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There is no doubt that interviews can be stressful events.  Most people think of them as a way a potential employer can weed out and find the perfect candidate to fill an open position.  Although there is strong evidence that supports this claim, an interview is a two way street.  This assertion means that you should be extra vigilant to your surroundings during the meeting both before and after the event.


If you take this advice, you will be better able to assess whether or not you will be a good fit for the company.  Yes, there are interview questions that you should prepare for, but you should also think about what you’d like to ask your potential employer. The last thing you want to do is invest your time and talents in an office that drains you mentally and physically and does little to advance your professional career.  When you are cleverly observant to signs and people as an outsider, you will gain a great amount of insight in order to make a good decision in the end.


Factors To Look Out For

On interview day, keep your eyes peeled and your brain tuned in from the moment you step into the reception area.  Here are some details to take note of:

  • How were you greeted upon entering the office?  As the old adage goes, the first impression is the last.  You can get a pretty good idea about how people, clients, visitors, and otherwise, are treated by how you were welcomed.  Hopefully, the receptionist knew about your interview, greeted you in a friendly manner, and offered you a refreshment while you waited.  All these actions are good signs.
  • How do coworkers talk and interact with one another?  You can get a sense of whether or not the office employees are genuinely happy or resentful by noticing how they treat each other.  These observances will give you an idea of the office environment and let you know if it is a toxic one or a friendly one.
  • What is the culture of the office like?  While on your interview take note of how people are dressed and what their cubicles/workspaces are like.   You can notice if management tolerates a more casual environment or formal one by the way personnel are dressed.  You can come to the conclusion if the workplace culture is one you would be comfortable in.  Also, notice if workspaces have family pictures displayed, artwork, and light music playing.  These small anecdotes can let you know if you can make your workstation truly your own and if the company encourages it.
  • Is the office environment full of stress?  You can get a sense of how much stress is involved in performing duties by observing how the employees are working.  Notice how many files and piles of paper surround workspaces.  Is staff talking to one another and enjoying downtime or are members concentrating on their monitors and hardly looking up?  Do you notice any of the signs to look for in a toxic manager? Then evaluate if it is a kind of workplace that you can fit in.


Once you learn to be keen on factors and signals that come by visiting a company on your interview, you can decide for yourself if it is a place that you can thrive in healthy ways.  Pay attention to your gut instinct and do not try to talk yourself out of red flags.  An interview can be your best opportunity to evaluate the work environment that could one day be your own.  Use this chance to your advantage.

If you’re looking for great IT jobs in Philadelphia, NYC, or NJ, contact Atlas Consulting Group for more information.

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