The 5 biggest things to look out for in an interview

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Everyone sets out to impress when they’ve been invited to an interview. But something many candidates forget is that the interview process is as much of an opportunity for you to assess an employer as it is for an employer to assess you.
 
While it’s impossible to know exactly what it will be like working for a dealership until you’re in the thick of it, there are some dead giveaways that every candidate needs to look out for throughout the interview process that should set the alarm bells ringing.
 

Next time you’re interviewing for a new job, make sure you ask yourself these five questions that will help you uncover whether working for that employer will really be what you imagine.

How organised were they when setting up the interview?

Fancy working in a disorganised and chaotic environment? It’s not hard to guess what the resounding answer among most candidates would be.
 
While sometimes challenging circumstances can mean an employer needs to reschedule an interview, when it happens multiple times without a valid explanation it could be a sign of disorganisation and a lack of respect for you and your time.
 
It takes a fair bit of organisation and preparation for an applicant to show up to an interview. Getting time away from your current role, lining up childcare or managing other logistical factors can be difficult. If an employer fails to recognise and respect this, it could be an indication of the amount of value they would assign to your time going forward.
 

The same goes for communication. Radio silence for an extended period and failure to keep you in the loop about how the hiring process is progressing could be a sign that they’re either highly disorganised or have an inability to communicate effectively.

The 5 biggest things to look out for in an interview

Did the panellists act respectfully toward each other?

Most dealerships make every effort to present their company in the best possible light during an interview. If you’re noticing some discord or disharmony between members on the interview panel, there’s a good chance that there may be more going on behind the scenes.
 

Look out for things like disagreements, negative body language, panellists interrupting other panellists or one person dominating the conversation. These could all be an indication of underlying tension or morale issues within the dealership.

Did they say anything inappropriate?

Every workplace has its own set of cultural standards that employees need to abide by if they want to be an accepted and respected part of the team. If your cultural expectations align with that of your employer, that’s great! However, a cultural misalignment is essentially doomed from the start.
 
Toxic workplace cultures do exist in every industry, and unfortunately, the dealership industry isn’t immune. As a typically male-dominated industry, many behaviours which wouldn’t be tolerated in other industries have been allowed to exist when they absolutely shouldn’t be.
 
If an employer says anything that you consider to be unprofessional, inappropriate, offensive, racist, sexist or ageist during an interview, your alarm bells should immediately start ringing.
 

While discrimination and offensive behaviour in the workplace is never okay, trying to change an ingrained workplace culture isn’t an easy battle. If something said makes you feel uncomfortable, that should provide a strong indication that you won’t be happy working there.

Could they back up their claims with evidence?

It’s not uncommon for employers to say things in a job advertisement like “we value diversity and inclusion”, “we are a family-friendly workplace” or “we foster a culture of innovation”.
 
While these all sound great and could help to attract you to apply for a role, make sure they’re not just talking the talk and are actually walking the walk.
 
If a value or practice they’re promoting is important to you, get them to back up their claims with practical examples by asking questions like “Does the company have a diversity and inclusion policy”, “What initiatives do you have in place to support employees with children” or “what innovative projects do you have on the go at present”.
 

If they struggle to provide a solid response, there’s a good chance they might not be putting thought into real action.

How lengthy was the interview process?

Finally, it’s also important to consider how drawn-out the interview process was.
 
A dealership that conducts an excessive number of interviews, wants to interview an unnecessary number of candidates, or takes far longer to decide on a candidate than what you would expect could be an indication of a management team which is indecisive or struggles to reach consensus among key stakeholders. It could also be a sign that the dealership struggles to drive initiatives to completion.
 

While the comprehensiveness of the interview process will vary depending on the nature and complexity of the role being filled, you can generally expect an interview process to be completed within one to three weeks—anything longer than that could be concerning.

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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