Top-Shelf Tip No. 184:

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

Stephen Covey

Is A Company The Right Fit For You?

There are many elements that go into a job search. For example, do you have a contact at the company? Do you have the right technical skills? Are the job level and salary requirements in line with your needs? And most important, can you see yourself working for the organization? In this flurry of self-questioning, it's easy to forget that a job search is a two-way street. It's just as important for you to find a company that you like as it is to find a company that likes you.

Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared five key things to consider to ensure the job candidate is the right fit for your company. Today, we shift gears and share these tips from business writer Melissa Suzuno on whether or not the hiring organization is a right fit for you.

1. Check out the job description.

The job description is often your first contact with a company. It's the organization's chance to grab your attention and make the case for why you'd want to work there. But some companies forget this. They make the job listing all about them and their needs. Pay close attention to the verbiage of the job description. Some places will simply include a laundry list of the skills and qualifications they want you to have. But the most thoughtful employers use this space to share professional growth opportunities, unique aspects of their company culture, and perhaps some of their perks and benefits.

2. What is the hiring company's communication style?

Once you send in an application, this generally kicks off a cycle of communication with a recruiter or someone else from the HR team—or it may be the person who would potentially be your manager. No matter who you're in touch with, pay attention to these key elements of communication:

TimelinessHow long do you have to wait to hear from someone? If it's a key stage in the process, like scheduling a phone call, do you get responses in a reasonable timeframe?

Professionalism — Are you being treated professionally? It really helps to imagine this person as your manager or co-worker. Would you feel OK about the way he or she is speaking to you?

3. Observe the overall interview process: how is it managed?

When you go in for an interview, that's when you really have the chance to observe the working environment and your potential co-workers. Do you know who you'll be meeting with in advance? Does each interview have a clear purpose and focus, or do you get asked the same questions over and over? A lack of organization and cohesiveness in this process could be a red flag.

4. Are you being tested? Yes, but so are they.

If you're asked to complete any sort of test or project, pay attention to that process. First (and most importantly), do you like what you are asked to do? Also, observe what the feedback process is like (and if there's one at all). If you're giving a presentation, who asks questions or brings up concerns? If you get written feedback, is it clear and actionable—or vague and unhelpful? How would you feel about receiving this type of feedback on a regular basis?

5. Pay attention to answers: what do current employees share about their experience?

During nearly all interviews, you're given an opportunity to ask questions. When you're preparing or the interview, make a list of your priorities—whether it's professional development, work-life balance, a flexible work-from-home policy or something else-and be sure to ask about these things.

In order to get beyond general statements like "It's a work hard, play hard culture," be ready to ask specific questions like "How has the company changed during your time here?"

Remember—the application process provides you with valuable information and if you uncover anything that makes you feel uncomfortable at any of these stages, it's a very good sign that this company is not the best fit for you.

Source: Melissa Suzuno is the content marketing manager at Greenhouse, where she gets to share her love of the written word and endorse the use of the Oxford comma on a daily basis. Before joining Greenhouse, Suzuno built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads).

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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