There’s a lot of focus on the negative signs when it comes to reading a company in an interview. No one wants to end up in a toxic workplace, after all. But how do you know if an organization is actually worth your time and energy? How can you spot the signs of a good culture, strong benefits, and an overall positive environment?
These phrases — ones you might be missing or overlooking — offer an indication that the employer is a great place to work.
1. “Reverse Performance Reviews.”
If the employer mentions that employees are encouraged to conduct reverse performance reviews (that is, they offer feedback to their managers and superiors), it means that the company values the perspectives of everyone in the company, not just those at the senior level. This is the type of organization you want to join — a place that can appreciate what you have to say, no matter what your role or position.
2. “Sense of Curiosity.”
Companies that value an innovative spirit and a sense of curiosity in their employees probably aren’t looking for cogs. Instead, they want inspired, creative individuals — like you — who will contribute ideas and make meaningful change.
If you ARE a curious person, someone who is strong, capable, and eager to share your vision, then this is definitely a phrase that should speak to you.
3. “Work From Anywhere.”
Even in the “new normal,” not all employers allow employees to work remotely. If the company DOES enable employees to work from anywhere, that’s a perk that will help you, even if you choose to work in the office at certain points. The flexibility is key — there’s an understanding on the employer’s part that people enjoy a better work-life balance when they don’t have to be stuck in the office all day.
If you do want the option of being able to work from the office on occasion, clarify what, exactly, the work-from-anywhere policy entails. Some organizations have shuttered their brick-and-mortar locations completely, so they might be willing to subsidize a coworking space or another facility.
4. “Celebrating Wins.”
A company that celebrates wins — the small and the large — wants the team to succeed. This phrase indicates that there is a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. It also suggests that people are eager to collaborate, not just work on their own, individual projects, and lend a helping hand to their colleagues to ensure they succeed, too.
Listen to what the hiring manager says in the interview, but use your other senses, too, to gain an idea of whether this is the right place for you. If you go in for the interview, look around and observe the people and the environment. Do employees seem to be getting along? Are people laughing and talking? How does the hiring manager seem? Are they friendly and approachable or more closed off?
There are many visual and auditory cues to consider, so stay alert, and look at every angle. This is the best way to find the right fit for you.
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