What would it be like working for the company you’re interviewing? There’s a simple test that will give you an idea: Assess how you’ re treated as an applicant, then as a candidate. Interviewing is similar to dating. Everyone is all dressed up, on their best behavior, polite and communicative. That may or may not be the norm. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Was the company responsive, informative and timely when you sent in your application?
- Unorganized or a lack of continuity may be a sign of greater issues
- Did you have enough time to prepare for the telephone screen or were your rushed?
- Being pushed may demonstrate unusual pressure to fill the job quickly
- Was the telephone interviewer helpful in answering your questions in addition to answering theirs? Were they evasive or lacked the information you needed?
- Lack of answers to your questions or evasive responses could be that the interviewer isn’t knowledgeable, or maybe doesn’t want you to know the answers
- How long did it take between the telephone screen and the 1-on-1 interviews?
- If it’s quick, they may really want you. Too long maybe you aren’t their first choice.
- Did you have a briefing about what to expect during interviews? A list, by name, title and time-line, about each meeting? Did you have enough time during each interview to learn what the job was all about both short and long term? Able to respond to questions fully? Ask them questions to your satisfaction with informative answers? Have enough time between interviews to gather your wits and prepare for the next interview?
- These questions and many, many more will give you great insight about the sensitivity, culture, management style and expectations of the hiring organization
On the other hand, the company will learn what you may be like as an employee. Were you annoyed by their questions or careless with follow-up? Are you on time and timely with information requested? Are you difficult to deal with?
There are some situations that are difficult to read, but most times if you look hard enough you’ll get great insights into the operating rhythm of the company. Of special interest are all the tell-tail signs when meeting with your potential boss. Don’t assume that the boss must be having a bad day and it will be much better if you’re hired. Just like dating, it’s usually the best it’s going to be.
Listen to your “radar” during the interviews. How people act are always a better predictor of the future than what they say.
Take control of your future. Contact Bill Kaufmann as a coach.
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