Repeat after me: Choose your Job Wisely.

It’s been months of applications, interviews and second interviews. You’re all but ready to skip into your new, shiny job. You’ve even picked out a whole new, young professional wardrobe. Everything is set to move forward until you get that niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Although the saying “the application process is for the employer to find out about you and vice versa” might seem like a bit of an empty cliché aimed at getting you to feel more in control of the process, it actually carries a lot of truth. For example, what happens when you’re in interview and your manager-to-be starts to make inappropriate comments about a current member of staff or, more worryingly, about you? Instantly, alarm bells ring – do you want to work for someone who is unprofessional or worse, just plain rude?

Good job adverts are clever pieces of marketing, aimed at selling the job to the right candidate, just like your CV should be geared towards selling yourself to the right job. With that in mind, here are 3 key questions you might want to ask yourself.

Will I enjoy the work? Table-football, free massages and group lunches are all benefits that I have seen. However, at interview, it’s important to see past the work-based fun and look at the nitty gritty. If you’re interview is in the company office, take a look at your future colleagues. Do they look happy? Or do they look disgruntled? If they look like they’re having a drastically terrible time, you might want to think harder about your place at the company (especially if they are grumpy despite free massages).

Will I get on with my boss? There’s a key difference here between getting on with someone and being someone’s best friend. No one is asking you to do the speech at your line-manager’s next birthday party, but you should be able to hold a civil conversation with them. Remember, you’re could be spending over 35 hours a week there, so knowing that there is a culture of respect between ranks is important. A good interview will give you a flavour of this from the interview, but if you are unsure, ask questions.

How does the company think? Interviews, especially ones that involve case studies or assessments can be a great insight into a company’s overall thought process and what kind of mind they appreciate. If the interviewer is only willing to test one kind of thought process, say, logic, you will want to consider where your creatively wired brain fits into the company. There’s no harm in asking; make your skills known and ask how your future employer would utilise them. If they can’t, then you might end up being underappreciated.

Being invited to an interview can be overwhelming, especially when graduate employment is as shaky as it is right now. But don’t let that stop you owning the situation. They interviewed you because you have skills that they think they want; now make sure they have a culture, and a work load, that you want.

If you want to reflect on an job interview, get interview practice or just have a chat, you can book an appointment with one of our Careers Consultants by calling 02078828533 or dropping in (we’re in the Queens Building, room WG3).

Josh Lee
Employer Engagement Administrator
QM Careers Centre

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