Do You Really Want to Work for the Company You Are Applying For?

Do You Really Want to Work for the Company You Are Applying For?

Krešimir Č

Krešimir Č.

8 minutes

Jan 28, 2022

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Do You Really Want to Work for the Company You Are Applying For?

Today's job market looks completely different than it looked ten years ago. Potential employees pretty much have the upper hand, and the battle to recruit the very best talent can be fierce. There are far more options for highly skilled professionals in the job hunting arena than for potential employers when it comes to highly qualified professionals. Because of that, the recruiting process – especially the job interviews – look very different today.

Make sure you find a "good fit"

If you are currently thinking about changing jobs, there are probably a few things on your mind – one of them being – what if my new employer isn't a good fit? What if I'm the one that doesn't fit in the company's culture? What if we simply don't "click", despite everything looking good on paper?

Even though you can't really know how you'll fit into the company until you actually start working there, there are a couple of things that can help you determine the compatibility between you and the company you desire to work for.

Job interviews should never be one-sided

We are aware that employees really are the key to long-term success – the company can't grow and thrive if the employees don't share the company's values, business culture and mentality.

So, you are in the position of searching for a new job – the first thing you'll do is research the market to find the companies you like and look for open positions within them that you can apply for. But, when allowed to choose, how will you figure out which company is your actual "dream employer"?

We believe that job interviews should never be one-sided; as a person applying for the position, you have every right to ask questions about the company you wish to work for. Initiating an open conversation right from the start is your best chance to make sure your future employer is a good fit for what you're looking for.

Job interviews

How to make sure you are making the right decision?

As an employer, we like to provide as much information as possible during the hiring process – because we don't want to "sell" the job to just anyone, we wish for people that really believe they are a good fit to apply for the job. So, what to look out for when searching for a new job and how to make sure you are making the right decision? The answer is – by asking the right questions.

While being caught up in a nervous, anxious state of self-questioning about whether a potential employer will like you, what will they think about your CV, your experience, and conversational skills, stop for a second and think about what you want to ask them?

Asking the right questions during the job interview goes beyond inquiring about tangible benefits like salary, bonuses, vacations days, retirement plans and the use of a company vehicle. Intangible benefits are rarely the first thing on your mind but are as important as monetary perks.

Non-monetary benefits are not universal for every employee – some people value workplace autonomy, others the possibility of remote work or the opportunity for advancement and career development, while others place a higher value on the friendly environment, healthy work-life balance and flexibility – but most people value a combination of all of the aforementioned factors.

If you are in the process of determining whether you want to work for a certain company – here are a few ways to do just that.

Think about where is the position you are applying for in the big picture of the company?

Next time you're reading a job description, pay close attention: if all you see is a laundry list of skills and qualifications, and responsibilities sound way overwhelming, you might want to take a step back. On the other hand, more thoughtful employers will see a job ad as an opportunity to share some unique aspects of their company culture, some of the main perks and benefits, their main values, and professional growth opportunities for future generations of employees.

Job position

How does the company treat you?

From the very first contact, pay attention to how the company treats you – it is a pretty good indicator of how they treat all of their employees. For example, what is their tone of voice, how quickly they reply to your application, are you being treated professionally? Even though business communication doesn't need to be overly formal, you need to be treated professionally and with respect. For example, if you don't like how the hiring manager is speaking to you, you probably won't enjoy the company's communication style if you decide to work there.

Test the company – while they are testing you

In a certain stage of the hiring process, you'll probably be asked to complete a project, solve a task or take a test – and our advice is to pay close attention to that process. If you didn't like the task, weren't given the proper information to complete it, or the deadline was unreasonable – this job may not be a good fit for you. The task you were given probably resembles the daily job you would be expected to do if hired. Just have in mind - in some cases, you can be given a task that seemingly lacks details needed to complete it - because asking the right questions is a part of the task. Although, that kind of task will usually be announced beforehand.

Also, pay attention to the feedback process – who asks the questions during your presentation? Are they clear and helpful? What kind of feedback are you given? If you can't imagine yourself working for the person on the other side of the table or don't feel comfortable receiving that type of feedback regularly, you shouldn't take the job.

How is success measured?

Every company has different ways of evaluation – sometimes it's risk-taking, speed, innovation, collaboration, independence… Or something totally different. That's why it's essential to determine which qualities are appreciated – and expected because they are usually a good indicator of work-life balance.

To get a better idea about their value system, ask them to share examples of an employee that stood out and was rewarded. The example they use will clearly show you what they perceive as successful and rewarding within the company.

Ask about the management style

One thing is sure – you can't be satisfied with the job if you don't get along with your boss.
Don't hesitate to ask about the management style – no matter what the answer is, it will give you a glimpse into your potential future relationship.

Is your potential employee a democratic boss who often asks for feedback and values their opinions?

Are they good mentors, super relaxed, or tend to micro-manage?

If you don't want to initiate that question directly, you can ask how often they expect reports from team members and what type of check-ins they prefer – that will give you a pretty good idea.

How do the company's core values play out?

If you take some time and research, you'll soon find out that every company within the same field claim to have more or less the same value statements and promises. So, how to determine if they are ready to "walk the walk, not just talk the talk"? Ask for an example – how do they implement their values?

How do they perceive their company culture?

Every company has a culture – for some of them, it's an actual written statement or a manifesto, while others create their culture just by living it on an everyday basis. So don't hesitate to ask your interviewer about particular aspects you are interested in – what policies they recently implemented, some challenges, how do they create roles that benefit everyone?

What is their stand on remote work?

Remote work has been a hot topic for the better part of the last decade, but the Covid19 changed the workplace irreversibly – most employees in the tech industry realized they could be equally productive working from home while having some extra free time due to lack of daily commute.

Some people thrive in the office environment, while others prefer the newly found freedom of remote work – no matter what your preference is, make sure your potential employer is aligned with it.

What do they like about the company?

Your interviewer probably won't expect that question, but ask them what attracted them to the company and what they like about it? It will show you their level of passion and some clues on the company's culture and the investment in employee development and satisfaction.

In conclusion, you need to figure out what you value the most in the workplace and prioritize your needs – do you appreciate a highly ambitious environment, or is the relaxed culture with a better work-life balance a priority?

Every step in the application and hiring process can provide valuable information – if you find the communication uncomfortable or job descriptions and expectations unreasonable, that company is probably not the best fit for you. And the sooner you realize that the sooner you can find the one that is.