John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
The culture of the practice you’re interviewing with is arguably more important to your long-term happiness and success than your ability to do the job you’re interviewing for. At the same time, discovering that company culture is likely the biggest challenge you’ll face during the interview process.
How can you meet that challenge?
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. There’s no such thing as being over-prepared for an interview. Sure, you’ll never have the opportunity to ask all the questions you’ve put together. But, you also never know what opportunities can arise where those questions may be suddenly relevant. Don’t assume that you can “wing it”, and rely on the “vibe” you get while you’re interviewing. Many a dysfunctional workplace has been hidden behind the curtain of bright smiles and fancy physical environment.
Ask real-world questions. “What’s it like to work here?” is an invitation to a blue-sky response that tells you nothing and hides everything. Build questions around the everyday situations that you know are going to occur.
- If extra time is required to meet a deadline, what’s the view on doing that from home at night versus staying and doing it in the office?
- What’s the reaction to needing to be absent to handle things involving your kids? (This may not apply to you, but the answer will be revealing nonetheless.)
- Every practice has its slack times. When that happens, do you get to leave early, maybe? Or, does management tend to focus on “face time”?
Ask personal questions. This isn’t about asking truly personal questions, but about inviting the other person’s point of view, or opinion.
- What is the one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you started here?
- When you made the move to come here, what was the most compelling reason?
- What advice would you give me about being successful in this organization?
Making a good job choice isn’t simply about the match between your experience and the job description, or about scoring a high salary. A good job choice also includes making sure that you’re a good fit with the company culture.
Contact us for a confidential conversation about how you can do a better job of uncovering that culture.