The Interview

The interview – what kind of feelings are recalled when you are scheduled for an interview? Personally, it brings up excitement, anxiety, and the feeling that I need to start preparation as soon as possible.

I’m sure we all have found ourselves searching for the right job as we enter the labor force and after networking and submitting resumes, we finally receive a call granting us the interview. Now for most of us, we believe that the interview is most about the interviewee – can this individual best fit the position we have available?

And for the most part, this is true; however, I want to discuss how the interview is just as important for the interviewee in determining whether this position would be an ideal

The first common step in preparing for the interview can be the preparation needed to answer the potential questions that are asked of you. This is an important step to master but this step should also incorporate what you want to ask of the interviewer.

You might ask why this is so important – it costs the firm and the economy tons of money every year and it may cost you the headache of avoiding a job where you do not want to be. According to Forbes, more than two million individuals leave their jobs every month - you may ask why so many people are leaving their jobs? Personally, I have experienced this myself – I applied to a job thinking it was going to be a great experience and the corporate culture would be everything I thought I needed; however, it turned out to be a not so great place to work. This was my fault – I never asked questions about job life, the culture of the organization, and what the interviewer liked most about their job.

So, as you are beginning to prepare answers for the interview, begin thinking what you may ask the interviewer. Another incredibly powerful step to take to determine workplace culture would be to network with current employees by setting up informational interviews.

This informal process is a great way for you to gauge how happy the firm’s employees are and what the culture may be before entering the formal interview. Informational interviews are also a great tool to eliminate potential jobs before you start applying – this can save time and energy devoted to those firms that meet your expectations and needs.

Common reasons why people leave their jobs prematurely are related to differences in management and how you perceive your boss – do you like your boss, are they supportive? The next reason people leave is due to management style, corporate politics, and the culture of the firm.

These are all very important factors in why most people love their job and why most leave. As an employee, we want to enjoy working in an environment where we feel respected and are happy. Think about what environment makes you most productive and a place where you would want to work. Common themes may include work-life balance, the management style that your boss has – are they micromanagers or do they encourage self-motivation, are they flexible when you get sick or have kids that are home from school, or what the dress code may be.

So, as you are thinking about your next job or as you are preparing for an interview, begin thinking of questions you want to ask during the interview process. This is such an incredible step towards avoiding the unfortunate situation of accepting what you thought was a dream job when it really turned out to be the opposite or the unhappiness caused by having to work for a company when you are not comfortable with their culture.

To summarize, the interview is an important process for the interviewee as well – it is important to showcase why you are the most competitive candidate but it also is a chance for you to assess whether this is a good fit for your needs. This can be accomplished by networking and attending informational interviews, reading reviews on Glassdoor.com, and by asking questions at the end of the interview – utilizing these techniques will hopefully help you to achieve happiness in the workplace and a productive career.