Today's job market looks completely different than it looked ten years ago. Potential employees 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 interview – looks 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: 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 know how you'll fit into the company until you start working there, some things can help determine your compatibility with the company you desire to work for.
Job interviews should never be one-sided
We know that employees 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 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 ensure your future employer is a good fit for what you're looking for.
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. Instead, we want people who genuinely believe they are a good fit for the job to apply for the position.
When searching for a new job, asking the right questions helps ensure you've made the right decision.
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, 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, vacation 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.
The value of non-monetary benefits is not universal for every employee:
Some people value workplace autonomy
Others value the possibility of remote work
Some put focus on the opportunity for advancement and career development
Others place a higher value on the friendly environment, healthy work-life balance, and flexibility
But, most people value a combination of all the factors mentioned above.
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 the position you are applying for is in the company's big picture
Next time you're reading a job description, pay close attention: if all you see is a laundry list of skills, qualifications, and responsibilities that sound 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:
unique aspects of their company culture
some of the main perks and benefits
company’s central values
professional growth opportunities for future generations of employees
How does the company treat you?
From the 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 do they reply to your application, and are you being treated professionally?
Even though business communication doesn't need to be overly formal, you need to be treated professionally and respectfully. For example, if you don't like how the hiring manager speaks 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
At 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 most likely resembles what you would be expected to do if hired. Just have in mind - in some cases, you can be given a task that seemingly lacks the details needed to complete it - because asking the right questions is a part of the job. 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 evaluation methods–sometimes 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 the answer, 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 others' opinions? Are they good mentors, super relaxed, or do they 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 that every company within the same field claims to have more or less the same value statements and promises. So, how do you determine if they can walk the walk, and 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, it's an actual written statement or a manifesto, while others create their own culture by living it daily. So don't hesitate to ask your interviewer about particular aspects you are interested in:
What policies have they recently implemented
What challenges do they face
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. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic 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 a lack of daily commutes.
Some people thrive in the office environment, while others prefer the newly found freedom of remote work – no matter your preference, 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 what attracted them to the company and what they like about it. It will show you their level of passion and some clues about 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 a relaxed culture with a better work-life balance more of 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.
The Importance of Constructive Feedback
Honest feedback is the best tool for performance improvement. It brings enormous benefits, both in terms of client satisfaction, and in terms of business process improvement. Make it a part of business culture and use honest feedback as one of the biggest motivators.Read