You start a new job, only to find out it’s not what you thought. It’s not a good fit. If you would have only known. If this sounds like something you have experienced, there may be three reasons why this is happening:
1. You aren’t applying for the right jobs.
Carefully review the job description and job duties. If the job posting is a short paragraph, try to get a copy of the complete job description before the interview. If this is not possible, always ask for a complete copy of the job description before accepting a position.
List job duties from your past jobs that you absolutely DID NOT like. If any of these job duties are on the job description, this job probably will not be a good fit. Don’t try to convince yourself “you can get used to the duties.” If you were miserable doing these duties before, chances are you won’t like doing them at this job either.
List job duties which you have really enjoyed in your past jobs. Does the job description contain any of these job duties? It’s important to apply for jobs which contain job duties you have really enjoyed doing in the past.
2. You aren’t researching the company or its culture.
Researching the company before your interview is important to help strengthen your interview, but it’s also important to help you determine if the company would be a good match for you. Here are some suggestions:
- Conduct an Internet search on the company. If there’s been any bad press, past layoffs, etc., this could be a red flag.
- Look online at company reviews from past and current employees. Sites such as glassdoor.com and indeed.com are a couple sites where reviews can be found.
- Do you know any people who have worked at the company or are currently working there? Reach out and ask them about the position, company culture, department you will work in, etc.
- Don’t forget to take advantage of LinkedIn. By searching for the company, you will be able to find out which of your connections are currently employed there.
3. You aren’t asking targeted questions during the interview.
Asking good questions during an interview is crucial, because this can be key in determining if a job is the right fit. Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
My recommendation would be to prepare three to five questions, but only ask three or four (and there may be times when your questions are answered during the interview). If you have any additional questions, ask them during a second interview, or ask them after they have offered you the job and before you accept.
Depending upon what you are looking for in a job, your questions can target different areas; for example, office dynamics, management style, specific job details, or specific company details. Here is a sampling of some questions I provide to my clients during interview coaching sessions:
- What do you feel will be the three biggest challenges with this position?
- How many people have held this position in the past five years?
- What strengths did the previous employee possess that you would like to see continued?
- How do you think your subordinates would describe your management style?
- How would you describe the work environment?
- If you could change one thing about the office culture (or company), what would it be?
- What do you like most about working for this company?
When you ask these questions, listen carefully to the responses. Do they directly answer the question, or do they try to skirt around it? Is there a long pause before answering?
Gaining as much information about a position before and during the interview process is critical, and the above strategies may prove beneficial to you in helping you to find a job you like.