Monday, October 7, 2013

Not Sure You Want the Job? A Real Job Preview Can Help

In this digital age of information, job seekers have more resources to get data about a company. You can Google  the words "job+Interview" and return hundreds of pages of information pertaining to everything from how to interview for a job, to uncovering a company's latest technology trends and business strategies. Despite all the advice floating around for how to land the job, what is not a common practice is the Real Job Preview (RJP). 

A real job preview is a strategy some companies employ to give potential candidates a realistic expectation for what they will encounter on the job. This is a very helpful strategy for the company to minimize the chance of turnover and ensure the candidate selected is not only qualified but also a great fit for the specific role and culture. This practice allows the recruiter, hiring manager, and employees to share candidly about the company's successes and challenges. RJP not only helps to determine the candidate that may be the best fit, but it also allows the potential candidate to get more than just an interview on which to base their decision.

While some companies engage this strategy in their recruitment process, there are many more that do not. So how can you, the job seeker, get a real job preview to ensure your expectation is met? Great question, keep reading.

Just Ask
The simple thing to do is just ask. Internal candidates have a jump on this because they already know the company, all they have to do is reach out to colleagues to ask questions about the job and the department. For external candidates, use your resources like LinkedIn to make the connection. If you are offered an interview, ask the recruiter if this is a consideration. At a minimum, you can always resort to finding out what you can via sites like Glassdoor.

Why research? This should be a normal part of your preparation for a job interview, however in the case of trying to understand the most you can about a company through the information publicly available, research the company as you would for a thesis. Make an assumption (hypothesis) about the company, then let the research tell the real story. In addition to reading press releases, also research the financials, lawsuits and settlements, online referrals and complaints, as well as any other data you can find that will help you make an informed decision.

The most important tactic you can use is networking. While some people still feel uneasy about connecting with another for the express purpose of obtaining information that may or may not lead to an opportunity, as long as you are professional, considerate, and tactful, networking can be a big benefit to finding out the information you need.

I read once that an executive said he only takes 5 business cards with him to any event and he purposely gives them to people he would like to talk with later. After those 5 cards have been disseminated, that's the end of the networking for that event. I liked this idea and adopted this practice. The benefit for me is that I have no problem remembering those people when they call. Find your style for how to effectively network. 

As individuals, we have to find a way to incorporate our best interests in the interview. During the job search process, you are a team of one, and you have to be smart, resourceful, strategic, and unique in addition to having the qualifications needed to succeed.

Find Out More About Real Job Previews:       - Job Previews
Organization Checklist for Real Job Previews
YouTube - Boeing RJP Video