So much of the application and interview process for new employment is focused on what you, the prospective employee, can bring to the company, and the task of convincing them you’re the right person for the position.
But what happens when you turn the tables? With the focus on getting in a new company or career, it’s easy to overlook very important signs that you don’t want the job. Now, this idea might seem silly.
Of course you want the job…you’re applying for it! But in your eagerness (or desperation) to get hired, you might not see the signs that you should take your resume somewhere else.
Here’s how to avoid unhappiness or recurring unemployment by turning the tables in the interview process.
Find Non-Biased Sources
Even if you’ve heard nothing but good about a company, there could still be policies, past trends, or current developments that raise red flags. Find non-biased sources to review, such as business and executive information sites, like:
- Hoover’s Business Data
- Business Week’s Company Insight Center
Get as many angles as possible to provide a complete picture of the ins, outs, ups-and-downs of your desired employer. If anything alarms you, reconsider your interest, or express these concerns to the company directly when conducting your interview.
Talk to a Current Employee
If possible, talk to someone who has worked there in the past or currently works there. Getting a few different opinions is the best way to get an honest perspective on the company, since one person may have a biased approach based on their individual circumstances.
Ask questions about how they are treated, what benefits and pay they receive, what the atmosphere is like, and whether or not the person actually enjoys their job.
Regardless of their position, this will give you a good idea of what you can expect after the honeymoon phase of your new job wears off.
Pay Attention to the Interview Process
Most interviews are conducted on-site, which provides a great opportunity to do some detective work about the work atmosphere and conditions.
Pay attention to how organized or chaotic business is conducted, and the mental/emotional state of the employees. Is everyone frazzled? Depressed? Lethargic? Angry? What kinds of comments are being exchanged, and in what tone?
The mood of an office during “business as usual” is a good indicator of what you’ll be experiencing if you’re hired. During your interview, notice whether you’re being given the interviewer’s full attention and interest. Do they seem interested and engaged in what you’re saying?
Don’t fall into defense mode to the extent that you forget to evaluate your future employer at the same time you’re being evaluated.
Show What You Know
Showing that you understand the company’s background, products, statistics, core beliefs, and culture will go a long way in not only impressing them with your interest and motivation, but showing that you won’t be misled in any way.
Find ways to casually fit this information into your interview, and you’ll pack a double punch of self-promotion and protection. Watch your interviewer’s reactions for evasive techniques, signs of discomfort, nervousness, irritation, or complete ignorance of company information.
An employer who has nothing to hide should have no problem talking about any aspect of the job or company in general.
When you’re considering a job, prepare your resume and get ready for the interview. But don’t forget to research and run reconnaissance to make sure the job is a good fit for you as well. You are in control of your career and should aim to land the perfect job for your needs.
How do you turn the tables on a potential employer during the interview process? What other benefits does being picky about a company have?