With a job hunt comes not only a new job but also a new company, new colleagues and new company values. The job you interviewed for might feel like the dream job, but your first impressions of the company itself aren’t really blowing you away and might even put you off a little bit. Hmm… shall I go for it and see how it goes or stick to my gut feeling that the company isn’t really a good fit and look for the perfect fit on both job and company.
Company fit is just as important as the job itself. Keep in mind that you will be spending a lot of your time at work and if you don’t fit in and are not on the same line as what the company expects from their employees you might have signed up for failure. It’s very hard to have to spend a lot of time somewhere where you don’t feel comfortable and this eventually will break you.
So, let’s talk about how to spot if the company is right for you (or not).
1: The job description
First thing to look at is the job description. What does the company say that they will offer you? This is the companies’ chance to grab your attention and show why you want to work there. Look for what the company has to offer on i.e. benefits, personal development and maybe even unique aspects of their company culture. Unfortunately, many companies don’t include this in their job description and will only write down information about the job and what skills you need for it.
Employers who do take the time to include this in their job description are already one step ahead. Putting that extra bit of effort in the job description shows that a company values its employees. And knowing what a company can offer you from the start is of course great information to have.
Once you sent your application a communication cycle starts, which can be either with a Recruiter, HR or the Hiring Manager. It doesn’t matter who you are communicating with but it’s important how you are being communicated to.
It’s important that you are treated professionally and with respect. This can be either in a formal and informal way as long as you feel it’s professional. Being responded to in a timely manner is also something to pay attention to. Do you have to wait outrageously long before you get a response to your emails or phone calls or do you get responses in quick timeframes.
Also, a good indication of how a company treats their employees is through personalised communication. At the beginning it’s quite normal that you get automatic replies, but further down the process the company should personalise their approach to you. Even if it’s a rejection, the way a company brings you the news says a lot about the companies’ values.
3: Your expectations
What motivates you? Is that a really cool office environment with ping pong tables and bright walls? The people you work with? The opportunity to develop yourself? Think about what you need from a company to get the best out of yourself. Try to pinpoint what helps you do your best work and maybe even your worst to get a good contrast of what you need. It’s good to have an idea of what is the right environment for you that helps you thrive and align this with what your prospective employer has to offer.#
4: The interview process
The interview stage really gives you the chance to get an insight into the company. Now you have the opportunity to see how the office looks, the vibe, your potential co-workers and you are able to reflect how they handle the interviewing process.
Is it a good structured and well organised interview or are they kind of all over the place? This also says something about the style of the organisation. Unprepared interviewers asking you random questions and ask questions twice is a red flag.
And of course, don’t forget to ask questions yourself. This is your chance to get a deeper insight into the company and the answers might make it clear for you if this is a company you would like to work for or not. Make a list of questions you want to ask when you are preparing for the interview. Examples of questions to ask can be about: personal development within the organisation, work/life balance and flexibility of the job (work from home policy). Of course, be aware that during a job interview the company is painted in a rosier picture than the reality is.