There’s the online job listing. There’s the ‘About Us’ web page. There are sites such as Glassdoor and Wikipedia. And if you’re really lucky, there’s an inside employee contact. These generally make up a job seeker’s sources of information of what it would actually be like to work at the company. Most of the time it just seems like far too little to go off of to make the career/life decision comfortably.
Breaking down and analyzing your interview process with a company is key for reading into how they view and treat their employees and how you might be viewed and treated within the role you’re applying for.
Analyzing the Type of Interview Process
- Different career fields may call for different type of interview processes, though there are general principles I believe in (personally) that I need to witness from a prospective company. For starters, group interviews indicate a company that might be quite detached from their personnel. I need to see a company that takes it’s time in getting to know it’s applicants in an individual format. Are you emailed an itinerary of your interview schedule well in advance? Were each of your interviewers prep’d and notified of their meeting with you? I’ve been in interviews where a member on the team was grabbed only moments before to interview me. Needless to say the lack of preparation he was allowed led to a poor, non-productive interview for both of us. Although you were prepared with spare resumes to go around, did the interviewer(s) have their own copy already? That has been a favorable sign in my experience, showcasing there is a real value in learning the applicant and also the desire to hire the right candidate.
Insight to Team
- A company that cares about it’s effectiveness and culture, will be sure to have key team members interview their future teammate. This is as well a prime opportunity for you to ask your future teammates surface level personal and work culture questions such as: How are your work hours structured, and do you have a say? How does management respond to sick day request? Are their regular team events or outings? Are team members willing to take time to offer teaching moments? There are ample interview-acceptable questions that help determine team insight and it’s key to have these thought out prior to your interview. Though it is also possible to gather similar insight by seeing how much is revealed by the interviewers them self. Generally individuals who are proud of their team will out right express so, but it’s important to understand first what you’re looking for within a team as to better determine what to ask and analyze.
Diagnosing the Culture
- There should be a number of ‘tales’ you look for, just as a seasoned poker player keeps a watchful eye on their opponent’s habits. Peek around, are employees generally bubbly, happy, smiling? Is the dress culture one that you can vibe with? Does the office feng shui seem like an atmosphere you could be comfortable in? Don’t shy away from asking for an office tour to get a better feel of the surroundings. Take it all in like you’re apartment hunting! After all, you’ll be spending almost if not just as much time in the office as you will at home.
Most of us young professionals are so caught up in putting forth the ‘best us’ in front of our interviewers that we often overlook and under observe our potential future environment and team members. And sometimes we lack the experience to truly know what it is we are looking for in a work culture and team. All the more important to go on as many interview opportunities as you can early on to build up an understanding of what’s out there and available for you!