thought was their “dream company”. Do not forget about one of the most important rules in job hunting: when looking for a job, it’s important to seek out companies where you can thrive and flourish. You need to find a workplace that aligns with your values and people who you feel comfortable working with. The job interview allows you the perfect opportunity to explore your future workplace so use this chance well. Here are some tips to help you figure out if you and the company you’re applying for is the right match:
- Think about the things that matter to you most
It all starts with knowing what you want and what you are willing to compromise. To help you in this decision, make a list of your “non-negotiables”. For some, this may be a flexible work schedule, while for others it’s a casual and fun work environment. Figure out the things that are most important to you and be ready to discuss them during the interview.
- Do your homework
Looking up the website online to see what the company does is, of course, standard procedure before any job interview, but you need to go beyond the “About Us” page to get a real sense of what it’s like to work for the company you are applying for. Try to look for the “Core Values” page as well. You also need to look at their pages where they feature their employees (which often would feature them at work and play) to see if it’s a group you want to be part of.
- Hear what the company’s employees say
Most HR managers would conduct some preliminary research on you before the interview; remember you can do the same as well. You may start by asking friends who may be affiliated with the company you are applying for and ask them what it’s like working for them. Next, expand your investigation to online by visiting forums where users talk about their current and past employers. Take note of common remarks and make an informed choice about your research.
- Ask questions about the company’s culture during the interview
There comes a point during the interview where the hiring manager asks if you have any questions. Use this opportunity to inquire about the company culture. Craft your questions the right way so you can gain valuable insight into the inner workings of the company. Try asking direct questions like:
- What kind of person fits in well here and what type of person isn’t a strong fit?
- If you could change one thing about the culture here, what would it be?
- Can you describe a typical work day here?
- Observe your interviewer
Your interviewer will most likely be the person you will be reporting to once you accept the job, so during your meeting use your interaction as a gauge whether you would like to have this person supervising you. You may try to seek out other employees that are connected to your interviewer so you could have a sense of what kind of people you’d be working with.
- Pay attention to the look and feel of the office
Pay close attention to how the people are working and interacting with each other on the day of the interview. Are they loud and boisterous or quiet and subdued? Assess the mood around the workplace, is it light and friendly or does it feel like everyone is walking on eggshells? You should also look at the way the office is set-up. Is it an open office or does the office adopt the more personal cubicle set-up?
- Listen to your gut
After going through all of these and weighing the pros and cons of things, your judgment will still make the final call whether to continue with the job hunting process or not. Listen to your heart and if there’s any apprehension on your part then do take that as a hint that you might be better off somewhere else.
Finding a corporate culture that fits you is one of the most important steps one can take whist job hunting. After all, we spend the majority of the week in the workplace – you owe it to yourself to find a place where you can thrive, have fun and feel comfortable. So go out there and find the workplace that is your perfect match. Good luck!
Source: U.S. News & World Report
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