How to prepare for the interview

OK. You’ve landed the on-site job interview and have worked hard to get this far. You’ve researched the company—on paper, a “dream come true.” You’ve role played potential interview questions with your significant other. Your best business suit is cleaned and pressed. You’ve got all your ducks in a row. But, have you taken the time to consider if YOU will be happy working at this company?

Research your potential new employer

During the interview process the primary focus is on selling yourself and making the best impression. Have the hiring managers done the same in selling the company to you? It’s a two way street. One big shortcoming within the corporate community is that companies often get cavalier in their attitudes and forget they need to sell you on the opportunity they are offering. You need to evaluate IF YOU will be happy in this work environment. Some things to consider during your visit:

  • Were you given an interview schedule?
  • Were your travel arrangements skillfully made and seamless? (Weather delays don’t count.)
  • How were you treated? Were you warmly welcomed or did you feel like the interviewers were doing you a favor? Were you treated with respect?
  • Were your interviewers prepared and on time?
  • What phrases or “buzz words” did the interviewers use frequently? Companies often have themes or unspoken tone to the questions asked.
  • Were your questions respectfully answered, or were the responses vague or evasive?

Company Culture – is it a right fit for you?

Without delving into proprietary information, ask questions about company culture. Here are some to consider:

  • How does the company, or team you’d be a part of, handle different opinions or conflict?
  • How does the company recognize individual or group accomplishments?
  • Does the company have a formal ethics code?
  • Can you describe the management style of the company?
  • Does the company offer reimbursement for continuing education and what type of career development can an employee expect?
  • Who are the most successful employees at this company? Can you describe their qualities?
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