What To Notice Around The Office When You Go For A Job Interview?

When you visit a company for a job interview, you should be keenly observant from the time you arrive until you say your goodbyes. I spoke to several career experts to find the 14 things you should look for when you're on a job interview.


1. What does the parking lot look like?
1. 这家公司的停车场怎么样?

Start by assessing the parking lot. Are there reserved spaces for VPs? If so, that can speak volumes about how hierarchical the organization is. Are there clues as to the organization’s culture in the parking lot such as welcoming, even fun signs and easy access for clients? Do they offer, as some companies do, reserved spaces for hybrid cars to encourage environmentally friendly behaviors? Do they have a secure facility for employees who ride their bikes to work?


2. How was I greeted upon arrival?
2. 刚刚赶到时对方是如何接待你的?

Was your appointment known to the front desk? Were you greeted in a friendly manner? Were you offered water or coffee? The first impression a company decides to give to visitors (interviewees or others) can often indicate their philosophy on how employees are treated, as well. A warm and friendly greeting by someone who seems to genuinely care if you're comfortable is a great indicator of a company with a thriving and happy environment.


3. How do employees interact with one another?
3. 员工间如何互相交流?

In interactions, do the employees seem friendly and supportive of each other, or disrespectful? Do they take the time to greet the receptionist, and if so, does she respond with a smile?

“This is a critical observation,” Kerr adds. He says when he toured Zappos he stood in the lobby and was amazed by the level of energy and the way co-workers greeted each other in the morning. “You knew within minutes this was a workplace that had energy, a place where people actually wanted to be on a Monday morning, and a big part of that was just watching the genuine and outgoing ways people interacted with each other.”
“这个观察很关键。”国际商业演讲者、Humor at Work网站总裁兼撰稿人迈克尔·克尔补充道。他说,当他在参观zappos的时候,他站在门厅里,惊异于该公司员工一大早的活力以及相互问候的方式。“几分钟便能知道,这是一个精力充沛的工作场所、一个周一早上人人都想来的地方,其中很大一部分原因只消看看人们在相互交流时的那种真诚和友好便知了。”


4. How do they answer the phone?
4. 员工如何接听电话?

Do they sound human and engaged, or does it sound like they are on autopilot reading from a script? How people answer the phone, especially in a larger organization, can reflect a few characteristics of their brand. It can tell you if it’s a fun place, if they are truly customer-focused, and if people are allowed to let their own personality shine through. If they sound as though they are reading from a script, this could be a sign that the culture is very controlling. I think you can also get a sense as to how engaged and happy employees are just by how they answer the phone, or even by the nature of the voice mail greeting. Is it warm, human, friendly and fun? Or overly somber, serious, and devoid of any personality?


5. What does their body language say?
5. 他们的肢体语言会传递什么信息?

Body language speaks volumes about the energy level in a workplace, and can often be more revealing than what people actually say. Are people walking with a sense of purpose? Do they look comfortable in this environment? Do they get nervous when the boss walks by? Look out for body language cues while you’re in the office.


6. How committed is the employer is to health and wellness?
6. 雇主在健康和保健方面做得如何?

Is there a gym or fitness center? Are there showers for employees who choose to bike to work? If there’s a cafeteria, what kind of food is offered? Is there a range of healthy options and options that fit your special dietary needs? Kerr says these are all important things to look for.


7. Do employees look happy?
7. 公司员工看起来开心吗?

This isn’t something you can figure out in your pre-interview research. When you arrive, take note of whether or not the receptionist or security guard is friendly. This will be the first person to greet you each morning—so his or her attitude may be more important than you’d think. Once you enter the office, figure out if the employees look happy. Do they smile at you or acknowledge your presence? This can tell you a lot about the overall environment.


8. Is this a fast-paced work environment?
8. 这是一个快节奏的工作环境吗?

This usually depends on the industry or department, but some companies tend to run their businesses at a faster pace than others. If employees are literally running around the office and phones are ringing non-stop, that’s a sign that things move quickly. Do you prefer this type of environment? Do you perform well under pressure? Determine whether you’d be able to keep up and thrive in this type of environment.


9. Is it an organized place?
9. 这是一个安排有序的地方吗?

Does the interview start on time? There could be legitimate reasons for lateness, but if your potential boss is late and doesn’t apologize, this is a red flag.

You’ll also be able to determine whether this is an organized place by the way the interview is conducted. Is your interviewer prepared and focused on you? Or is he or she distracted with calls and hand-held devices? Even in a busy workplace where constant calls and message checking is normal, your interviewer should have arranged uninterrupted time for the interview. Failure to do so is a bad sign.


10. What is the culture and environment like?
10. 文化和氛围如何?

Are people allowed to personalize their office or cubicle space? Does the environment look sterile and devoid of personality? If you get a chance, try and check out a few off the beaten path rooms such as a meeting room, lunchroom and even the washroom. These communal spaces can often speak volumes about a work environment and culture. Often meeting rooms or lunch rooms are places where organizations let their personalities shine through a little more. Is the meeting room look like a place designed to encourage conversation and innovation? Are there fun posters in the lunch room and announcements about outside activities--or is there an angryscolding note chastising someone for not cleaning their dishes?


11. How do employees dress?
11. 员工的着装如何?

Maybe you like a formal setting where people wear suits, or maybe you prefer a casual setting with less formal dress. Observe what everyone is wearing, and determine whether you’d be comfortable in that attire every day.


12. What is the physical layout of the office?
12. 办公室的布局怎么样?

This can also be critical for a lot of people, so take the time to check out whether there’s an open door policy, or an open office concept. Again, some people hate open offices, others love them, so it’s about what is right for you. Maybe the office is a cube farm. How do you perform in that type of setting? These are things to take note of when you go in for your interview.


13. How do managers interact with employees?
13. 管理者如何和员工互动?

Although it can be hard to determine sometimes, if you have the opportunity, try to get a sense of how supervisors and managers interact with employees. This can be very telling as to the kind of environment. It can send subtle clues as to how hierarchical the work environment is or how oppressive it may feel.


14. Is everyone busy?
14. 是每一个人都很忙吗?

Don’t draw conclusions based on how busy one or two individuals look. Instead, take note of the overall picture. In general, do the employees seem to have a lot of down time? Or are they engaged in work? Do they look too busy, with stacks of papers piled on their desks? If it appears that nobody is working, that may be an indication that business is slow. If everyone looks exhausted and overworked, this could mean the company is understaffed.