The interview process is not merely a chance for you to impress an employer.
It is your opportunity to decide if it is an environment you want to work in, if the role is what you expected and to find out more about the company.
Throughout the entire process, right from the time you find the job advertisement, you should be learning about the company and making a decision.
Here are some things to look out for:
Think about where you saw the job advertised, how it was presented and how easy it was to apply. Look at photos used and how the description is worded.
An advert built for mobile applications shows the company is thinking of millennial or younger job seekers. The job description might also have extra information on the company and details of perks or benefits. If this is the case they are trying to show how much they look after their employees.
How long did it take for them to respond and how did they respond? As a job seeker you might be applying for numerous roles, so response time is crucial.
Companies with recruitment teams have time to spend on the process so should reply quickly and with a clear next stage.
Assess whether their response is really engaging with you or whether you are another number in a line of applicants: this might show high turnover where the recruitment process is all too familiar for them.
Going in for job interviews gives you a first look at where you could be working and you can tell a lot from this. Whether it’s an office, a clothes store or a cafe, take in the atmosphere. You need to be able to picture yourself working here. If you know you want somewhere lively and relaxed, make sure that’s where you are.
Look at the employees, at what they are wearing, what they are doing and how many of them there are. Current staff are a good window into the runnings of the company: are they happy, are they stressed, are they silent, are they working hard?
The interviewer is also a good indicator of the tone of the company. How they are dressed, how organised they are and how they conduct the interview are important things to consider.
Some job seekers are looking for corporate environments and will be comfortable with prompt and formal job interviews. Others are happy to see an informal setting with an interviewer who loses track of time and has lost half his questions, because it shows a relaxed working environment.
Not everything can be based on impressions however: make sure you ask the right questions to find out what you really need to know.
Assessing how a company carries out their hiring process is a good start in deciding if it is the right place for you. It is better to know sooner rather than later whether this could be your dream job, or somewhere you’re better off avoiding.