Finding a job you like in and industry you want can be hard enough on its own, but if you add figuring out if the company you’d like to join is actually invested in your development, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when making a decision.
One great way to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered before accepting a new position is by asking your key employers a couple of questions before or during your interview. Most recruiters will only be impressed by your proactive approach, so don’t feel like you can’t voice what you see as important when meeting with someone.
1. What makes the company you’re applying to unique?
If you’re trying to make a decision between two or three very similar organisations, you need to get to the bottom of how each company can serve you to grow. For example, one company may boast of an excellent mentorship program, while another may have development and training programs in place – knowing what you want and figuring out how the organisation you will join can help you is a great way to make your decision.
2. What are the core values of the organisation you’re joining?
Asking about what makes a company unique will also give you an idea of its core values and working culture, both incredibly important aspects of an organisation. Not only is a company culture reflective of the kind of work environment you can expect after joining, but seeing how your core values line up to this usually gives you a pretty good sense of whether you’ll get along with your co-workers.
3. What exactly does your title entail, and who will you be working with?
For all their specificity, some job titles can actually be pretty unclear in relation to your exact responsibilities. It can be incredibly useful getting to the bottom of what it is you’re going to be doing, as well as understanding who you’ll be working with on a daily basis. Will your job include meetings with more senior level managers? Be aware of how inclusive your work environment will be, as that’s often a good reflection of how many opportunities you’ll receive in relation to progressing.
4. How much flexibility will your new position involve?
If you have career plans and certain ambitions in place, you want to find an environment that’s supportive of that. Here’s an example from Team LEAP ourselves: our Content Writer, Teresa, was pretty clear when she joined that she’d been contemplating taking a Master’s after the summer. As she says: “When I explained I would want to pursue further education, the team at LEAP were incredibly supportive, and offered to continue assisting me even after I had to leave. That alerted me to a kind of flexibility I was looking for when first searching for internships, so I was pretty happy to join”.
Knowing you’re capable and qualified to support a company with their work is important, but so is knowing that you’re joining a team of people who will support and invest in your growth, even when things get stressful. These questions are a great place to start with figuring that out.