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Dec 14th

4 ways to find out if the company fits

2112417049_3300f8f27e_tIf you have a choice whether or not to accept a job at a company, what would deter you – apart from the question of pay, benefits or promotion prospects?

You can’t always tell what it’s going to be like working for a particular company – especially if you only have one interview and you don’t know anyone working there to give you the low-down. So if an interview is all you have to go on, these four aspects might give you a clue.

Your interviewers
How prepared were your interviewers? Did they keep you waiting, or did you get the impression they had forgotten about it? Could this be a sign of poor time management skills, or bad internal communication?

On its own it might not be a huge problem, but if your job entails dealing with people throughout the company, poor communication could quickly become something that will make your job difficult and frustrating.

What sort of questions were you asked? Rambling or focussed? Did you get the impression that your interviewer was interested in you, and what you could bring to the company? And what about the interviewer’s attitude? Enthusiastic about the company, or just going through the motions?

Your predecessor
Are you replacing someone else who was promoted, or who went to a different company? This might tell you what potential the role has (if any) for future development. Asking about your predecessor is one way to find out what your manager considers important, as it allows him / her to think in terms of concrete examples, rather than in hypotheses.

Ask what your predecessor brought to the role, and why that was important. What did he / she do that made a difference? Ask A Manager particularly likes this question: “Thinking back to people who have been in this position previously, what differentiated the ones who were good from the ones who were really great?”

Did you get a chance to see other people working in the company, perhaps as you walked to HR or your line manager’s office? Was there a deathly hush as you walked past, or were people chatting and smiling? Was the person accompanying you greeted by other employees?

Company regulations
Does the company have a handbook or code of conduct that spells out their do’s and don’ts? For example, in some situations you may have to declare a personal relationship with another employee, or even be prepared to change role / department. Make sure you’re happy with the rules before you agree to the job.

Photo credit: Leochi

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