Interviewing for a new job can be an exciting, yet daunting process.
Nerves are running high, the anticipation is building and your brain is going into overdrive at all the things you need to remember to say.
Leading up to - and during - the interview, you do everything you can to increase your chances at success. You research the company, prepare a few short answers to showcase your skills, dress to impress, show up on time, smile, be polite, confident, and make eye contact.
You come away from the interview thinking: “I hope I impressed them. Did I say all the right things?”
But somewhere along the way, you end up forgetting about the other person in the process: you.
As candidates, we spend so much time and energy trying to impress an employer, that we often don’t stop to think about whether the job and the company are the right fit for us.
When you think about it, getting a new job is like starting a new relationship – you both need to be equally invested for it to work.
So, what are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before and after a job interview to make sure you come away from it knowing whether it’s the right opportunity and fit for you?
Before the interview
This is a perfect time to figure out what it is you really want from your next job. Have a think about the following:
Will this role get me to where I want to go in my career?
Think about what your ultimate career goal is and whether this role is a stepping stone to get you there, or if it will side-track you from that goal.
Can I do this job and will it challenge me?
These are two very different things. First, you need to have the right skills to do the job well. Second, the role should challenge you and give you the opportunity to learn new skills, so that you can continue on your ultimate career path, otherwise you may become disengaged very quickly.
What sort of company do I want to work for?
Company culture can have a major impact on job satisfaction. Ask yourself what a 'good company culture' looks like to you? Is it working for a company where everyone is passionate about what they do? Is it a company that has a strong vision and purpose? Is it the team camaraderie and social aspect of work? Is hierarchy important to you? Do you work better in a flat organisation? Make sure it's a company that you can be passionate about.
What is my ideal working environment?
What kind of a worker are you? Do you thrive in a fast-paced, busy work environment where everyone bounces ideas off each other; or do you prefer to work autonomously? Figure out what your work style is and what environment will contribute to your success. Don't be afraid to ask these questions in the interview!
After the interview
Once you've met with a potential employer, do your own personal assessment of them. Are they offering what you're looking for? Did they impress you? Have a think about the following:
How well did they handle the interview process?
Did they put you at ease and make you feel comfortable, or did you find it difficult to get along with them? Building up a good rapport with a potential employer during an interview is important as it is a good indication of what it will be like to work with them.
Are you excited about working for them or do you have doubts?
Trust your gut. If you walk away from an interview with more questions than answers, it could be a sign that it’s not the right company or role for you.
Did they inspire confidence in the company and the role?
Just as you would prepare for an interview, a great employer will do the same. It shows that they have put thought into the role to set that person up for success. Do they have a clear direction of where they are going as a company and how your role will fit into that? Did they give you enough information about the job for you to make a fair assessment?
Does the culture and working environment match what you’re looking for?
Think about what type of company culture is important to you and then compare it to what they said in the interview. Does it match? Are you confident that it will be an environment where you can thrive and do your best work?
Happiness and compatibility in a job cannot be overstated. We spend so much of our lives at work, that it has to be the right fit – for you and the employer.
For more useful career tips, check out our candidate resources page. Or, if you'd like to have a confidential discussion with one of our consultants about your next career move, give us a call on (02) 9262 4836.