Interviewing Your Employer: How to Find Out If the Company Is Right for You
You have applied for a job that seems perfect for you. You have the skills, the experience, and the passion for the role. You have prepared your resume, your portfolio, and your answers to common interview questions. You are ready to impress the hiring manager and land the job. But wait! Have you thought about what you want from the company? Have you researched the organization’s culture, values, and vision? Have you considered how the job will fit into your career goals and personal life?
An interview is not only a chance for the employer to evaluate you but also for you to evaluate the employer. After all, you are not just looking for a paycheck but also for a place where you can grow, learn, and thrive. You want to work for a company that respects you, supports you, and challenges you. You want to work for a company that aligns with your values, interests, and aspirations.
So, how do you find out if the company is right for you? Here are some tips on how to interview your employer and make an informed decision about your future.
Do your homework
Before the interview, research the company’s website, social media, news articles, reviews, and any other sources of information you can find. Look for clues about the company’s mission, vision, values, culture, history, achievements, and challenges. Try to understand what the company does, why it does it, and how it does it. This will help you prepare relevant and insightful questions for the interviewer, as well as show your interest and enthusiasm for the company.
Ask open-ended questions
During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask questions that go beyond the job description and the salary. Ask open-ended questions that invite the interviewer to share more details and opinions about the company. For example, you can ask:
- What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working here?
- How would you describe the culture and the work environment here?
- How do you measure success and performance here?
- How do you support the professional development and career growth of your employees?
- How do you handle feedback and conflict resolution here?
- How do you balance innovation and stability here?
- How do you deal with change and uncertainty here?
- How do you foster collaboration and diversity here?
These questions will help you get a deeper and more honest picture of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. They will also help you gauge the interviewer’s attitude, satisfaction, and engagement with the company.
Listen actively and critically
As you listen to the interviewer’s answers, pay attention to not only what they say but also how they say it. Observe their body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Do they sound confident, enthusiastic, and proud? Or do they sound hesitant, vague, and defensive? Do they give specific examples and stories? Or do they use generalizations and clichés? Do they focus on the positive aspects? Or do they complain or criticize? Do they match your expectations and preferences? Or do they raise red flags or doubts?
Listening actively and critically will help you assess the credibility and reliability of the information you receive. It will also help you identify any gaps or inconsistencies that you may want to clarify or verify later.
Trust your intuition
After the interview, take some time to reflect on your experience and feelings. Ask yourself:
- Did I enjoy the conversation and the interaction with the interviewer?
- Did I feel comfortable and respected by the interviewer?
- Did I learn something new and valuable about the company?
- Did I get a clear and realistic picture of the job and the company?
- Did I get a sense of the company’s culture and values?
- Did I feel a connection and a fit with the company?
- Do I want to work for this company?
Trust your intuition and listen to your gut. If you feel excited, inspired, and confident about the company, then you may have found a great match. If you feel uneasy, bored, or doubtful about the company, then you may want to look elsewhere.
Remember, an interview is a two-way street. You are not only selling yourself but also buying into the company. By interviewing your employer, you can make sure that the company is worth joining, the culture is good and not toxic, and the job gives you a platform for creative freedom and growth.