Interview tips beyond the usual

  • Stephanie Clark

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Evaluating Your Potential Employer

Posted by Stephanie on December 6, 2011

The key Human Resource function is recruiting; after all, employers know that their business success links directly to the performance of their employees.

Do you as a job hunter realize that your success is also linked to your choice of employer? Choose the wrong company and your career stagnates if not tanks, requiring considerable time and effort to re-establish it. Choose the right company, and your career soars to heights you may only have dreamed of.

But how do you determine whether the potential employer is close to perfect?

By interjecting questions during your interview you’ll gather replies that will provide insight. Sometimes you’ll have to rely on “gut feeling” or “intuition.” Fit cannot always be established through empirical evidence!

  • Does the employer have a training and development policy? If not, the company may be firmly planted in the past, not wanting to innovate, consider new ideas, or move forward. Certainly lack of staff development shows an unwillingness to invest in its own future. A stagnant company won’t last well in these times of constant re-invention.
  • Do new projects and initiatives get seen through to fruition, or do they flounder and flop until they’re exhausted of trying? Whether they die a natural death, deemed unprofitable or not quite right, or of an unwillingness to commit resources both human and financial, makes a difference. Good practices make sense; lack of persistence and commitment do not.
  • Does the employer display empathy towards the needs of its staff and their families? Are there policies for bereavement leave, is the vacation compensation adequate, do they raise a stink when someone needs a personal emergency day off? (You may have to ask an employee some of these questions.)
  • Does the company proclaim (and uphold, as talk is cheap) values that are in sync with your own? Are there rumors of shady dealings or short-cuts that you’d find impossible to live with?

Researching and asking questions can only lead to making a reasoned and reasonable decision, should a position be offered. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your interview; you should be taking the lead in your future by seeking answers to critical decision-enhancing questions.


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