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What clues can you pick up about a company during an interview?

Category: General Interview tips 

Before a job interview, most candidates are aware of the standard pre-interview preparation of which is expected from them. Researching a company and its management online has been an essential thing of which helps to contribute towards a successful interview, not does it just inform the applicant about the company but it also gives a small snapshot into what the employer may be like. After all, anything can be made to look good online with a good copywriter, and what employer would publish something which doesn’t paint them in the best light possible. 

A company can reveal a lot when it comes down to the face-to-face interview. Considering that accepting a job role is an integral step onto an employee’s career path, it is crucial that the candidate knows what signs to look for and what they signify. Below is a few bits of information of which will help you understand the employer and company.

- The office.

As you approach the office of where the interview is going to take place, try and take mental notes of your surroundings. Is it within a nice neighbourhood? Is the building properly and well-maintained? Is the office décor attractive? There are plenty of companies who are extremely successful but are placed within a declining neighbourhood or boasting shabby chic décor, but most of the time a successful company prides itself on the office’s appearance and vice versa.

One you do arrive try and make notes of the amenities. Such as are there beverages and snacks available? Is there a comfortable room of which employees can relax within? Are the bathrooms clean? Remember that if you do land this job that you’ll probably be spending more waking hours at work than you do at home. Therefore, an office plays a far bigger role than just a building to house your desk and computer within. Working for an employer that offers its employees a comfortable, well-maintained surrounding and amenities will help boost employee satisfaction than those with unattractive surroundings.

- The employees.

During the interview, try if you can and make an effort to interact with as many people as possible. Such as speaking to the receptionist, ask yourself how were you treated? But also how about the individuals hosting the interview? Are they friendly, upbeat and excitable? Or are they appearing overly busy and inconvenienced by your presence? But most importantly if you can/do see the whole office, take a note of the other employees around you. While your interaction with them will probably be limited, do they appear to be friendly in their interaction with each other, or do they seemed overwhelmed with work?

Keep in mind that these may be your co-workers with whom you’ll spend up to 40+ hours per week with. They could potentially become really good friends, or they could cause you endless hours of frustration.

However, you may not be able to tell this from your first meeting, you do get an idea of the company, the companies culture and whether the employees will potentially create a positive working environment.

- The interview.

The interview itself isn’t just a chance for the employer to evaluate you, but also for you to evaluate the employer. As a candidate you can tell a lot about companies through their management simply through preparation and professionalism with, and how they conduct the interview.

Such as was the interviewer on time, or did they keep you waiting? Do they seem relaxed and prepared or frustrated/overwhelmed? And there are many others of which you can ask yourself. Whether or not you’d be working directly with that person who interviewed you, they would certainly be working with the management and that person could possibly represent you.

Should you feel like the interview is inconvenienced, rushed or simply not welcoming the chance are you’ll recognise these reoccurring traits as an employee.

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