We can often come out of a job interview not knowing how to feel, but these four questions from Hays’ Alex Shteingardt will help you to properly reflect.
‘So, how did it go?’ This was probably one of the first questions your recruiter, friends and family asked you after your recent job interview. Hopefully, your answer was that it went well and if it was, their next question may well have been: ‘Would you take the role if you were offered it?’
Well, would you?
No doubt you’ll be feeling drained, with plenty of thoughts, feelings and questions swimming through your mind. So, to avoid making a snap decision, take some time alone to reflect and consider the below.
1. Were you sold on the job?
Try to remember what drew you to the role in the first place and whether you now feel more or less interested than you did before the interview. For example, you may have been attracted to the scope for progression, the stretch opportunities and the variety of work involved. Now you have been to the interview and found out more, can you honestly say this opportunity would push you to your full potential? How does it fit in with the career plan and objectives you first set out when you embarked upon your job search?
Another key indicator is how you felt when the interviewer was explaining the role in more detail to you. Did you feel excited and like this is the challenge you have been waiting for? Did you find yourself asking more questions about the opportunity? You may have felt slightly nervous and daunted by the increment in responsibility, as anyone does when stepping outside their comfort zone, but ultimately were these positive nerves?
Remember why you decided to go to this interview in the first place: something is clearly missing in your current job. The question is, does this new role have what your current one lacks?
2. Is the company right for you?
Before you attended the interview, you may have had an idea of what type of company you wanted to work for next in terms of its purpose, values, culture and possibly even size. Now you have met with this organisation, how does it compare? Could you see yourself buying into its vision, and feeling passionate about working here?
What about the ‘personality’ of the company, that is, the company culture? It can be tricky to get a feel for a company’s culture in one interview but try to think back to how the interviewer described the business and team. They might have used words such as ‘close-knit’ or ‘sociable’, giving an indication of the dynamic you would be walking into. Does this suit your personality? Perhaps you were even shown around the office or introduced to your potential colleagues. What were your first impressions upon meeting them?
Ultimately, could you see yourself integrating well with the company culture and values, and do you think you would be a good fit?
3. What did you think of your new manager?
Speaking of your future colleagues, how did your potential boss come across during the interview? This is important. After all, you would be reporting into this person on a daily basis, coming to them for guidance and support, especially during those early days on the job. Again, it isn’t always easy to get a clear picture of this from just one interview, but certain behaviours will indicate what this person is like to work for.
- Firstly, were they a strong communicator? Did they explain the job and their expectations for the role clearly? If so, this indicates that you would know where you stood with them if you were to report to them.
- Secondly, did they listen to you? Part of being a strong communicator is being able to listen effectively. Did they listen to your answers and were they encouraging and receptive to what you had to say? Did they answer all of your questions fully?
- Were they approachable and welcoming? Did you feel comfortable talking to them and asking them questions?
- Did they seem passionate about their job, their team and the company? Never underestimate the importance of a zealous boss who loves their job; their enthusiasm is infectious and soon spreads within the team. Try to recall whether they seemed animated and upbeat as they spoke, or whether it felt like they were reading from a script.
- Lastly, were they interested in your ambitions for the future and what you hoped to achieve if successful in this role? If they smiled and nodded as you spoke, and asked you to elaborate further, this indicates that they are true people managers, that they care about the goals and progression of their employees, and that they would be supportive of you if you joined their team.
4. What’s your ‘gut’ telling you?
Your gut feel isn’t just a suspicion, it is your intuition telling you that a certain decision is for the best, even if it doesn’t make complete logical sense at the time. For you, maybe this position isn’t 100pc perfect, but your gut is telling you that it doesn’t matter; this is a risk worth taking. If you walked away from this interview feeling more excited than when you walked in, even though certain boxes in your ‘perfect job’ criteria remained unchecked, then that’s your instincts kicking in and you should pay attention to them.
Our intuition knows us better than anyone and it is important that we listen, especially when it comes to our careers.
Having considered all of the above, you should now be feeling clearer on how you would answer the question, ‘So, would you take the role if they offered it?’
If it’s a yes, be sure to confirm that you are still interested in the role with your recruiter and ask them to pass this message on via a ‘thank you’ email to the interviewer. Fingers crossed the feeling is mutual and in no time at all you will be accepting an opportunity that pushes you to your full potential.
Alex Shteingardt is managing director at Hays Russia.
A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.