SG Budget Babe
Asked on 26 Nov 2019
What are some indicators I should be looking out for, and what should i prioritise?
Hi Jia Min,
As an alternate view point, friends who are working there, Glassdoor and Linkedin can provide you some perspective into a company, but you will find that once you walk into the door, things do change. You might be working in another department with new colleagues who aren't as nice as your friends working in another part of the office building. And along the way, if your hiring manager (who is presumbly your direct boss) gets promoted or rotated elsewhere and someone else fills the gap, you might find that your new manager makes your life hell. So in my view, it's about the people you work with, which you don't have too much control over. In my previous job, I loved the people from projects, documentation, procurement and engineering departments, all of whom I work closely with as part of my job function. I'm from none of these departments by the way, if you get what I mean.
1. DEFINITELY 1st thing is to try to speak to people who have worked there.
This is by far the number one best thing you can do. When I was younger and more gullible with a smaller network in my first job, I absolutely did not think of asking people who have worked there. When I joined on my first day, the secretary turned to me and chirped, 'Do you know the average tenure here is 6 months?'
It really made me think about asking existing employees first. First hand, honest reviews are the best.
2. Go on Linkedin and check out the average tenure of those in the company
And more specifically, if you can check out the average tenure of those in that specific department of the company that you are interviewing for. If you see a huge turnover ie. people leaving quickly after joining, you know that it is a potential red or yellow flag.
3. Search forums such as Glassdoor for reviews.
Not great, because some companies who have bad reviews get their HR teams to write good reviews. Again, tri-age and be discerning about reviews which could be biased.
1. Tap on your network
See if anyone you know already works in the company. There is nothing more insightful than hearing first-hand experience. Of course, pick someone whom you trust or would give you an honest answer!
2. Glassdoor Reviews
If the company you are looking at is relatively big/well-known, there are bound to be reviews of the firm by current employees. However, do take it with a pinch of salt as people who take the effort to comment usually belong to extreme ends of the motivation spectrum (either extremely bad experience, or extremely good experience).
3. Go Interview!
You often can get a decent sense of the company, your potential manager, and the workplace culture by interviewing and speaking with the various members of the team (be it HR, prospective teammates or boss). You just have to ask the right questions to tease out the information you need. There are tons of resources available online regarding this and you simply have to Google, but this is an example: https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/questions-ask-an-interviewer/
I google Glassdoor to see if there are bad reviews left by disgruntled employees.
(positive reviews i take it with a pinch of salt, i generally feel people who are disgruntled enough to leave bad reviews must have a horrible experience at the work place)
If you have a chance to visit the workplace, look at their body language especially at the pantry area. Do they focus on their computers and nothing else, or are they able to have smiles and chit chat with their colleagues? :D
Hey there, you can take a look at Linkedin or Glassdoor for reviews! That is before you join. But let's say you are being offered the spot, check with the HR and clarify more - like how is the culture etc. To be honest, you will only find out more when you begin working with your colleagues/boss. And if after a few months, maybe you feel outcasted, overworked, not recognized etc, thats where you know maybe it's not suitable for you.
I think you should look at how well you can communicate with your interviewers, after all they may be your boss. Can also check Glassdoor reviews, but do take note that people are more likely to leave negative rather than positive reviews.
What you should look out for: I would say transfterable skills and career progression. Nowadays it's highly unlikely you'll stay with one company for your whole life, so see if you can develop some skills that will help you in future job hunting
For me, the top 2 most important factors are working environment (not toxic or political backstabbing) and colleagues/mentors. Besides the paycheck, benefits, bonuses etc. I believe that if the 2 factors are not met, it would literally be a living hell to work at the company, And you would be tempted to quit and change jobs rather than stay and build your portfolio/experience.
1. Constant Hiring (Signifies High Turnover Rate)
If you constantly see this company hiring for the same position every few months, it's a big red alert that there's something wrong with the management or the way they treat their staff. I'll then go and find out more about the company from 2. or ask my network about the company.
2. Glassdoor or LinkedIn reviews
Although these reviews have been known to have a bias aspect, it can provide you with a glimpse of what your past/present colleagues have gone through. Do take it as a insightful glimpse with a pinch of salt.
3. Ask the interviewer on management questions (assuming that the interviewer is a top management position or HR)
Questions like, "What's the most common reason why people quit?", "What is the working environment like?", "How does the management incentivise employees?"; will help you to see how your prospective employers tackle HR issues and if they have the aptitude for it. If their answers are mostly unsure or they try to avoid your questions, then this may not be a good company to work at.
Hi Jia Min,
I think it's not about the company, but the companions in terms of working colleagues.
Company by itself is an object, so the company don't hold values but the company's values do. :)
In essence, if you're comfortable with your interviewers/colleagues to be, based on your interactions with them. Then that's probably the first tell-tale signs that it could be the right company for you. Ask about progression opportunities and the culture in terms of diversity and inclusion.
It's all depends on which stage of your career. For a start, if you are looking for reviews of a particular organisation prior joining the firm, you may search for 'Glassdoor Singapore' (or even Linkedin) to check if there are any review. There are also HR accolades given to organisations that have good HR practices and organisational benefits.
However the reviews and benefits doesn't mean paint the exact picture of your direct working environment and your supervisor. Also, everyone's perspective of a good workplace differs. It is better for you to list down what are the essentials. Generally, a good workplace shouldn't be a toxic environment and allow you to be empowered to carry out your duties.
During interview, you may wish to ask questions concerning the working style of the team and your supervisor, the vision and values of the team / organisation, what is expected of you in this role and career progression. Only then, will give you glimspes to determine are you a good fit to the role and organisation.
1) Talk to the people there, preferably outside interviews. Do go for any networking sessions if there are.
2) Talk to any of your friends who have worked there/know people who work there
3) See how much they are interested in developing you
One way to check is to use glassdoor to check for reviews by existing and ex-employees.
Another way is to check with people who you know that might be working there.
Check their online presence although there is no guarenteed way to know until you are there.
Just have to use your hunch and guts to go or not go for it.
I write cool stuff about personal finance and money-saving hacks here.
Before your interview, check out Linkedin and Glassdoor to see if there are any reviews on working there. See if you have any friends or contacts who can give you some insight as well.
On your interview day, check out the office environment as you are walking in, if you are able to. See if the interviewer schedules an odd hour interview and if many people are still around beyond office hours, this may be an indicator of high overtime.
During the interview, try to pick up any key questions or signs from the interviewer that may indicate something to you about the company.
There a reason few ways. First is to speak to those current working in the company. They will tell you
Second is research on glass door for comments about the company
Search Glassdoor and look up the existing employees on LinkedIn! Also use your network to find out the culture of the company of possible, that should be the biggest indicator.
GlassDoors is a good place to look for reviews of current and past employees. If you're already in the company, talk to your colleagues. Is there a significant portion of your colleagues who are thinking of changing jobs? If yes, that's a major red flag.
Reach out to current employees on LinkedIn and ask them if they would be willing to share about their experience
Ask around your friends if they have contacts working at the company and if they would be willing to share
You will never know untill you really in the working environment.
The most important thing before you sign your employment contract is to check the probation period, number of days notice to be given, any other penalties when tendering resignation letter. So the moment you feel this company is unsuitable, there's not much obstacle for you to say goodbye