The job description looks great. You research the company, and the culture seems like you’ll fit right in. You send in your resume, nail the interview, and accept the job offer — only to find that the job itself is nothing like you thought, and you hate it. But you can’t leave now, or you’ll be branded as a job-hopper.
This scenario is all too common, but it can be prevented. Here’s how you can dig deeper and find out the truth about a company’s culture and actual working environment before you say “yes” to that tempting IT job offer.
Ask questions — and listen to the answers
During an interview, most job candidates are so focused on answering the questions in a coherent and hopefully impressive way that they fail to ask enough questions of their own. Employment experts consistently recommend that you have at least one inquiry prepared for what’s usually the final interview question, some form of “Do you have any questions for me?” But you should be ready to ask more than just one.
Ask the interviewer scenario-based questions about the company’s culture and available career paths. Find out how the IT department interacts with other departments in the company. Ask about top performers in the organization, what it takes to be considered a top performer, and what kinds of qualities are rewarded.
In addition to asking lots of questions, really listen to the answers. Trust your instincts on whether the answers sound genuine, if the interview offers natural-sounding stories to back up their claims, and whether the responses align with what you want or expect from the position.
Learn what you can from current and former employees
There are few better sources to learn about company culture than the people who work there, or have worked there in the past. Use LinkedIn or other online resources to check out the company pages, and particularly the profiles of current employees. Look for indications of a clear career path, frequent promotions, and other signs of career satisfaction. This type of research can also help you prepare the right questions to ask an interviewer.
In addition to research, try to connect with the company’s employees. Talk with current employees and ask for an honest assessment of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Ask questions that are related to what’s important to you in a new job.
With former employees, you can learn more about company culture by asking why they left, and if they would ever consider going back. Just keep in mind that organizations change, and an issue that drove an employee away may no longer exist at that company.
Read company reviews and engage them on social media
In the age of transparent and abundantly available information, job seekers can find plenty of resources to help them learn more about the companies that interest them. Career websites like Glassdoor and Indeed offer company reviews, usually written by current or former employees, that can help you make your decision. However, remember to take these reviews with a grain of salt — the anonymous nature of online reviews allows for shills and disgruntled people alike to express biased views.
Another way to get a good picture of a company’s culture is to follow them on social media, and pay attention to how they respond. Many companies share information about their culture through social networks, and those who don’t can give you insight by looking at the way they treat customers and job candidates online.
Accepting a new job is a big decision, and one you shouldn’t take lightly. Make sure you’re diligent in learning the true nature of a company’s culture before you say yes to that seemingly great job offer, and you can avoid the high cost of accepting a job you hate. If you need more assistance in your job search, contact the career experts at The Armada Group today!