Unemployed? Stop Twiddling Your Thumbs and Do THIS Instead!
You just rocked a job interview. You had great rapport with the hiring manager; you spelled out your not-really-weaknesses-but-strengths with no hesitation, and you showed you had done your research about the company by asking all the right questions. By all means, it looks like you’ve had a great interview, and found the right job for your career goals and workplace personality.
Unfortunately, an excellent interview doesn’t always translate to an excellent fit. We hear about interviewer biases fairly regularly, but it’s not often we hear about the biases candidates can carry with them throughout the interview process. Because of these biases, candidates can be focused more on the overall feel of the interview rather than the substance of the position, which can lead to selection of a position based on what we like – not what’s best for our careers.
Here are a couple questions you should ask yourself after every interview to combat your personal biases and find out if the job is really going to be the right fit for you:
Am I being superficial?
It’s so easy to be blinded by the excitement of working for a large, well-known company with great perks. But just because your friends will be impressed that you landed a job there doesn’t mean that the job will be a fit. Stop focusing on the well-known company name, or the catered lunches, or the ping pong table in the break room – they’re all great perks, and can contribute to a great company culture, but these perks don’t mean that you’ll find success. Look at the reality of the day-to-day work of the position, and determine if it’s something that you’d be happy doing.
Can I work with this team?
You and the HR manager found a shared interest in sports, and you had a great conversation with your manager-to-be about growing up in the same state. But did you pay attention to your manager’s over-the-top organized interview folder, or notice how the she cut in when you were trying to speak? Can you handle the intense workload she expects from this position? You should be looking for someone who can mentor you in this role, not a new best friend. Wait a day or two until the awesome-interview-high has faded, and revisit each of the people you interviewed with to determine if you could see yourself working with them on a daily basis.
Am I passionate about this job?
You did your research and asked the questions you were supposed to ask – like “how do you see your strategy changing due to x, y, and z factors?”, and “what do you like best about working here?” – and you listened dutifully to the answers. But when it comes down to it – do you actually care? While passion for a company’s products isn’t a necessity of a good fit (it’s not that easy to be excited about a company who makes, for instance, pipe fittings), you should be passionate about some aspect of the company and the work you’ll be doing. Your passion is what makes you proud to say “I work at Company X”. Look for things like your contribution to the bottom line, employee recognition awards, community involvement, etc. If you can’t think of a reason to say you’d be proud to work for this company, other than they have a recognizable name, it might be worth reconsidering the opportunity.
Will this job provide growth?
The number one thing I hear from candidates is that they’re looking to leave their current position due to lack of growth. Growth is an easy thing to sell in an interview because it doesn’t require an immediate action after hire. Aside from the promise of promotion, look at the actual skill growth this position can provide. Does your manager have time to teach you? Will you have the opportunity to work with people who can mentor you? Is there access to on or off-site training? Take a look back at the career path of the people you interviewed with, and see if you can identify any internal growth within their careers.
It’s so easy to miss topics like these in a job interview if you’re blinded by company culture or a great conversation in the interview. If you missed any of these questions and are now left wondering about whether or not this is the right move, send an email to the team you interviewed with. It never hurts to reach out with additional questions after a job interview – it shows the team you’re thinking seriously about your future with them, and you want to make an informed career decision. It will also help you ensure you’re not back on the hunt for a new job after just a few months.
About the Author
Danielle Setola Antes is an HR Professional and Recruiter from Washington, DC. With a bit of insight on everything from resumes to recruiters and recognition and resignation, she covers the most important topics you’ll need to be successful in the workplace, and to find (and keep) your perfect job.