HOW TO DECIDE IF A COMPANY IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOU

Oct 30, 2018

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve gone through all the work. You built a killer resume. You nailed the interview process. Negotiated the salary like a boss.

And then you show up at your brand new job, only to realize after about two weeks that the place is a Gong Show.  It’s not for you at all.

Yikes.

But you can’t just up and quit.  You’re committed. You’re going to have to figure out how to make it work… at least for a couple of years.

Has this ever happened to you?  It happened to me… once … and I swore never again.

So, what was the miss?

We are so consumed with nailing the interview process and getting the job offer, that we de-prioritize exploring if the company is actually a good fit.

Speaking from experience, being stuck at a company that’s not aligned with who you are is a soul-sucking endeavour. Yes, you can focus on what’s working. And yes, you can find other things, outside of work, that are fulfilling.

But sooner or later, it will catch up with you.  And you’re left with biding your time until you can start the job search process all over again.

I had a boss who always used to say...

We never have time to do things right, but we always have time to do things twice.

And in this case, the cost of not doing it right the first time is very high. It’s much smarter to ensure the dream job you’re going after is at a dream company as well.

So here are four tactics you can use to make sure that the company you’re about to jump into, is the right fit for you.

GET CLEAR ON YOUR IDEAL ENVIRONMENT.

You likely have an intuitive sense of the kind of place you want to work. Describe it.  Get it out of your head and onto paper.  That exercise will force you to get clear on what’s ideal vs. what’s a dealbreaker

If you’re having trouble, think of things you appreciated at places you worked before.  Still stuck? Try answering the questions below in ‘Tactic 3’. What would your ideal answers be?

DO SOME RESEARCH

People often skip the research stage.  But don’t skip it! Make Google and LinkedIn your new best friends when you’re looking for a job.

Go to the Company’s website and see how they describe their Corporate Values and Culture.  You can also search the Company’s name + employee satisfaction (or other topics of interest to you) and see what comes up.  Maybe you just want to see images of their office space?  

Also, don’t forget about hastags.  They often turn up some good stuff. Try searching a # with the Company’s name in it.

And what about LinkedIn? Check your connections and see if you have any first level connections who have worked at this company before.  If you do, I recommend reaching out and setting up time where you can ‘speak live’. You can get a better behind the curtain view of what it’s like to work there. 

Just remember, if you decide to do it by email vs. chatting live, you may be missing out on the little nuggets that tone and body language can offer.

ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS

Here are six++ questions you can ask throughout the interview process. Some you may want to ask a Hiring Manager, and some you may reserve when you meet with the Big Boss.  If you want more context on when and how to use these questions (and how to assess the answers) watch my video training on this topic.

  1. How would you describe the culture of the organization? You can also soften it up by asking ‘What’s your favourite part of the culture of the organization?’
  2. How does the company celebrate success?
  3. How does the company deal with failure? If you want to be less pointy, you can reframe as ‘how does the company deal when someone drops the ball/when things don’t go according to plan
  4. How important is feedback in this culture? You can also dig deeper by asking ‘are you comfortable giving feedback to senior management?’ or ‘how is feedback welcomed by senior management’
  5. What’s the culture around people development? You can get more specific by asking about training, or the performance review process.
  6. What’s one thing you would recommend to improve the culture of the organization? You can soften this by leading with something like I believe in the idea of continuous improvement and always learning, what’s one thing…
TEST THEIR VALUES

Quite often in interviews you'll be asked behavioural questions, e.g. Tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem? Resolve a conflict? Focus a team? Etc.

Why not use this same tactic to understand how well a company is living their values?  Try one of these two questions (p.s. the second one is my favourite).

Tell me about a time where you really felt the company was living their value of ________? (insert a value you found on their website)

Tell me about a time where the company didn’t live up to their value of _______ and how they learned from that?

 

Final final takeaway… spend the time making sure the dream job you’re pursuing is right for you, and you’re not walking into a Gong Show.  If you have any questions or want to chat more, reach out in my Facebook Group @ thecareerreset.com/community.


ABOUT THE CAREER RESET:

I help professionals who are at a career crossroads, get confident about their next career move so they be excited and happy to go to work again.

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