What makes a good job interviewer

Job interview? Pay attention to the environment!

Most applicants are so nervous that they tend to tunnel vision in the interview: always careful to look as good as possible yourself. This is not a mistake, but it also misses a great opportunity that the invitation to a job interview offers you: The environment can tell you a lot about the working atmosphere and the true corporate culture. Reception, greeting, seating arrangements, atmosphere - all of this speaks volumes about your potential employer. A small checklist for deciphering pretty facades ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

How good is the working atmosphere really?

Of course, you could also ask directly how good the working atmosphere is. Unfortunately, the probability that you will get an honest answer to this in the interview is almost zero. Even if the job interview is about getting to know each other as well as possible and finding out whether you are a good match, it's like every rendezvous: everyone only presents themselves from their best side - applicants anyway, but also employers. Nevertheless, there are telltale clues.

Who practices a little and pays attention to itReading between the lines or taking a subtle look behind the scenes can still learn a lot about the company and expose many a pimped employer facade. But it must be said: As always with such clues, there are pieces of the puzzle. An observation alone says nothing about the company and its qualities as an employer. However, if the warning signs pile up and you can perhaps even research appropriate information on the Internet, caution is advised.

9 things to watch out for around you

What do the parking spaces look like?

First of all, you should try to find out: Is there even a company parking lot? Otherwise, this could lead to additional costs and high parking fees for commuters in a densely populated area, which of course lowers the net income. Another point is much more interesting: the hierarchy of the parking spaces. Are there fixed parking spaces near the company for managing directors and VIPs - or rather for customers, employees with children and the disabled. There may also be special space for bicycles and “filling stations” for electric vehicles. All of this already reveals a lot about the company's culture, modernity and the prevailing status consciousness.

How will you be received?

Of course you have been invited to an interview, so you have an appointment. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you are expected. Quite a few employers keep applicants waiting in the lobby. Well, appointments can be postponed. But will they at least offer you a good seat and something to drink? Or do you treat them more like an annoying visitor? And of course the greeting itself: Is it warm and personal, do you already know your name and résumé - or is it just another mandatory appointment?

How do the employees treat each other?

The probability is high that not only one employee of the company is sitting across from you during the interview. In that case, please pay attention to how these colleagues interact: Are they friendly, respectful, warm to one another? But not just through good manners, but authentically? This, too, shows something of the team spirit or strong hierarchical differences.

How do the bosses act?

In particular, if several people are present, there will be something like a hierarchy, a senior or a senior. Now it is exciting to see how she treats the others: For example, does she let the coffee pour her - or is she more of a “top servant”? Does the boss give the others the floor and value their questions - or is he or she trying to dominate the conversation? Often the fish stinks from the head. And, as a rule, such personnel managers hire people of their own kind ...

What does the body language of those present say?

The body is a traitor. HR managers in particular, who tend to see themselves in a superior position, hardly pay any attention to their body language. But you do: Pay close attention to the small micro-gestures. Are you sitting across from each other (distant) or at a corner (cooperative)? Are they turned towards you, interested - or does the conversation seem more like an interrogation? Are the people here rather relaxed or stiff and strict? You don't necessarily have to evaluate it morally - but it has to suit you.

What is the dress code?

Speaking of relaxed: Of course, as an applicant, you have adapted to the dress code of the industry and, if in doubt, prefer to be overdressed rather than underdressed. But it is also exciting to see how the other employees are walking around the house. Be sure to! Because that will later determine your everyday life - and of course indicates a more conservative climate or a more modern and casual one.

What do the workplaces look like?

Thanks to career pages and employer branding video, you may already have had a chance to get an idea of ​​the working environment there in advance. Otherwise, you will spank a bit on site in the corridors and offices. The office furnishings and workplace design also reveal a lot about the company culture and way of working: Are the offices open, are the doors open? Are the desks large and tidy and the chairs comfortable? Or does it all look strict and sterile? Are the offices ergonomically furnished? This shows you, for example, how much is really invested here in the supposedly so valuable “human capital” - or whether you are just a cost center. No less interesting: Are there cozy corners where colleagues can meet and exchange ideas? The common rooms and corners in particular speak volumes about the organization and culture - especially when they are orphaned.

Are the employees happy?

Sure, you can only look your colleague up to the forehead. You don't necessarily have to look at how happy someone is. But pay attention to the look of the people you meet along the way. Do you laugh or smile - or do you seem grumpy and stressed? It starts with the porter (who is always a kind of business card for the company) and continues with the other colleagues: the more stressed and irritated the workforce appears to be, the louder the alarm bells should ring.

Do you know the toilet theory?

The toilet theory says that you only have to look at how well-kept the quiet place is - you can already see the true corporate culture. Short:

  • If, for example, the employees themselves are responsible for changing the toilet rolls or leaving a usable toilet for the successor and this does not happen, it says: “Here everyone only thinks of themselves. A single punch and stab. ”And since the fish stinks from the head, probably just such egomaniacs live on the carpet floor.
  • Quite different when the quiet place is well looked after, always clean and not a paperless office cubicle. Then that speaks either for a very good cleaner (which also says something about the company, because she has to be paid for it after all) or for a good social community where you also think of your colleagues, even when it comes to well-informed knowledge.

It's just a theory, and there is no real empirical evidence of this. However, if you should visit your future employer, we recommend a little visit to the quiet place to get a further, lasting impression of the shop. Which one is another matter.

[Photo credit: AriSys by Shutterstock.com]

Even more interview tips
➠ Job interview: all the tips

Job interview process
➠ Interview preparation
➠ Application questions + answers
➠ Job interview clothes
➠ Introducing yourself
➠ self-presentation
➠ End the interview

Interview types
➠ Second interview
➠ Assessment Center
➠ Stress interview
➠ Job interview English
➠ Video interview
➠ Telephone interview

Typical questions
➠ These 100 questions can come
➠ 25 trick questions + answers
➠ Stress issues
➠ What are your weaknesses?
➠ What are your strengths?
➠ Why should we hire you?
➠ What was your last salary?
➠ Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
➠ Why did you quit?
➠ Inadmissible questions
➠ Inquiries to HR managers

Tips & Tricks
➠ Practice interview
➠ Interview mistakes
➠ White lies in the job interview
➠ body language tips
➠ Overcome nervousness
➠ Where to put your hands?

➠ Confirm the interview
➠ Postpone the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Cancel the interview
➠ Follow up after the conversation