How do you find out if you’re a really good fit with a company during an interview? What questions can you ask? Is there a foolproof way to guarantee a perfect fit?
First, there are no foolproof answers, only carefully prepared steps to get a sense of the culture. Why aren’t there better ways to get more definitive answers? Simply because all organizations have multiple departments managed by different managers with distinctive operating styles. No two managers are exactly the same, even with a common philosophy. The “perfect” manager that hires you today may move on shortly after you move in.
Here are some helpful strategies.
Interviewing: There may be a difference between what an interviewer says and what your potential manager does. The key is for you to ask the hiring manager (your potential boss) questions like:
- “How would you describe your management style? What kind of employee are you looking for in this position… an initiator or someone only implementing your decisions?”
- “ Describe a highly successful relationship between you and the chosen candidate”
The more targeted your questions the more specific the answers should be.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking these kinds of questions, you’ll not get the answers you need. You also need to respond to questions honestly and not answer what you think they want to hear. You might fool them during an interview, but not day-to-day in the job.
Research: Find out what current or past employees have experienced. You have that opportunity through the interview process or research on LinkedIn, Vault and Glassdoor. These are unedited comments from people who may have valuable insights into the organization. The more information you can acquire from people who are or have been in the organization will give you the best sense of your fit. If you’re an active, achievement driven person and find a passive, reactive organization, make sure you’re being hired to create a new environment or you’ll be dragged down to the norm of the work group.
No one can accurately determine how or if you’ll fit within any organization as there are too many variables: Competitive peers, organizational change, management pressure points or internal politics. You’ll only get a few insightful snapshots into what lays ahead. It all comes down to a gut level, “Do you sense a bond between you and your potential boss?” If your not comfortable during the interview, the chances are slim that it will become a job made in heaven.
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