Amidst the fog of excitement and gratification in receiving a job offer, you will need to determine if you should leave your current role for this offer, or the fortune of deciding amongst multiple offers. Put aside the numbers on a sheet, is this company the right cultural fit for you? Are you jumping from the frying pan into the fire? These are all important questions that will form your overall happiness at the company. In this article, I go through three important approaches to assess the company, during and at the offer stage.
1. Interview the Company
It is fair to say that many are in an adrenalin mode when they are on-site interviewing at the company, preparing the answers, and S.T.A.R formation, but often neglect to take the opportunity to proactively assess the company itself. You will usually get four or five interviewers, you should take the opportunity to draw out a list of questions to assess the team culture, management style, and KPIs. If you are replacing someone who left, prod about why the person left. Ask what challenges you would face if you came into this team. Other questions you could ask include work-life balance and expectations for the first 30-60-90 days. I would pay close attention to the hiring manager session and try to have an informal 5-10 minute chat at the end, to gauge a sense of the conversational dynamics.
2. Look through Past Employee Reviews
There are numerous sites out there such as Indeed and Glassdoor that provide current and past-employee reviews. I would look at these reviews quantitatively, but without over-indexing on the sentiments, because comments could either be from new employees on their honeymoon period, from HR posing as an employee or a disgruntled employee. Also, make sure you align comments with your specific position and organization or department where you can. Another option is using is Blind, which is sort of an anonymous repository to ask questions and browse answers. Like the other sources, there is nothing preventing bad actors from contaminating the threads, so keep that in mind.
3. Leverage LinkedIn for Past and Current Employees
My favorite approach is to actually leverage LinkedIn the way the portal is intended to be used, by proactively searching for current and past employees of that company, filtering by similar positions and teams, and reaching out. It is worthwhile investing in a paid tier of LinkedIn to give you the ability to cold-reach contacts. Offer a Starbucks voucher card and ask for 30 minutes to ask questions. I would ask four or five to get a good round of data points. I would even look further into the future and build an ongoing relationship with that contact if you do take up the job offer, and ask if the contact would want to help mentor you through your onboarding and challenges early on.