When we go into a job interview it is easy to forget that it is a two-sided street. We often think of job interviews as exclusively a chance for the company to determine if you are competent enough to work for them, but it is also a chance for you to see if the company is competent enough for you to work for them! The interview is your opportunity to see how the company is run, and see if you even would like working for them. There are many companies that you do not want to work for, so today we are going to look at ways to tell if you are interviewing at a company that you should not join.
High Turnover- Try to strike up conversations with various people in the office before and after your interview. Find out how long they have been with the company. If you find that the majority people there have not worked there very long you probably will not want to work for this company. High turnover usually correlates with a bad work environment, and you may be better off avoiding the job now then leaving it in a couple months.
Buzzword Bombardment- When you interview you should try to get a clear sense of what you will be doing at the company (as well as what the company does!). If instead of clear cut definitions you get a slew of buzzwords and confusing statements it usually means that they do not know what they are doing. Try finding the company’s mission statement before you interview. Is it clear-cut and obvious? Can your interviewer describe it in a clear way? If the answer is no to either or both of these questions, you probably do not want to work for this company.
Dead-end Street- Ask about career advancement, do they have a plan for employees to rise within the ranks of the company? Do they see the position growing in the next five years, or is it a stagnant role? If they don’t have a clear idea of how your job will grow in the next five years, then it probably will not grow over the next five years. Ask yourself if you can work a job with no growth potential. If you can’t, do not work for a company that doesn’t value advancement.
Watch the Boss- It does not matter how cool a company is, if the boss is terrifying or impossible, you do not want to work for them. Try to sneak a peek at how the boss interacts with the employees. Does he yell? Does he give unclear instruction? What do they employees look like when they interact with the boss? Do they shy away and look at the floor? Do they tense up whenever the boss walks into the room? If everyone looks uncomfortable around the boss, odds are you would feel uncomfortable around them too.
Not all jobs are created equal, so be careful before you lock yours in. Keep your eye out for these warning signs, or you may find yourself back on the search in no time! Remember that you have just as much of a right to refuse an offer as the company does.