Starting a new job is a reason for celebration which usually energizes and motivates us. We often prioritize the title, compensation, location and responsibilities. If it ticks those boxes, many professionals don’t give much consideration to the three principal reasons a job doesn’t work out.
• Company culture
• Change of responsibilities or the job being misrepresented during the hiring process.
Don’t unthinkingly accept the next job offer that comes along. Gain as much insight as possible to ensure your next move is the right one.
Evaluate your prospective manager
Poor leadership can make your job a constantly miserable experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions at your interview by turning the tables on your prospective future boss. The obvious signs of a negative culture are interviewers who appear disinterested, avoid eye contact and constantly interrupt you. Remember that people are normally on their ‘best behavior’ during an interview so if you are concerned over anything you hear or see, it’s likely to be magnified when you work for this company. Find out more about the culture by asking pertinent questions, for example:
• What do you expect of the successful candidate during the first 90 days in this role?
• What are the biggest challenges that will be faced in this position?
• How would you describe your leadership style?
• What are the core values of the company?
• What do your team think of you?
Asking these questions in a relaxed manner indicates you are serious about your career and want to make the move that is right for you.
Evaluate the culture
Culture fit is one of the most important evaluations you can make in accepting a job offer. Culture encompasses everything from the way employees dress for work to what is deemed acceptable office behavior. If a company’s core values don’t align with your own, you’ll soon be looking for your next career move.
Evaluate the employer’s culture by assessing how they convey their brand message. Research the website, review their social media feeds, check out sites like Glassdoor to see what past and current employees have to say about the company. Find out what their employee turnover level looks like. Assess the demeanor of employees as you arrive for your interview. Are they relaxed or anxious? Remember, first impressions count.
Now evaluate what you personally expect from a company culture. Don’t be tempted to settle for second best in the hope that things will work out. Follow your intuition. Surely no amount of money is worth working in an environment which makes you downright miserable?
Evaluate the job
Prepare a list of pertinent interview questions that will help you to decide whether or not this is the organization for you. Find out how long the vacancy has been open and why. Ask if a job offer has previously been rejected for this role. Request confirmation of the top three challenges and top three objectives the successful candidate will face in the first six months. The answer will help you to assess if the employer’s expectations are realistic. Perhaps one of the most important questions is what keeps the hiring manager working at this company. An evasive response is an instant cause for concern.
Don’t accept a job on face value in the hope it will work out. Face your concerns and seek clarification from the employer. If it’s not forthcoming then restart your job search. Better that than finding yourself on the job market again within three months’ time.