It seems, more often than not, that candidates must do quite a bit in order to get a job. There are certain “tests” they have to pass to be considered for any given position. Some of these tests include drafting great cover letters, dressing professionally for interviews and asking thoughtful questions. If everything satisfies the company, the candidate might receive a passing grade — and a job offer.
Now, it’s the candidate’s turn to flip the switch on the business. There are certain tests companies need to pass, too. Before you accept a job offer, make sure your future employer passes the following tests.
1. The informational interview test
Certified Career Coach Gracie Miller has nothing against reading a company’s online reviews. However, she points out that while positive reviews are helpful, they don’t tell you what your future boss will be like or what it’s like to work in your specific department. It’s time for companies to pass the informational interview test.
In order for a company to pass this test, Miller advises talking to current employees at the company. These individuals can be found on the company website or looked up via LinkedIn. If you’re unsure what to ask them, Miller suggests starting with the these questions:
- Is the organization walking the walk (and talking its talk)?
- What’s the onboarding process like?
- What do you wish you knew before you started working here?
- Do you feel like you’re making a difference?
Questions like these give candidates a glimpse at the company’s team and its company culture.
“You’d be surprised who’s willing to talk to you for 10 minutes if they have no personal stake in whether or not you get the job," Miller says.
2. The LinkedIn test
You have a LinkedIn profile. The company you received a job offer from should have one, too. It’s time to learn more about the company, its team and how frequently they post updates. Keep an eagle eye out for the number of employees that work there and how long they have been employed at the business. Does everyone appear to be a new hire or have less than a year under their belt? If so, it may be a not-so-subtle suggestion that the company has a high turnover rate.
If you notice alumni from your university work at the company, Marli Crowe, CEO of Crowe Career Services, encourages connecting with them. Reach out to alums and ask how they like their jobs — tying in with the above informational interview tips.
3. The lifestyle test
Ellen Mullarkey, Vice President of Messina Staffing, recently worked with a job candidate who was a full stack developer. This candidate needed to earn a certain salary amount, but also needed a flexible schedule so she could work from home a few days each week. One of the job offers this candidate received had a great salary, but the candidate passed on it because she would need to work long hours on-site five to six days a week. The offer met her financial needs, but did not meet her lifestyle needs.
This particular test can be tricky if you’re primarily on the hunt for a paycheck. However, Mullarkey reinforces that your lifestyle — and self-care needs — should always come first.
“You won’t last long in a job if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle,” Mullarkey says. “A company fails this test when it cannot assure you that you’ll be able to maintain your lifestyle should you take the job. You need to maintain your lifestyle in order to feel happy and satisfied with the work you do.”