Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Interview 101: 6 Things to Look for While You’re Waiting

Waiting for your job interview to begin is your chance to make sure your blazer is on straight and your resume is easily accessible as well as your chance to take a few deep breaths. While this is a good time to make sure you’re interview-ready, it’s also your chance to get a glimpse into the company for which you hope to work.

U.S. News Money provides seven things you should look for while waiting for your interview. These will give you insight into the company culture and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

  1.  A warm welcome or the cold shoulder? U.S. News Money points out that a lot can be gleaned from the initial welcome. If you’re greeted as if they’re expecting you, that says a lot about the company’s attitude toward making everyone feel welcome and valued. On the other hand, if there is no one to greet you or you’re just left standing alone for a while, it makes it seem as if the people at that company don’t really care about you.
  2.  Green receptionist or devoted office manager? The receptionist is key. U.S. News Money suggests asking them how long they’ve been with the company. Receptionists are a high turnover position, and if you find that the receptionist has been there for a number of years, that’s an extremely positive sign.
  3.  Check out the tech. As the receptionist or hiring manager walks you around the office, make sure you keep an eye on the technology in addition to other things. Newer computers, projectors and whiteboards will indicate a workplace that prides itself on being up-to-date. It also says volumes about the company’s desire to provide its employees with the best so that nothing gets in the way of innovative ideas.
  4.  If these walls could talk. What would they say? Do they project an image of isolation? Or are there little to no physical barriers that keep employees from interacting and working with one another? Also look at what’s actually showcased on the wall, says U.S. News Money. Some companies may include employee artwork, which signifies that they value the people that work at the company and not just the work they do. Other walls will include a mission statement or awards and accolades, giving you an idea of their values and their success.
  5.  People people? While you’re waiting for your job interview, watch the employees engage with one another. You’ll notice if there is any hostility — or if people seem to genuinely care about each other. You can also get a glimpse into whether or not the employees seem to be having fun in this workplace too.
  6.  Dress to impress. Finally, U.S. News Money encourages interviewers to check out the company dress code. You may be wearing a suit and tie right now, but the jeans and t-shirts you see on the employees could be an enticing factor in your decision to accept the job offer. The dress code alone gives a great indication of company culture and will tell you whether or not this is the right job for you.

What other signs of company culture should you look for while waiting for the job interview to start? Share now in our comments!

Kathryn Randolph

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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