In an employers’ jobs market, where there are many qualified applicants for every job opening, candidates may overlook the importance of ensuring the job is the right one for them.
It is essential that you consider whether all elements of the position you are applying for is a good fit for you – beyond the salary, location and career growth opportunity – because it is often the intangible parts, which do not come across on job descriptions, that can make or break a new job.
So, if you’re thinking of accepting a new role, always think carefully; doing so will make you happier in the long run (even though your search might take a bit longer), you’ll be more likely to perform at your best in that role and you won’t waste your prospective employer’s time.
Here are some things to consider:
The interview process
Most candidates perceive that the main purpose of a job interview is for employers to ask difficult questions that test the candidate’s knowledge.
However, although interviewers are likely to want to know how your skills relate to the job you have applied for, you should also consider this an opportunity to test whether the employer is the right one for you.
Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to ask probing questions about the company – although there are some questions, like those relating to salary, that you should avoid – so that you get a real feel for the company.
Questions related to the organisational culture, personalities at the top or typical working day will give you a good idea of the kind of environment you will be working in; you could even ask why the last person in the position left.
You should also reflect on how the entire interview process is handled – this will give you a good idea of how senior staff communicate with employees and provide you with an insight into how efficient the organisation is.
The details of the job are just one part of your day-to-day working life; how your personality and aspirations fit with the company culture is arguably the most challenging, yet essential, element of finding the right job for you.
Think about your work-life balance, particularly whether you are prepared to make personal sacrifices for your new role, as some organisations will require you to work long hours or attend events outside of work time.
You might also want to consider whether the size of the company will impact your role; for example, in smaller companies you might have a more scope to take on bigger projects and affect change, however, you might be asked undertake tasks beyond your job description. In larger companies, you might feel like a small fish in a big pond, yet it could have great additional benefits.
Also think about the way you work best – do you like a quiet environment or are you at your best when you’re collaborating in a team? It is essential that your way of working fits in with how the organisation currently operates.
During the interview process, ask to meet with the rest of the team and your new line manager (if you haven’t already) to get a good idea of the kind of people you’ll be working closely with. If you don’t get a good impression, this should be a major red flag.
This will show your new employer that you are keen make an impression on the current employees and that you have a genuine interest in making sure you are the right fit.
You could also use Linkedin to establish whether the organisation has a high turnover of staff and if they have had career progression opportunities while working at the company; other social media channels like Twitter could also give you a good idea of whether the organisation is perceived positively.
It is also useful to ask yourself whether you’d like a work social life – if the company regularly has after-work drinks, you could benefit by forging strong relationships outside of work with your new colleagues.