How many times have you walked into an organisation and wondered if this is the place for you? We are always looking for a sign, a clear indication to know that this is our next destination, but most often than not, we miss to read the jarring neon signs that were there all through. So let’s discuss some obvious signs that can help us evaluate if this is the next workplace for you.
5 Signs To Look Out For During Your Interview Process To Evaluate The Workplace:
# 1 : The Recruiter:
Every new job opportunity starts with a ring on your phone or a notification on your email. This is the initial screening round. While the Recruiter gets to know you, it is a great time to observe their behaviour too. So the things that you should look out for at this stage are:
Recruiters Tone and Attitude
How much do they know about the Company, its culture, vision?
How enthusiastic do they themselves sound about the opportunity?
How well versed are they about the role and how you can add value to it?
Have they studied your profile well before calling?
How open and honest are they during the discussion about the role, salary expectations, company benefits etc.?
Do they follow through. If they said they will mail you, did they mail you or forgot.
These few aspects about the first call can give you a clear indication about the company and its culture. How seriously do they take their recruitments? How they respect each one who interacts with the company? The professionalism the Recruiter displays throughout the hiring process is a reflection of the company and how they see talent.
#2 : The Recruitment Process:
Next comes the entire recruitment process.
Was the process smooth?
Were you informed in advance regarding the interview or was it rushed and hurried?
Was your time duly respected?
How were you treated when you came for the interview?
If the interview spanned for a long time, were you taken care of with regards to your meals, water, coffee, tea or cafeteria access?
Was the process extremely long and stretched out to 10 rounds or was it short and sweet?
The above will help you assess how the company values a persons time and being. I personally feel you do not need 10 rounds of interview to hire junior to mid-senior roles. How a Company defines their interview process and stages, shows how clear and focused they are about the role. So be on a look out on how you were made to feel throughout the interview process. It is a great indicator about how an organisation values its people.
#3: The Office Environment & Vibe:
As you might have noticed most of the signs expect you to have a heightened sense of things around. So the key here is to keep your ears and eyes open. Observe things and people around you when you go to the organisation for an interview. Sometimes, they are very smart and put you in a room which will not give you an opportunity to observe employees in their natural surrounding. Then in that case before you make up your mind, ask them to allow you to look at the office. Some companies may have a strict policy against that. Respect that, but then ask as many questions as required to understand the office environment. Also, besides the policy if they are still hesitant, there is the red flag we should beware of. Look out for some of the following:
Do people generally look happy to work here or are walking with droopy shoulders?
What is the vibe of the place, colourful, plain white, solid colours? Open setting area, cubicles or office dividers? What does the cafeteria look like? Is there a hierarchy based seating arrangement or senior people treated differently?
Also, look for how diverse the workforce is.
Pick up on the conversations they having while you there, but do not eavesdrop.
# 4 : The Technical Interviewers & Their Attitudes:
This one is extremely important. Eventually these are the people you will be working with or for. These are some of the team members you will be interacting with each day. Look for:
Do they respect your opinion and feedback during the interview?
How do they react when you politely challenge their question or solution?
Were they able to satisfactorily answer your questions and explain your roles and responsibility?
Were they well informed about the product or service that they working on and hiring a team mate for?
Are they looking for someone who has his/her own opinions or one who would always say “yes sir”?
The quality of questions they ask. Do they question you on things you know or harp over the ones you don’t know?
Are they interviewing to select or reject?
Observe their tone and body language.
A major put off for me is when someone is typing continuously and fails to make eye contact when one is responding to the question asked. These are indicators of what is tolerated and goes unchecked in the organisation. Especially observe how the seniors and top management behave in an interview, because they nurture culture and create the path for the rest to follow.
#5: The Offer Discussion & Negotiation:
This is a very delicate situation for both parties. Each of you are being judged by the way you will handle this situation and will eventually lead to a decision. If an offer you cannot refuse is made, all is well. But when your expectations are not met, that’s where the challenge begins.
See how they approach your salary expectations.
Are they aggressive or friendly while negotiating?
How does the offer letter look? Does it include and disclose all the benefits, roles and responsibilities, company policies etc.?
How the Offer Letter is structured can also tell you how open and honest the company is about their offerings. I have seen many companies try to undermine a candidates skills and capabilities, so that they can justify the low pay. So don’t buy into that and run as far as possible. A company that wants to hire you should respect the skills and experience you bring on the table.
To conclude, be vigilant throughout the interview process to pick up on these things. Don’t go with a checklist to a company like salary, job title and so on. These things hold less value once you in the company. Look for things like culture, attitudes, company environment, the hiring process, these will give you a true indicator of the place you want to grow and be successful at. So keep your eyes and senses wide open the next time you go for an interview.