You liked the sound of the advertisement and you
have the skills for the job, so what will it be like to work
Be aware of potential warning signals that this employer
may not be the best one to join. You need to gather
impressions and assess relevant information to make an
informed decision. Your research needs to begin before you
ever set foot in the interviewer’s office.
Here is a general list of issues you can investigate through
the web or through a reference library prior to an
interview. Privately held firms may not make this type of
information publicly accessible. Go to your local Reference
Library and review the appropriate Scott’s Industrial
Directory for many useful details on the firm's products and
history. On-line try
for researching individual companies and target industries.
Before The Interview
If they are a publicly traded firm, how is their stock
How have their earnings been in the past 2 to 3 fiscal
What is their reputation for quality and customer
What is their size, number of employees and is there an
annual report available for review?
How long have they been in business?
What growth or expansion have they experienced in the
last 2-3 years?
Arriving for the Interview:
How do employees interact with each other -- smiling,
neutral or grim?
Do they have interesting sales literature or an
Do they have awards, employee recognition plaques or
community service citations in the lobby?
Are you treated with a lack of courtesy by the
receptionist or the hiring manager’s assistant?
If the hiring manager is late to meet you, does the
staff know where he/she is?
During the Interview:
If the hiring manager/interviewer late for the meeting,
does he or she apologize?
Does the interviewer greet you with a friendly
handshake and make eye contact?
Are you given a copy of the position description?
Does the interviewer speak in derogatory terms about
the last person in the job?
Does it appear that the company has had a high turnover
in this position?
Does the interviewer make negative remarks about fellow
managers or superiors?
Do they have a good training program for their
Does the interviewer pay attention to you or is he/she
distracted by calls and visitors?
Are you interrupted during your responses or are you
rushed for answers?
Are they vague about salary, review
dates and/or company benefits?
After the Interview:
Do they invite you to call back if you
have any questions?
Do they change the figures or salary
range in follow up discussions?
Are you left without a clear idea of when
a decision is to be made?
What are their attitudes towards
negotiating specific issues?
The way you are treated before, during and after the
initial interview may indicate how you will be treated as an
employee. Notice how your questions and concerns are
handled. Are the answers clear and your concerns dealt with
satisfactorily? Do you get the feeling that you are one in a
long line of applicants or do they seem genuinely interested
in what you have to say and offer?
Companies that value the skills of their employees are
inclined to pay for job-specific educational courses,
usually reimbursing employees upon successful completion of
the program. What is their attitude towards career
Listen to your intuition. Do the views and attitudes
expressed by the interviewer sit well with you? Can you see
yourself working there?
The more you observe the small impressions that come in
through the interviewing process, the better equipped you
will be to make a sound decision based both on the facts
that you have obtained and your feelings about the people
you have met.
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