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How to Read Company Clues When You Interview

By Sandy Schroeder

Usually a job interview is all about you, but there are two sides to the process. Forbes reminds us, “Every job interview is a window into the company’s culture.” They suggest you use that window to see if you would be happy at the company. Pay attention to the clues to see if the company is right for you.

Explore work locations - If you are relocating or commuting to work, check out the surrounding community to see if it fits you and your family. You may also want to ask about offsite work policies.

Pin down working hours - The normal working hours listed and the actual ones worked may be different. If it is crucial to your family commitments, you may want to ask about the hours, or just check it out by driving by.

Check time off policies - Make sure you are comfortable with their vacation and sick time benefits. Try to match their options with your needs.

Rate the atmosphere - An upbeat, friendly group can be a clear reflection of the company and its leaders.

Evaluate the interview - Did you have to wait quite a while in the lobby? Were you handled with respect? Were they prepared for the interview? Did they ask good questions based on your background and listen to your responses?

Rate the environment - Was it clean and organized, or dirty and haphazard? Was the work area inviting and appealing? Did the overall layout appear to be a good use of space? Would you be comfortable working there?

Consider the receptionist - A smart company employs a skilled receptionist who reflects their message. If the receptionist is vague, unfriendly or less than helpful, it may say something about the whole company.

Check out the website - What company representatives say and what’s presented on their website should match. All of the talk about a progressive workplace may be just that -- talk -- if it’s not reflected everywhere.

Assess availability - Was it difficult to find a time for the interview? Were you rescheduled? Did you talk with more than one person, or have an opportunity to tour the company?

Check the dress code - Companies range from jeans and casual shirts to business attire. Know who you are and where you are most comfortable. Both approaches work, but you will fit in much quicker if your choice matches theirs.

Ongoing feedback - As you evaluate the whole experience, all sorts of little things may stick with you. There may be game rooms, reference libraries and free cereal bars -- or not. Employees may look engaged and involved -- or not. Think about all of the clues that you picked up, and how they would play out if you were working there. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pearland, Tex.

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