There are a lot of ways to assess the company you’re applying to. You can read reviews, talk to people you know who’ve worked there, research its webpage and social media, and find out about its future health. And that’s all great to do beforehand, but there are some ways you can evaluate the company during the interview, too. Here are some characteristics to look for when you go in for your interview.
Seamless interview process
The interview process can be a microcosm of how the company operates on a large scale. If they’re dysfunctional and disorganized, other parts of the company probably are, too. Or if you’re not treated well during your interview, chances are you won’t be treated well as an employee either. Pay attention to how enthusiastic your interviewers are when they talk about the mission of the company. If they’re excited and energetic, that means they probably enjoy their work and believe in what they do. But if they speak half-heartedly, morale, engagement, and motivation might be low.
Commitment to professional development
If you find a company that invests in employee development, that means they respect and trust their employees. Their employees are probably loyal to the company because they know they’re valued and appreciated. Ask about the tenure of the average employee—do they stick around and get promoted? Or do they stay only a short time without much advancement or additional training?
Employee opinions are valued
The best companies recognize that the most efficient and innovative problem solving often comes directly from their own employees. Ideas from employees can help improve the work environment and boost productivity. If the company encourages feedback from the internal team, it shows they value the employees and realize that they’re the ones best prepared to problem-solve and lead the company promoting a company culture where employees are empowered and autonomous instead of feeling micromanaged.
Teamwork is important
Pay attention to how well people communicate and work together when you’re there. Does it seem like people enjoy working together and get along? There’s no way to guarantee that coworkers will be friends, but they have to work together so it’s important to feel a sense of camaraderie and cohesiveness. Ask about team-building opportunities and what the company does to foster good working relationships.
Clean, colorful workspace
Ask for a tour of the office and pay attention to the physical space. Is it messy and cluttered? Or worse—sterile, bland, and gray? Are people quiet, subdued, and robotic as they move about to get their work done? Or are they energized, engaged, and relatively cheerful? You want a space that’s neat, colorful, and homey—where people can be themselves, celebrate their individuality, work together, and celebrate successes.