My first day at Metis was a photo shoot. I mean it; I happened to join the team the day it revamped its portfolio of headshots and team photos, so I got to know my new coworkers on the fly and smiled through a number of posed shots around our neighborhood along the way. Thankfully, the end of the ensuing company game night found me looking forward to day two, rather than cringing about how my photos would probably come out. I left with a sense of our company culture, and knew it was an environment I could get used to. People can prepare for new job interviews by studying the company’s messaging, reading up on its executive team and learning details about the office’s surrounding area, and still forget to focus on one of the most important parts of a successful career: finding an environment that encourages you to be productive, collaborative and produce your best work. Next time you’re on your way into a big interview, keep the below details in mind to make sure your search for a culture fit won’t be unrequited. Know your surroundings. Research and ask for details about the best nearby lunch spots, how employees commute to the office and whether the company honors remote working benefits. You’ll get a more complete sense of the day-to-day lives of your future colleagues, and how you might feel about adopting those habits as your own. Check the dress code. Once, in college, a friend asked my opinion of her interview outfit: a short skirt, asymmetrical top and cropped jacket. I told her she should probably wear a suit, and she said “Are you kidding? This interview is for a fashion designer’s assistant. I need to look the part.” Take note of the surroundings in your prospective new office, and ask yourself if you’ll feel comfortable in them. Personally, I prefer working in an environment where formal clothes are a personal choice, rather than an enforced one. What really matters is the results you achieve. Learn how you can grow. Sometimes you’ll walk into an interview and realize the position in question is a dead-end job. Or, you’ll see growth opportunities resonating among the existing team, and begin mapping out doors that can open for you as well. If you’re in a situation where you recognize the latter, show your interviewer you can be a long-term investment to the team. Get ready to pitch. This is the point of the interview, right? Familiarize yourself with the company’s client roster so you’re prepared with actionable ideas. PR is a fast-paced industry where creativity is appreciated. If you want to make magic happen for your clients and get recognized for your contributions, you need to start somewhere.
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