Continual career growth is something all of us strive for. As a part of that journey, we often make the difficult decision to part ways with our current employer, seeking a new opportunity with another company. Throughout the job change process, you’re going to face some tough decisions, especially if you receive multiple job offers at the same time.
The key to making the right choice in a scenario like this is to maximize your own research while interviewing. In fact, you can learn a great deal about whether the company you’re currently in talks with will be a successful venture for you by effectively interviewing them while they interview you. Today, I want to provide you with three tips that will help you identify things to look for as you interview for your next-level role.
Get to know your potential future manager
Unless you’re the CEO of the company, you’re going to report to someone each day. And even if you’re the CEO, you’ll still cater to your shareholders, customers, or both. Simply put, at all levels of management, there’ll be another person you’ll need to make happy.
In an employee-manager relationship, it’s critically important that you and your new supervisor can work well together. Specifically, a good manager will proactively support you along the way. The role of a manager is to help further your career, either by coaching you in areas of growth or providing you with opportunities to stretch yourself.
Practically speaking, we won’t get along with everyone. If that ends up being your boss, you’re going to be miserable day in and day out. So, during the interview process, try your best to get to know your new manager. Ask questions to learn more about how they work, the depth of latitude they give, whether they see failure as a bad thing or a learning opportunity, and (if at all possible), feedback from current employees in your boss’s group. External resources such as Glassdoor can help here, but if you’re willing to job shadow before accepting an offer, this can give you a chance to evaluate the morale of others who work for your potential future manager.
Evaluate the corporation
When I say “corporation”, I’m referring to the business structure regardless of the size of the company.
Look for clues that can paint a picture of the company culture. Is the company flexible? Do they provide adequate PTO? What is their take on employee wellness? How did they respond to the pandemic? Do they promote from within, or are promotion opportunities even available?
Some of these you can gather from your time interviewing simply by asking basic questions. Others you’ll need to do outside research to figure out, using review sites and news articles about the organization.
And most importantly, don’t forget to pay attention to the company’s social media activities. There you can get a feel for whether they offer simple benefits such as employee picnics and outings, how many of their current employees are engaged with their social media content, and how they present themselves to others. If they have no social media presence, that isn’t a sign of a bad company (they may not know how to utilize social platforms). However, you should be able to gather some information about the business from public posts made by current employees, LinkedIn, and geotagging data.
Take a personal inventory
Before you jump ship, the best interview tip I can leave you with is to take a personal inventory. While you’re making a job transition to better yourself, do you have clearly defined career goals? What are you looking for in your next position and is it reflective of your current stage of career?
Finally, can you afford to accept the eventual job offer compared to both your current position and your personal financial situation? If you’re giving up significant benefits, but still need to make the change based on (important) factors such as your mental health or family considerations, do you have a plan to counterbalance the loss of income or benefits?
Remember these tips as you interview for your next level role
Each of these three tips aims to improve your overall happiness and job satisfaction. If you and your future manager don’t get along, you’re not going to be happy in your daily routine. If the corporate structure doesn’t support a healthy work-life balance, you’ll get burnt out relatively easily. And most importantly, you need to be fully aware of who you are, what you’re looking for, and where you want to be in a few years.
If all of this sounds like a daunting task, I’m here to help. I’d love to sit down with you and discuss your career goals, when you’re planning to make a job change, and how I can support you along the way. Contact me and let me know a time that would work for an introductory coaching session!