Career Tips

Vet a Potential Employer With These Three Simple Steps

April 25, 2022

When interviewing, it’s easy to get caught up trying to understand the role and make a good impression. But it’s just as important to make sure the prospective employer is a good fit for you. To properly vet them, you need to first know what you are looking for.

What salary and benefits do you require? What is your career goal, and what position will help you get there? Do you want a company that values diversity? Do you like to work alone or on a team? Do you want a hands-off boss or someone who will mentor you? 

Once you’ve answered these questions, follow the steps below to vet a potential employer:

1. Ask good questions in your interviews.

Starting a new role with a new boss can be daunting. How can you find out what it’s like working for someone in a short interview? Ideally, you want to ask questions that help you get a sense of their leadership style and expectations. 

  • How do you like to communicate? Regular one-on-ones, email, etc. Their answer will help you learn how structured or casual they are.
  • Do you need someone who is available outside of regular office hours? This will tell you if you may struggle with work/life balance.
  • How long was the last person in this role? If they were there a short time, that could be a red flag.
  • What qualities do you think I need to be successful in this role? This will reveal some of the potentially unspoken expectations your boss has.
  • What are the biggest challenges for this role? Also a revealing question, it may inform some of the reasons the last person left.
  • How do you define or measure success for this role? It’s important to know what benchmarks you need to hit and ask yourself if they are reasonable.
  • How do you prefer to give feedback? In regular one-on-ones, formal reviews? This may tell you how communicative or hands off your potential boss will be.

Also ask questions related to the larger company, such as:

  • Does the company promote from within?
  • Is there an onboarding/training process available?
  • What do you like most about working for the company?

2. Check review sites and social media.

When you want to go beyond the hype to see how the company’s values play out day-to-day, it’s helpful to hear from current or past employees. Here are some great places to find company reviews:

It’s also a good idea to look up your prospective boss on social media. Take a look at any LinkedIn peer reviews on their profile.

3. Trust your gut.

Check in with yourself throughout the vetting process. Do you feel valued and excited, or do you have a check about something? The last thing you want to do is be miserable in your new job. Your gut will guide you to the best option for you, so don’t be afraid to say no when something feels off. Trust that a better job is just around the corner.