INTERVIEWS / MAR. 31, 2016
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5 Things To Notice Around The Office When You Go For A Job Interview

You should always be observant when you go for a job interview. Taking the time to observe what is around you will help you get a better idea of what it is like to work for a company. It allows you to get a better sense of the work culture and puts you in a better position to decide whether this job is right for you or not. Essentially, it allows you to figure out if you can see yourself working for a company or not.

See Also:  What You Should Not Do at Your Next Job Interview

So, this is what you need to do when you walk into an employer’s office: 

1. Evaluate How You Are Treated

Usually, the first person you encounter when you walk into an office is the receptionist. Judging from this person’s attitude towards you, you can get a lot of information out about a company’s culture. Getting a warm and friendly welcome from an employee in the company is a good sign as it shows that they feel valued and important in their position. This is more likely to mean that the employer gives them what they need, and provides an open and encouraging environment for them to work in.

2. Check How Employees Talk to Each Other

The way people talk to each other at work can say a lot about their personalities, but it’s more complicated than that. Since employees are essentially the heart of the company, these are also the people who determine the ethos/values of work and the quality of work the company produces as a whole. So essentially, their interaction reflects the core values of the company, their goals and their ability to work productively towards a common cause. Pay attention to how employees are treating each other as this is a good assessment tool for how you are going to be treated if you get the job.

3. Find Out if Employees Are Happy

happy employees at work
iStock

If the work environment is bad, you will know it by looking at the employees’ faces. If they are smiling, they are probably happy with the company and have a good relationship with their boss. They are more likely to be content and smiling if they feel comfortable and satisfied at work and are getting along with their colleagues. Again you can check this by paying attention to how you are being treated as well as what their body language says.

4. Look at the Layout of the Office

The layout of the office is important considering that this also affects the way you are expected to work. If you are based in an open plan office, perhaps you will be expected to work as part of a team most of the time or regularly interact with your peers. But, if you are going to be working in a cubicle, it means you are likely to be doing more individual than group work. The setting you are more comfortable or productive in can play a big role in whether you choose to work at a company or not.

5. Take Note of How Employees Work

employee exhausted from work
Shutterstock

A single glance at employees’ desks will tell you a lot about the work they are doing. If employees look busy, and their phones are constantly ringing it is a sign that it is a fast-paced work environment. However, if there are piles of paper on their desks, and they are using ancient technology, then it means that the business is probably slower paced.  You have to consider if you are going to be able to work under pressure, or you would prefer to work in a more relaxed work environment.

See Also: Top 10 Interview Questions and Answers

Taking the time to observe a company while you attend a job interview can save you from making a big mistake and accepting a job that isn’t right for you. So next time you are meeting with an employer, take a look at your surroundings, but try not to be too obvious. Do it in a discrete way, ask kindly if you can have a tour of the office and turn your observations into questions. This will help you learn more about the role and what it is like to work for the company.

So what do you usually observe when you go in for a job interview and why? Let me know in the comments section below…

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