Liz Ryan, Contributor Forbes
It’s not much fun to read job ads, but it is satisfying to run across a job posting that sounds like a perfect fit for you.
As you read the job ad, you might start to get excited.
In an instant, you can picture yourself in the job — a job that would use your talents, stimulate you intellectually and give you the creative outlet you long for!
Some employers write their job ads very well, but the actual job is not as great as the job ad makes it sound.
Some companies brand themselves as great places to work, but the reality is just the opposite.
That’s why Glassdoor is such a critical tool for job-seekers. Before you agree to go to a job interview, check out the prospective employer on Glassdoor to make sure the interview is worth your time!
Not every company deserves your talents. We must be honest about that fact — and the fact that you take a risk whenever you start a new job.
If the company has a toxic culture, it can really mess up your life and hurt your self-esteem. There are many jobs advertised that do not deserve you — no matter how badly the company wants to hire you.
Here are five signs that a particular employer does not deserve your talents.
1. The first clue that a company (or institution, or not-for-profit agency) is not worth your time will be found right in the job ad. If the entire job ad is devoted to listing the Essential Requirements a job-seeker must possess — without a word devoted to answering the question “Why would anybody want this job?,” that’s a bad sign.
2. The next clue will come in your first communication with the employer. Whether you fill out an online job application (not recommended) or send your specific hiring manager a Pain Letter in the mail, the first response from the employer’s representative should be friendly and inviting. If it isn’t – if it’s an auto-response email message that commands you to take a bunch of online tests and then cool your heels waiting to see if the company ever replies — run away!
3. As long as you stay relaxed and alert on a job interview, you’ll be able to tell whether the energy in the organization is good or bad. In a warm, human environment, the receptionist or someone else will greet you in a friendly, casual way when you arrive for the interview. In a toxic environment, whoever you meet at your interview will stare at you like a bug and speak to you like you are less than human. No capable leadership team would put an unfriendly, bureaucratic person on the front end of their recruiting process. Don’t ignore this sign!
4. During your job interview, pay attention to both the spoken language and the body language of your interviewer. Are they rushed and impatient, or calm and relaxed? Do they work their way down a script of bland, traditional interview questions, or open up to a real conversation with you? All of us feel desperate at times. We talk ourselves into bad situations because we feel that we have no choice. We always have a choice! As we get older we learn that saying ‘No!’ to the wrong situations and people is the best way to bring the right ones in.
5. After your interview, what’s the next message you get from the employer? If they email you or call you within two or three days with an update on your status, that’s great. Even if you don’t get this job, you might want to apply for another job in the same employer. If they drop you like a hot potato, you don’t have time for them!
Every salesperson knows that the biggest waste of time is to chase the wrong opportunity down a rat hole.
Job-seekers waste their precious time, energy and mojo chasing bad opportunities, too. As a job-seeker your mantra must be “Follow the energy!”
When the energy is good, great things can happen. Brilliant job-seekers interview every day for jobs they don’t get — but then they get an even better job with the same organization four weeks later. A sharp interviewer knows right away when they meet a fantastic candidate like you.
I remember the stack of resumes I kept on my desk at all times as a corporate HR person. They were resumes of people that were obviously smart and capable but hadn’t been exactly right for the first job they interviewed for.
A high point of my job was the moment when I got to call each of these high-priority candidates and say “I think we have the right job for you now!”
Follow the energy, and listen to your trusty gut. Any company that treats you like dirt during the interview process will not be a good place for you to work, no matter how hard you work to convince yourself that once you are inside, everything will be different.
Run away from any employer who shows you that they don’t value what you bring. Only the people, who get you, deserve you after all!