Beyond the Glass Door: Business Intuition and Interviewing

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Our recent theme in this series has been focusing on including your intuition when recruiting and hiring. The key being that including your gut instincts and nonverbal data you gather in the hiring process that goes beyond the resume, urgency to fill the position, or the strong opinion of another staff member.

If we feel something might be “off” kilter, we can easily ignore, push down, or override what our gut is telling us for a variety of reasons that usually involve desperateness to fill a vacancy or doing a favor for someone.

Yet, leaders and managers are the gatekeepers of their company culture and are responsible for hiring for the right competencies and cultural fit for the greatest possible outcomes of taking the business to where it needs to be. If you lower your standards from this, the price tag will be felt eventually.

However, today we put our attention on the other side of the coin—how do you use your intuition in deciding which job and company are right for you?

One of the advantages of this era is that there is more transparency than ever before thanks to the web. What people really think and feel about where they work is reviewed and discussed for public consumption. Companies such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and Kununu are just a few on the list of the growing trend of websites that are focusing on real-time reviews of employees rating their employers.

For example, a quick research using Glassdoor shows that 71% of employees would recommend to a friend to work at the Seattle HQ, 80% of employees recommend working at Apple, and 91% Google. It’s never been easier to do research and dig deeper into what employees are saying about where they work.

And—if companies haven’t gotten this by now—their employees are their first customers!

Either they are raving fans and believe in what a company does, or they are not and the business will eventually pay the consequences.

But, even with all of the research out there today, there’s a good chance you still won’t know if a company is the right job fit for you or not unless you interview, meet staff, and have a real experience. So, here is how you can go beyond the glass door—see what we did there?—and go a little deeper than what you read on the internet.

#1: Do Your Research

Like any important decision, talk to friends or acquaintances who work at any company you are applying to or considering. Do a thorough background check on the web and utilize any other methods of reviewing potential work situations. If you might relocate, obviously researching and getting clear about the quality of life that appeals to you is a huge factor. After all, this is your life we are talking about. We only get one of them that we remember vividly.

#2: Get Clear on Your Values

The more you feel connected to what your company stands for and how much they walk their talk, the more you will respect the leadership and feel a mutual care in the results you are working toward. The brand, vision, mission statement and all the beautifully worded documents in your onboarding materials or plastered on the wall don’t mean squat if these values are not being lived.

People stay when they feel a fit with where they work. Yet, this fit needs to be earned month-to-month, quarter-to-quarter. Millennials get this more than any other previous generation. If leaders and managers are not walking their talk and living their values and not just reciting them at yearly functions, everyone feels it. (And the elephant in the room is that your customers do, too).

The more you take time to reflect on what is most important for you when working with leaders, colleagues, and a team atmosphere is critical. The greatest indicator of long-term relationships is not shared interests or even personality fit, it’s common values. If you have doubts about this, ask any set of parents raising a child.

#3: Ask About the Company Vision

If you are not excited about where the company or department is headed, you are in the wrong place. And you will feel if what you are hearing, lights you up or not. Does what you hear inspire you? Do you see new possibilities and how you can contribute? Does it make you want to bring your best in and of itself? Is the company clear on where they are going and how they see you fitting into the picture? No matter how attractive the salary, job title, or benefits, ultimately, if you are not onboard for the ride you are being led on, it’s not a matter of if you will leave, but when.

#4: Pay Attention to Your Inner Compass

Perhaps the most important tool is the one that you came equipped with since birth—your inner compass. Often, we make important decisions with our mind and our pro and con lists of what we like/don’t like. But what if there was a deeper decision-maker that is waiting for you to develop a relationship with? Have you ever had the experience that your gut and heart were telling you something and you didn’t listen? Whether it was a career move, a new sales opportunity, or a relationship? I know I have. And I’ve learned that tuning-into my inner compass during a job interview, while meeting other staff members, walking around the facility, or getting a sense of how entry-level employees enjoy where they are working or not, give me all the data I need.