We’ve been pretty focused lately on all the ways that we have to manage our expectations around job interviews. We keep rehashing why people are quitting their jobs or looking into ways in which companies aren’t doing right by their interviewees through ghosting and more. As humans, our minds are naturally filled with negativity bias. It can be a good thing sometimes! Negativity bias can help protect you from bad situations. But what do good situations look like? How do you know if a job is right for you while you’re interviewing? We break down three key signs to look for in a company before saying yes to your new role.
1. Clear and Frequent Communication
It all starts with the job description. A great company will be clear on exactly what they’re looking for without sneaking in multiple jobs in one description. Salary ranges are posted at the bottom of the description and are competitive. Even if the salary is not posted, the company offers solid benefits and doesn’t hide behind vague wording (we’ve all been disappointed by the promise of “unlimited vacation” before). When you hear back from the recruiter, they are clear about the steps needed and even the time it will take to go through the entire interview process. If the recruiter needs you to perform any tests or create a presentation, you’ll know within the first walk-through with the recruiter (and hopefully even pay you for your time doing the test). Throughout the process, too, everyone from the company responds to your thank-you emails with courtesy. In the end, they take the time to write or give you a call to let you know the results of your interview. In short, you feel totally clear on exactly what the job entails and you feel set up to succeed throughout the interview process—this is the first green flag that this company has its ducks in a row!
2. Genuine Respect and Interest in You
Okay, so the recruiter might be excellent at communicating—but what about the rest of the people you will meet? If you make it through each of your interviews feeling like it was a two-way communication all the way, this is another green flag that this is a great company to work for. They’re asking you questions just as much as you are asking them about their experiences. They aren’t yawning, staring blankly, checking their phones, or distracted by their calendars. Instead, each person you meet is interested in looking at your work while asking thoughtful questions. They’re not demeaning any of your work or accusing you of not having enough qualifications. When people respect you and the courage it takes for you to put yourself out there, these are great signs that working on their team will be a great—dare we say fun—experience if they decide to hire you.
3. A Healthy Workplace Culture
Throughout your interview process, observe whether or not the company excels in these areas:
- Are people advancing in their careers and generally content?
While you’re discussing your own qualifications, ask interviewers about their own career trajectory, what they’ve learned at the company and what they’re looking forward to. It’ll tell you a lot about where you can hope to see yourself in a few years’ time while working there. Also, if people seem burnt out, find out why and be honest with yourself about your own work/life balance and ability to set boundaries.
- Are people speaking enthusiastically about their teammates—even the person who left the role you’re interviewing for?
It’s always a great sign when all interviewers speak highly of their coworkers, or at least mention how other team members help out when the going gets tough. You’ll know that you are working with solid people, especially if they respect decisions made by coworkers who have left the company.
- Does the company clearly value diversity?
You can tell a lot about a company these days just by observing their hiring practices. Who do they hire and promote? Are they working toward a more equitable future? Even if the company isn’t there just yet but has a clear plan on how they’re branching further into hiring a diverse workforce, this is a clear green flag of a company who’s committed to improving their culture.
We’ve highlighted some of the signs you’ll know whether or not it’s time to accept a company’s offer. You can always run background checks on the company through sites like Glassdoor before applying. But remember that a handful of bad reviews from a few years ago does not mean the company is a bad place to work. Sometimes you’ll need to decide for yourself. So use the above framework and line of questioning when you’re evaluating a company through your interview process.
And if you are searching for a great company right now, we have open roles with many of them who are looking for top candidates like yourself.