How to find out if a job is a good fit for you before you start
There’s an available job and you’ve been called in for an interview. Your qualifications are an excellent match, so you think you might be able to land the position.
But hold up a second before you walk out the door for the interview. Remember this: Yes, you need to “sell” yourself a bit during the hiring process, but it’s also important to find out if the job is a good fit for you.
Sure, you want to land a job right away. But landing the wrong job may be setting yourself up for failure. For example, accepting a job in a company that has an extremely toxic atmosphere may cause you a lot of stress, making it more likely that you won’t stay in the position very long.
Here are some questions you can ask to get a better feel for what the job will be like on a day-to-day basis.
What are the expectations for this position?
This question can help you understand what’s truly required of the job. Nearly every position has additional tasks and responsibilities beyond the obvious. For example, you may be expected to complete certain kinds of paperwork, assist someone in another department from time to time, or put in evening or weekend hours.
Asking this question allows you to get a fuller picture of what the job will look like day-to-day.
What are some challenges I may face in this job?
Every job has its obstacles. Inquiring about what hurdles you might face can give you some insight into how the company operates, as well as the culture of the work environment.
This question can also give you a sense of the level of enthusiasm of the company’s employees. If this question is answered with a laundry list of complaints about the company, the work environment, or the staff, carefully consider that information before accepting the position.
If there’s anything you have concerns about, consider asking to speak to another employee who does the same job you would do. That way, you might get a more accurate sense of what to expect.
What types of people do well in this job?
Matching your personality type to the job and the work environment is a smart strategy for setting yourself up for success.
If you’re more of a “people person,” you might find a quiet work environment to be oppressive. On the other hand, working around a bunch of social butterflies might be difficult if you work best in quieter environments.
What do you like about working here?
Asking the hiring manager about his or her personal experience at the company can reveal surprising information.
Why? The question may not be one that the person is accustomed being asked. An immediate emotional reaction – either positive or negative – can help you get a sense for whether employees are happy in their jobs, or if the work environment is one that you’d rather avoid.
Don’t forget to stop by Career Services for more guidance on job hunting.