How to Tell If This Is the Right Job For You

The right job

Finding the right job is about more than finding one that pays the most money. Picture yourself as the top earner in your office and that might bring a smile to your face. Then picture yourself as the top earner in a toxic workplace, or in a business with technology so out-of-date that you can barely get any work done. The point is, fulfillment and happiness in your work can’t always come from a paycheck.

For these reasons, it’s important to look beyond what you see in a job description. If you make it to the interview stage, you’ll need to observe, listen, and prepare the right questions in order to know if you’ll make a good fit for your prospective employer.

Reyna Sund, Director of Career and Alumni Services for Ashford University, offered these suggestions for interviewees:

Workplace culture

“You need to assess what type of culture is the right culture for you,” according to Sund. “What could be a warning sign for one person could be a breath of fresh air to another.”

For example, an open work space where music is playing and people are interacting and laughing could be the perfect fit for one person, while another person might prefer a quiet, closed door atmosphere. Think hard about how you like to work, and whether you could accomplish your goals in this type of environment. In the interview, be sure to ask questions about the workplace culture, because you’re only experiencing the atmosphere for a few moments on a single day.

Red flags

Just as you’re trying to present your best image for your interview, everyone you meet will be doing the same. Or so you think. Be a good observer by keeping your eyes and ears open as you walk through the halls of the company. These observances will give you a more authentic understanding of what to expect.

“If you hear condescending tones, observe sexism or sexual harassment, or even see people hanging out casually without a sense of purpose – these could all be major red flags,” Sund said.

Interview observations

If you’ve prepared, you should have a number of questions to ask during your interview. If you find your interviewers cannot answer the key questions that impact your job function, you shouldn’t let it go.

“Find out who else you might be able to talk to in order to gather that information,” Sund said. “Similarly, if there is just too much vagueness around the job duties and an understanding of how they will be measuring your success, that is a cause for concern.”

Ashford students and alumni who are preparing for a job interview can turn to the Career and Alumni Services team for assistance. When you make an appointment with a team member, the two of you will work together on a list of questions tailored specifically to the company, industry, and job function.

You can also get more interviewing advice by reading “5 First Impression Details to Remember” on Forward Thinking.

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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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