Is This My Dream Job?
You have just finished interviewing for a position that seems like a good fit for your interests. You felt good about the job interview. You know that the people that you spoke with are probably on their best behavior, so you are not sure if you are getting a true picture of the company. How do you determine if the job and the company are the real deal? In a 2018 Jobvite Job Seeker Nation Study, it was found that 30% of job seekers had left a job in the first 90 days. The three reasons given were the day-to-day role wasn’t what they were expecting, a bad experience drove them away or company culture was a problem.
Determining the answers to some of the following questions may help you avoid being a part of that 30% and instead find a great, rewarding position.
Your Experience With Other Employees
You walked into the business and may have first met the receptionist. How were you treated? Did this person make you feel welcomed? Perhaps offered you something to drink? The receptionist is the face of the company to the public. How this person treats others is a reflection of the company philosophy. Are they customer service oriented or indifferent to others? Your first impression should come from this interaction.
As you walk to an office or interviewing room, what did you observe about the people that you see? Is there a positive vibe in the place? Do people seem happy? Or is the place subdued with people lacking energy? Do the employees seem engaged in what they are doing? Are people doing actual work or do you see them watching videos and surfing the internet? While this may be a sign of a more casual environment, a lot of people doing this is a sign that there either is not enough work or the employees are not engaged in the work.
Your Experience With The Hiring Team
In the interview, you likely were interviewed by the hiring manager. You may have also been interviewed by someone from Human Resources, potential team members, your potential manager’s manager or even potential direct reports. How did these interactions go? Did the hiring team seem excited for you to be there or did one or more people seem distracted? Did they listen to what you said or were they looking at their phone? Hiring a person is an important decision. If they were not listening to you at this juncture, will they listen to you when you are working there? Did they start the interview on time or were you made to wait? Sometimes things do come up at the last minute but if there was a delay, were you appraised of the situation and offered an apology?
Did you seem to have a rapport with the people that interviewed you? Did you feel that you shared the same values and vision? Did these people seem pleasant enough to talk with outside of work? Did they listen well and ask you relevant questions? While it is hard to know if a work relationship will be a positive one from the outset, most people get a sense of how things might be from the first interaction. What was your general impression? Did the people seem genuine or did the interaction seem forced?
What The Hiring Team Said
How the hiring team acted is important but also important is what they said (or did not say). You should be able to tell a lot about how the hiring team thinks and how they approach their work by the questions asked and the answers given. For the questions asked, did you feel that the questions were insightful and time had been taken to prepare them in advance? Or did the questions seem uninspired and lacking in substance? When you asked questions, were you given superficial answers or were you given in-depth answers that told you that the individual was really interested in explaining things to you? Were you able to see any passion in the hiring team? Did the hiring manager get animated when talking about certain subjects? Did you get a good sense of the priorities of the hiring manager and do you feel you could be on board with them? Does what inspires you also inspires your potential manager? If you are orderly and your potential manager tends to like chaos, there may be a mismatch in philosophy that might be hard to bridge.
Don’t underestimate the actual surroundings of where you will be working. This can add immensely to your contentment or disillusionment with a job. I once had an interview where a folding chair was given to me, and I was asked to sit at a wobbly card table. This told me that the environment would be pretty austere. While people can work in all sorts of environments, one that is clean and safe should be a priority. Was the facility well-kept, even if old? Did it appear that general maintenance is being done or is it lacking with broken furniture and fixtures apparent? This can tell you how the company spends its money and how employees are treated.
If the position is an office job, how is the office configured? Is it open-planned or are there cubicles and/or offices? What is the noise level? Can you work productively under these conditions? Also, how was the commute? Did you try it in rush hour? Is it acceptable or will it be a source of unhappiness?
No job is perfect. There are some that are better than others, though. The trick is to understand why one company and job might be better than another. Each job seeker may have different factors that are important in a job, but the more you observe, research and ask questions, the better chance you will have to find the right opportunity for you.