How to know you’ve found the right fit in an interview
Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. It is easy tbo feel overwhelmed with having the perfect answers, wearing the right outfit and being exactly what the interviewer is looking for. Some candidates tend to forget that what they think about the company is just as important as what the interviewer thinks of them. Interviewing is a two-way street.
Before you head into an interview, take some time to think about what is important to you. What are you looking for to make sure this next move is a great fit?
Are you looking for a certain leadership style or company culture?
It is very important to understand the team culture and values. As a potential part of the team, you want to make sure this aligns with your personal values and is a team you want to be a part of. Prior to your interview, you should do some research about the organization. This can be accomplished by looking at the company website, social media and online job boards.
Social media may allow you to get a feel for the company culture by viewing posts from the organization and employees that already work there. For example, a company that posts about work anniversaries or other achievements probably prioritizes employee recognition! You may also be able to see posts from current/past employees – for example, an employee’s post about participation in a company-wide day of service.
Online job boards, such as Glassdoor or Indeed, allow current and past employees to leave reviews on the employer and share about their experience. (Disclaimer: Negative experiences are more likely to produce reviews than positive ones, so the reviews may skew more negatively.)
After you have done your research, ask about the culture in your interview! You can ask questions like:
- (If talking to the potential supervisor) What is your management style? How do you lead this team on a day-to-day basis?
- Can you share how your employees and customers experience your company values?
- What three words would best describe your company culture?
- Why do employees like working here? What keeps your employees year after year?
- How does good work get recognized?
If you have multiple interviews with the organization, don’t be afraid to ask these culture-related questions to all interviewers! The answers you receive may vary, but you should be able to identify trends and get a feel for the company culture.
Do you have a clear understanding of the job duties and expectations?
During the interview process, it is crucial to make sure you have a good understanding of the job description and expected duties. This not only shows the recruiter you have relevant job knowledge, it also allows you to make certain the role is what looking for.
According to a recent Gallup study, nearly half of all U.S. employees don’t know what is expected of them at work. While Gallup has identified 12 elements of employee engagement, it found that clear expectations are foundational.
Here are some clarifying questions to ask during an interview to make sure you fully understand the role and expectations:
- What does the day-to-day look like for this position?
- How will success in this role be measured?
- What do you see as the biggest challenge for this role?
- (If interviewing with your potential supervisor) How do you expect to work with this individual? How much autonomy/oversight will be given to this role?
Are there certain benefits you value?
For many candidates, benefits are an important consideration but can be hard to discuss in interviews. You should do your research prior to the interview to fully understand market rates for similar roles. You should also come prepared with a salary range you would be willing to accept.
It is important to remember there is a time and place to discuss salary and benefits – this shouldn’t be your leading question. In the interview, you should work to show the interviewer that you are the right person for the job. Once you have discussed your skills and accomplishments, then you can bring up benefits.
Some good questions to ask are:
- What is the salary range for this position?
- Is the salary negotiable?
- What benefits do you offer to employees?
What is your gut telling you?
At the end of the day, listen to your gut! If there is a red flag during the interview process that leads you to think this isn’t the right fit for you, remember that it is OK to say “no” to another interview or job offer. Interviewing is a two-way street, so make sure you choose a job and company that are good matches for you!