Your primary goal during an interview should be to make sure the you impress the interviewer with your skills and knowledge, but you should also take the time to evaluate the organization. It's one of the best ways to determine whether the work environment is right for you.
Consider the following four questions the next time you have an interview:
- How stable is the organization?: Review the employer's Form 990s and/or annual reports to get a sense of whether the organization is on the right track. You'll want to reconsider the job if you find that there are considerable financial difficulties.
- Is the hiring manager prepared?: Were you made to wait way past the scheduled start time of the interview? Do you get the sense that the hiring manager didn't even read your resume? If you get the sense this person is totally unprepared for the interview, you should try to imagine what it would be like working for the organization.
- Are my questions being answered?: Pay close attention to the hiring manager's answers to your questions. Are you getting honest, well-thought out responses, or just generic corporate-speak? Are you getting a sense that this individual has a true passion for the organization?
- Is this the right work environment for me?: Take a look around the office and observe employees' interactions with each other. Do people seem friendly or distant? Do you think you would enjoy working there or would it be a daily struggle to even come to the office each day?