Today’s candidates for science jobs in such fields as pharmacology, biotechnology and medical devices are generally savvy and understand the need to
prepare well for an interview, including by researching their prospective
The latter is vital not just for giving
applicants a sense of what kind of company they could soon be working for, but
also for helping them to confirm that this is definitely
an organisation for which they would like to work.
After all, past research has indicated that
of workers are motivated by how well they
get on with their colleagues, and 22% by how their manager treats them.
However, with even the most disreputable
firms able to make themselves look good these days by having an impressive
website designed complete with engaging written copy, the interview may be the
first time you come into contact with your potential employer as they truly
In that case, what are the things that you
need to look out for?
As you approach the site of your interview,
you should consider the surroundings. Is the company’s office located in a
decent area? Is the building itself well-maintained and presentable? What about
the inside of the premises – are the bathrooms clean and is there somewhere to
take a break at lunchtime?
Remember that you may well spend more of
your waking hours at work than anywhere else, so it needs to be the kind of
place where you can imagine yourself working comfortably for long hours.
As you will need
to do this anyway if you secure a role with this firm, it’s a good idea to talk
to as many people as possible on the premises before you are called into the interview
room, as this will give you a clue of the atmosphere there.
You should ask yourself whether the
receptionist seems friendly, for example, or whether they seem overly busy,
stressed out and inconvenienced by you being there. Look, too, at how other
employees on site are interacting with each other – do these seem like people
that you could work alongside for hour after hour?
How you present yourself at the interview is obviously vital, which is why we have
previously blogged on such subjects as what
your body language says during an interview. However, you shouldn’t become
so focused on this that you fail to evaluate your potential employer.
You can gain a lot of clues about the
company’s management culture by observing how the interviewer behaves. Did they
turn up on time and seem relaxed, prepared and interested in you and your
answers? Or did they leave you waiting and appear to be stressed and
overwhelmed when they did finally arrive?
While you might not be working directly
with this person if you do get the job, they are likely to be representative of
the company’s broader culture, so any warning signs should be noted.
many as nine in 10 people expressing regret about rushing their career choice,
it really is crucial to take the time at
this stage to carefully consider your prospective employer’s merits. The interview
may be the only time you directly interact with the company that could be your
employer for many years to come, so you should be vigilant in keeping an eye
out for good and bad signs alike.