Before you take that job offer, try this…
When you’ve been looking for a new job, the sound of a job offer coming through is music to your ears. But, while you may be tempted to jump for joy, don’t jump into something you’re not ready for just yet.
With the latest trend focusing on ensuring that new employees and company culture are a match, both recruiters and jobseekers are exploring new approaches to how they handle the hiring process. And one such innovation that jobseekers are using to improve their understanding of what work life will be like with a new company is:
“The Third Interview”
What is a “third interview”?
In the traditional hiring process, you typically have one or two interviews after submitting your resume.
Once an employer selects you as a candidate, they may set up a remote discussion over the phone, or have you fill out an online interview questionnaire, or something similar to ensure you meet the minimum requirements and show strong aptitude for a job. This less intense interview helps weed out poor candidates before the employer needs to invest significant time and effort in arranging in-person interviews.
Those in-person interviews are the next stage, where you will meet with a recruiter or members of management for the team you’ll be working with if you get the job. This is a more personal interview where they may shape the questions about your unique experience.
Typically, this is where it ends, and you wait to hear back about the job. Many jobseekers assume that once they get the job offer, they should just accept and things will work out. But that isn’t always the case, with nearly half of all new hires leaving a company within the first 18 months. And the reason is often that the company just isn’t a good fit for them.
That’s where the “third interview” comes in.
A third interview is where YOU ask to meet with the employer one more time before accepting an offer.
It may sound bold and brash, but requesting a third interview gives you an opportunity to discover more about a company with the added leverage of not having to worry so much about being accepted.
Interviews pre-offer generally have both parties trying to perform their best, and can skew the perspective you each have of each other. This is an opportunity to explore employment with less pressure on both sides.
But what do you do at a third interview?
Ask new questions
Smart candidates always have a few insightful questions to bring up at their first-round interviews, both to show that they are eager and intelligent, as well as to glean more information about the nature of the company culture at the particular organization.
That said, there often isn’t enough time to ask about all the pertinent details you may want to know before you sign off on a new offer. In addition, you may have felt uncomfortable asking certain questions because you were trying to come across as easier to work with. While investigative journalists might feel at home asking hard-hitting questions that turn polite company into something that feels like an interrogation, the average jobseeker does not (and for good reason).
Once the company has shown a vested interest in you, you can rest assured they are more willing and able to take the time to help you understand anything you might have missed. It may also be an appropriate time to negotiate if there are some outstanding items in your terms of employment.
Take a tour
Oftentimes, even if you’ve attended an interview on-site already, chances are you haven’t explored much beyond the lobby and a single meeting room. Now is your chance to look closely at the work environment, and see if it is comfortable for you and aligns with your expectations.
Consider things like noise, equipment, and space. Decide if it is a place where you can excel, or if your performance will be hindered by inferior tools and distractions around you.
Another opportunity when you tour the facilities is to meet your potential coworkers! These are the people you will be working with every day, so you will want to get a sense of how your personalities and work ethics vibe with each other (or whether they don’t).
Meeting current workers is not only helpful for you to decide if you would be a good fit with them, but it also allows you to see the general atmosphere of the company. Are the people who work there happy? Energetic? Excited and enthusiastic about what they do? Or are they tired, overworked, stressed, and a little frazzled?
If the working life there is taking a toll on employees, maybe you should rethink becoming one.
Is it too much to ask?
Not at all.
It may not be common just yet, so, understandably, breaking the mould and asking for an extra interview may feel uncomfortable. But when you take into account the perspective of a recruiter, and their goals, it’s actually incredibly reasonable.
New employees are an investment. The average company doesn’t recoup the cost of hiring and training new personnel for at least the first 6 months, and the forecasted costs associated with losing an employee within the first year are estimated at 3 times their annual salary. Not to mention that the recruitment process alone costs thousands of dollars in company time.
Businesses that care about their bottomline do things right. They don’t rush in without exploring every option and going above and beyond to protect their investments. So if anything, not having a third interview is not asking enough.
And from your perspective, you are losing your own time and potential earnings trying to make a go of it somewhere that will eventually not pan out. Aren’t you worth the extra investigation before you invest your own life into a new career path?
At the end of the day, both you and your recruiter want to reach a consensus that working together means both of you come out on top. Finding work shouldn’t be a compromise, when both parties can profit (financially and professionally) by taking the time to do things right. So if you’re looking over a job offer right now, wondering if you should take the leap, we say you should take a closer look first.