I came across an article yesterday called “The Five Things You Must Know about Yourself as An Employee.” The author lists culture, perks, management style, company size, and workspace as the top things (other than the job itself) to consider when accepting a new position. I totally agree with these, but I’m going to add a few to the list:
Environment: While the author mentioned culture, it was more in terms of collaboration and leadership style. I’m talking things like dress code, average age of employees, informal vs. formal behavior, etc. If you’re more at home in a creative company where everyone is in jeans and t-shirts you might be miserable in one where everyone is wearing a suit and tie and using corporate speak.
Your Boss: Get a feel for the person who will be your boss during the interview. Are you comfortable with him or her? You don’t have to be best friends, but there should be a good rapport since you’ll have to work with this person on a daily basis.
Location: Try going door to door at the same time of day you’d be commuting to make sure you’re okay with it. (Traffic at 8AM will be very different from traffic at 11AM!) Walk around the area—is it a big deal to you to have shopping/restaurant options during your lunch break? Do you want a gym close by? Make sure you are happy with your surroundings before accepting an offer.
Most importantly…listen to your gut! If you get a bad feeling during the interview or feel out of place walking through the halls, you should heed the warning signs. Hiring managers should also take care to look for fit in these areas on the behalf of the candidate as well as current employees. Hiring a high performer who is also high maintenance to work on a laid back team could turn out to be a disaster for all involved.