job interview: you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you

27/07/2016 14:33:42

When interviewing for a job, you're not the only one under consideration and you also need to be confident the role and the employer are right for you.

When you sit down and the job interview begins, remember: you are interviewing your potential employer as much as they are interviewing you. To ensure they are a good fit, you need to examine their organisational brand and determine whether it aligns with your own aspirations and values. 

Evaluate their brand and reputation: Before the job interview, do your research. The way an organisation promotes its brand will form the basis of your impression of them and help you decide whether they are a good fit for you. And it's not just what an organisation says about itself in recruitment campaigns and on their website that matters; you should also pay attention to everything said about the business publicly and privately by others.

Google the organisation’s name for mentions in TV, radio and online news stories. In addition, use social media to discover what previous employees think of their culture and working conditions, and how customers rate their product and service. 

What is their employee value proposition? To start with, as a potential employee, you should ask the employer to outline the organisation’s 'employee deal' or employee value proposition (EVP). This is what employees get from working for the organisation and what they are expected togive in return.

The get encompasses every aspect of the employment experience, including values and culture, type of work and career development opportunities, as well as the total pay and benefit reward package. The give is the skills, work attitude and behaviour employers expect from employees in return.

The psychological contract: A key aspect of what employees get from an organisation is the psychological contract, which describes the relationship you have with your employer beyond your written contract. It is the mature and honest working relationship that is built over time.

This varies greatly from organisation to organisation and could range from employers giving employees opportunities to do meaningful work, providing quality management, support for training and career development and taking care to create a conducive working environment.

As a potential employee, you should explore this psychological contract with the organisation and assess what they are offering is in line with your expectations. Raise issues that are important to you. Perhaps you want:

  • long-term job security
  • a clear career progression path
  • flexibility to work from home or start late on some days

On an ethical level, you might want to work for an organisation that does some pro bono work, donates a percentage of profits to charity or offers a green office environment.

By communicating your preferences to your Randstad recruitment consultant, they can connect you with employers and jobs that align with your goals and values.