Isn't it crazy how we spend 15 plus years in a classroom, and then we are metaphorically kicked out of the nest right after graduation?
When I first began looking for a job post-grad, I had no idea how to tell whether or not a company was legitimate. Even seemingly reputably companies with a professional presence on LinkedIn may have deeply-rooted management issues.
Sometimes, the signs are glaringly obvious, like bad reviews or no online presence. But for companies who seem perfectly OK, how exactly are we supposed to figure out which ones are genuine and which ones are scams?
When browsing new opportunities, these are the signs you're in good hands if you take the job:
1. Scheduling is easy.
If you scored an initial interview, but have been cancelled on or moved more than once, that could reflect some internal management problems. Companies looking for a new team member should invest the time and energy necessary to do so.
No, this doesn't mean the company's schedule must be wide open. But, if it's difficult to schedule an initial interview, imagine what putting together a strategic plan would look like.
A company with an online scheduling tool or clear-cut process has been there, done that. You want to work for a company that isn't scrambling to figure out how to set up an appointment.
Feel free to give startups a little flexibility, but keep in mind organization is possible for anyone.
2. Interview process is slow.
As much as it would be great to say the company is moving fast because your application is awesome, that probably isn't the case. Every company has its own way of bringing on new people, but you should be wary when the process takes minimal time and effort.
In your research of a company, look for ways to note its turnover rate. You can even feel free to ask in your interview or application.
Reputable companies want long-term relationships with employees, so they take the time to get to know them during interviews. Take note if the team has you complete a project and speaks with you at least three times before making an offer.
3. Its brand is clear.
If the business isn't sure where it's going, then you shouldn't be so sure you want to join the company. A mission, values and company culture should be communicated early, from the job posting all the way until the final offer is sent.
Plenty of people have told me this is my marketing bias coming through, but it's true. Companies that are willing to invest in their outward appearance are the ones who see value in creating a real company culture.
Sure, you could say business is booming, so there isn't much time to look nice. But, an employer who truly has its stuff together makes time for clients and the company.
4. The day-to-day is known.
I used to love asking potential employers what a typical day looked like and hear the response, “Oh, there are NO typical days here.”
Cue the intrigue because that used to excite me and keep me wondering what I might get to do. But, the real translation here is, responsibilities aren't set, and/or you'll be expected to go beyond the scope of the work.
Yep, you could end up doing anything. If the hiring team can't lay out a normal work day, then you might as well ignore the job description. If you can't get a definite answer, follow up with asking why the person thinks each day is so different than the one before.
I can tell you from experience there are plenty of times I wasted time on a potential job because I didn't pay attention to these clear signals. Remember your worth, and don't settle for a position that doesn't feel right.
You have your shit together, so why shouldn't your employer?