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How to make sure you’ll fit right in

Karen Young explains how PQs can assess whether an employer is the right fit for them

December 2016

Employers know that a good personality fit can make or break an employee’s career with a company, which is why they place a strong emphasis on candidate fit as well as experience and skill when hiring.
It is crucial that you do the same when applying to your next role. So how can you tell if an organisation is the right fit for your personality and working style? The best way to assess whether an employer is the right fit for you is through the interview process.
Know your likes and dislikes
Before the interview think about the type of working environment that you excel in. Reflect on the type of culture and manager that bring out your best work. For example, you might prefer a traditional business environment that is process-driven and methodical or a fast-paced team where you are encouraged to show initiative. One isn’t better than the other, it’s a case of what is right for you.
Ask the right questions
Start by asking the interviewer to describe the workplace culture and be ready to ask a follow up question on any aspects of their answer that capture your attention. You should also ask the same question of your recruiter as they will be able to give you a more objective opinion, knowing both you and the hiring manager. Another good question is how the company recognises success. If the interviewer is stumped by this question it could be a red flag for a culture that lacks reward and recognition, and will take a more self-motivated attitude.
There are some questions best directed to your recruiter, however, at least at the early stages of your application. For example, asking an employer about working hours could paint you as a clock-watcher, but you may have a very good reason for needing to know if a culture of late nights is the norm.
Visit the office
Once you have been offered the job ask to visit the office where you will be working, if you haven’t already. This is a crucial way of finding out whether the company is the right fit for you that very few PQs take advantage of. It is common for interviews to take place in a different office than where you will be working. Try to chat to people in the office and get a feel for the environment: is it chatty and sociable, or quiet and industrious? You’ll soon know whether you will be comfortable working there or not.
Trust your instincts
Once you have asked all of your questions and considered key factors like work-life balance it is up to you and your gut instinct. If you feel comfortable and enjoy talking to the interviewer that is a good sign that you will be a good fit. Feeling instinctively that you have a good rapport with your future employer is sometimes the best indicator that you will fit right in.
For more information and job opportunities for PQs visit www.hays.co.uk/pq
• Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy and Finance

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