The process of applying for a job is nerve-wracking but when you live in a country with 8.5 million unemployed people, it makes it more daunting. In times like these getting an interview can give you some much needed hope. However, the focus is mostly on impressing the panel but there isn’t enough consideration about the kind of workplace you’re possibly going to join. As intimidating and overwhelming as they may be, interviews are a two-way street and there are several things to consider and ask your future employer.
Researching about the company of interest is the first step. But HR Officer, Teboho Bore, says assessing the products it offers and its purpose will help you, “make an informed decision on the direction of the company and whether it will be able to stay afloat [in case of a crisis – i.e Covid-19]”.
He says the most important factors to consider as far as an organisation is concerned are:
- Career growth – this has to do with timelines that you set as part of your future plan along with goals you’d like to achieve.
- Culture of the organization
- Transformation of the division – “this looks at the Transformation and Employment Equity on employing black females or males and in this sense looks at how many African managers we have. If there are [none, it speaks volumes],” he says.
- Footprint of the company
- Understand the market [of] the sector you are going into – “for example moving from a government to a private sector might be challenging because on one side you’re providing a service [and on] the other you are implementing the service to offerings,” Bore explains.
Questions to ask the interview and hiring manager at the end of the interview:
- What type of manager are you/management style?
- What courses and programs will they enrol you for to excel in your position?
- What leadership courses do you offer new leaders that join the company?
- Would you [the company] be mapping my career path on what steps and competencies I would need to reach the next level?
- Age grouping of the division you will be joining and find out what is the success rate of someone that started off like yourself where they are now.
- What tools and mechanisms are available from a learning perspective to better yourself to gain knowledge of different skill sets.
Work plays an important role in our lives and it affects our emotional, financial, physical and legal support. Bore advises that you also prioritise mental health services especially because stress and burnout are currently affecting those working remotely. He says a company that has these services shows that it cares about its employees.