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Too often we forget that an interview is a 2-way examination. It’s just as important that you get a good feel for the company as them getting to know you.
Today we came across a good, but very long, article on this topic. Here are the best bits of advice:
- Take a look at some of the positions they are advertising, regardless of how relevant they are to you and you will find that the language used in the job spec reveals a lot more about the company beyond duties & responsibilities. Is the tone serious or playful? Is it long or short? Is the language simple or flowery?
- Employers both want and expect you to ask questions during an interview. They want to sit in front of an applicant who makes the effort to learn more about the company as they want to feel like this individual is making the effort to learn everything they need to know in order to make an informed and appropriate choice if they are offered the job.
- An applicant who digs deep during an interview to find out the nitty gritty of the company is less likely to turn around in three months and quit.
- Beyond experience they are also trying to get an idea of what kind of person you are as more and more unsuccessful candidates are hearing ‘you weren’t the right culture fit’ as the office culture is proving to be a key driver in motivation and staff retention.
- When was the last time you sat in an interview and the employer said ‘the reason we are hiring is because we treat our staff like shit, they get fed up and they quit’? Every employer will sit in an interview and try and sell you their company. They want to ensure that you feel like this is a company everyone wants to work for as that makes life significantly easier when it comes to salary negotiations should you get offered the job.
The following are some example question which will help you figure out what skeletons, if any, are hidden in their closet:
- How long has the longest serving member of staff (not management) been working for you?
- What’s the average tenure for your staff? (Keep in mind the average is about 5 years. Be concerned if they start talking months!)
- What are the biggest challenges your team are facing right now? (Be aware if they talk about budgets and deadlines.)
- What 1 thing would you change about how your business operates?
- If you struggle to fill the position I have applied for, what impact would that have on the business?
- When you do ask a question in an interview, stop talking. Ask your question and simply stay silent. It can be all too tempting to ramble on to fill an awkward gap but if you have asked the question, the onus is on the employer to fill that gap.
- Don’t be afraid to take notes in an interview (with a pen & paper, don’t break out your Macbook Pro or iPad), but make sure to ask at the beginning of the interview if they are ok with it.
- Always, always ask for feedback. Even if you aren’t successful in being offered the job, pick up the phone and ask them why. Don’t be confrontational or defensive. Simply ask those responsible why you weren’t selected on this occasion and what areas you can work on to improve your chances further down the line.
- If you are being offered a salary far below your level of expectation, tell them. Tell them that as keen as you are to join their organisation, you are also as keen to feel like your experience and abilities are being valued and ask them if they can re-assess the salary offer. If the answer is a flat ‘no’ then inform them you will need 48 hours to consider your position. Give it serious thought. If you join on a low salary, are you going to be motivated enough to make an impact?
- If you take a job simply because you need the money, then you are compromising and that compromise will impact your resume, career choices further down the line and most importantly, your confidence. Would you marry someone simply because you’re lonely?
- Inevitably you will spend more than half your waking hours every week at work including commuting time. A career is an intimidating and complex animal. Be patient, think about what excites you and makes you happy.
Full article published on interviewstreet.com
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