Getting that email or call that a prospective employer wants to talk to you is invigorating. Let’s face it, it feels good. We’ve been selected, chosen, seen as special among a sea of candidates. Rightfully deserved fist pump here.
It’s great and yes, you are awesome! Now, let’s not forget that.
Somehow, after that initial call, our brain checks out and we forget we are part of the process.
Interviews are a two-way conversation. They aren’t just interviewing you to see if you’ll fit in with their organization; you should be interviewing them, too.
As much as I cringe at this example, it really is the best one I can think of: interviewing is like dating.
You’re starting to get to know each other, but are still on your best behavior. Meaning, both of you are going to fudge and cover up tiny little areas that perhaps aren’t the most attractive until you get to know you.
You know pretty early on if your date has ventured into crazy chick or bad boy. There are signs. You may be ignoring the signs because you’re enjoying the ‘attention’ by one of these two, but there are signs. Always listen to your gut and pay attention when dating – and interviewing.
One of the best measures you can use to judge a person and a company are their manners.
- Do they treat you with respect before and after the date/interview?
- Do they return phone calls?
- Are you given appropriate information to be prepared?
- Do they seem interested in you (not just filling their need)?
- Do they treat the wait staff nicely? (watch how the interviewer treats fellow employees)
- Do they keep you strung along until “someone better” comes into play?
- Are they dodgy about what they are looking for in this relationship?
- Is it everyone else’s fault (past ex’s or employees – do they badmouth people)?
- Do they have future goals (showing growth, maturity)?
- Are they humble (can they admit to their mistakes or shortcomings)?
One last thing to ask yourself: why are you there? Are you talking to them because this is a healthy relationship to build your future? Or are you running away from a streak of bad decisions or don’t want to be alone?
Make sure you’re going into this with eyes wide open about them and yourself and it could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.
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All opinions and views expressed in this article are my own, unless attributed. They’re normally pretty spot-on (because I’m obsessive about career topics and communications). The humor sprinkled in is Mr. B approved, my dog who thinks I’m hilarious (and not because I’m his meal ticket).