How do you really know what the new job will be like? Matt Krumrie encourages job seekers to know exactly what they are looking for, and to prepare good questions for the prospective employer.
Dear Matt: I am considering a new job in the same field I currently work in. However, I know sometimes the expectations of what you think a job will be are different than what the job actually is. Sometimes what it says on the job description is not what it is, and sometimes, you don't know what the company culture or work environment is like. Any advice on how to get a better picture of what a job is really like before taking that job?
Matt: It's important to know why you are looking for a new job. Is it the commute, the pay, benefits, co-workers, lack of promotional opportunities, hours or management? The reason you need to consider this is because you want to make sure that whatever isn't meeting your expectations in your current job will be met in your new job.
Think about when you were hired at your current job and the questions you wish you had asked before you got hired. Make a list, and present similar questions and concerns during the interview stage.
"The single most important thing you can do to explore the company culture and job fit is to be prepared with the questions you want to ask during the interview process," says, Patrick Foss, CEO of ThinkTalent Human Capital Partners (www.thinktalent.net), a Minnetonka-based firm dedicated to the empowerment of talent leaders to solve business problems.
Interviews have changed from what used to be a one-sided evaluation to a mutual conversation about future fit, says Foss. Hiring managers look forward to answering any questions and concerns you have – because they also want to find the right fit. They want to find someone who will fit the company just like you want to find a company that fits you.
It's also a good idea to check with industry contacts, colleagues and others in your professional network to see if they have any information about any company you are considering. Most important, look to the past to predict the future.
"The key to determining whether you'll be happy with the new company is understanding why you're considering leaving your current employer," says Foss. "Once you understand your motivation for making a change, you are in a much better position to begin seeking the answers you need."