As you get closer to graduation and begin applying for jobs, you may be thinking about all the different employment options you come across. It can be challenging to narrow down a specific place where you want to work.
As you continue your job search, you might consider some things to research further before you proceed with submitting a job application, attending an interview, or accepting a job offer.
Here are a few tips on how to consider whether a workplace is right for you:
Pay attention to the language in the job description.
Your first exposure to the company will almost always be through the actual job posting. Notice the language they are using to advertise not only the position but the company itself. Are they using phrases like “world leader” or “global innovator”? This might be a workplace where you may be expected to exhibit some leadership and global competency skills. Or maybe they emphasize “a commitment to workplace diversity and inclusion,” so you may be expected to work in a collaborative environment with co-workers from different backgrounds. Dig in and think about the meaning behind these words and how they might impact your workplace performance.
2. Ask employees about their experiences.
Don’t be afraid to reach out! Networking with people at the company is a great way to hear firsthand experiences of what working there looks like. LinkedIn is a fantastic choice for finding and connecting with the right people to help you see how well you would fit in with the company and its people. Set up an informational interview and have some questions prepared to guide your conversation. You can use this information during the interview process if you are offered an interview to help you structure your own responses to the interviewer’s questions based on what their employees have told you about the company.
3. Consider the types of questions you are asked.
On the topic of interviews, think about what the interviewer wants to know about you. Are they asking questions about times where you’ve had to solve problems in the workplace? Or maybe they want to see when you had to step outside your comfort zone to accomplish a work-related goal. The scenarios you are being asked about are most likely the scenarios you can anticipate in the position you are interviewing for. Think about how your past experiences with these scenarios can be integrated into this new position. For example, if you are asked about your creative thinking skills, but you are more of an analytical thinker, then the job may not be the best fit for you.
Also, think about the questions you can ask the interviewer. You will usually be given an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, so have a few questions prepared to help you get a better understanding of either the position or the company as a whole. It’s an excellent time to get clarification, so be ready to ask questions, and remember that ideally, an interview is a conversation, so while they’re trying to get to know you, you should be trying to get to know the company as well.
4. Check out their social media pages.
As I mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a great place to start getting to know a company outside of the job description and the interview process. Look at what they post on LinkedIn. Here are some questions you may want to think about as you look at their social media feed:
- Do they highlight specific employees and their professional accomplishments, or do they spotlight the company’s accomplishments as a whole?
- What are their primary goals for the year?
- What professional development opportunities are they posting about?
- How are they supporting their employees?
Feel free to browse their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. as well since the content could be different. You can also look at their website. What visuals do you see on their main page? What do they want visitors to see as they enter their website? Try to navigate to the “Mission” or “Company Values” pages and see what’s there. Does their mission statement and values align with your professional goals and interests?
These are just a few tips that will help you make a more mindful decision as you consider each of the companies you may be interested in. It’s essential to gather as much information as you can before you make an official commitment to employment, so do your best to conduct thorough research of the company before deciding. If you would like more personalized help with your job or company research, feel free to schedule an appointment with a Career Coach at the UConn Center for Career Development to continue your research process.