So You Got the Interview, but Do You Really Want to Work There?
The job search can be both a stressful and an exciting time. Emotions are intense especially if you’re currently unemployed. You search job websites and apply to countless ads with no more than an automated acknowledgment. Then the day arrives and you get a phone call or an email for an interview. The stars align and it’s ‘the job’, it’s ‘your job’. However, don’t get caught up in the excitement and the prospect of new employment. As much as the interviewers want to learn about you, this is an opportunity for you to decide whether you actually want to work there and with those people.
Here are three seemingly simple questions to keep in mind
What’s the panel like?
Are they professional, organized, welcoming?
I once had a Vice President and Director interview me clad in Gap hoodies. It was extremely unprofessional to not wear proper interview attire, but could they not have warned me to dress more casually?
Organization is important and shows a lot about the importance of a hire. Is the panel on time and if not have they apologized? Are they paying attention to you and your answers? Do they ask you any questions pertinent to your resume? Have they even read your resume?
What’s the office like?
Would you be in a cubicle or private office?Is it loud or is it quiet? Is there natural light? Is it an open concept space? is there a lot of conversation where sound can travel?
If there’s time and they invite you, take a quick look around. I once worked in a hallway/main thoroughfare where everyone could see my screen. I was so eager for the position that at the time it didn’t seem like a concern.
What’s your boss like?
And finally, this question is an important one.
Is your new boss even at the interview? Does he/she seem like a person with whom you can see yourself working? Does he/she seem genuinely interested in meeting you, or are you just another candidate in their day of interviews? Does he/she answer your questions well? Does their management style suit the way you prefer to work?
There’s something to be said about your ‘gut’ feeling. You’re going to spend a significant amount of time in this office daily if you accept the role. Make sure to take in as much culture and information about your potential new workplace as possible within the confines of a formal setting. Take some time to think about any potential red flags you saw and then evaluate the pros and cons. Let a few days pass and make sure to make an objective decision about your new workplace and whether you accept the role or not, not an emotional one based on the fact you need a job, any job. You want to be able to thrive in the workplace and leave a positive impression on your peers, not to dread coming in daily.