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December 10, 2010
I Know My Rights! (Or... How to Interview the Interviewer)
To say times have been bad for new job opportunities for the past two years is quite an understatement.  But the good news is 2011 is shaping up to be very different with most companies in our industry indicating they plan to add staff throughout the year.
With that in mind I'm writing this to tell you it's time to get out of the habit of thinking “I'm just happy to have a job” or “I would take any job that comes my way” and get back in the habit of knowing that you have a right to be happy at work every day and really dig the company you work for.  Hence, it's time to get a little more savvy on evaluating potential employers to make sure you're making a good decision about where you spend the majority of your waking hours each week. 
We all know that your every move during the hiring process is being evaluated – from how you act in the lobby before an interview (always assume you're being observed and that what you do will be noted) to how quickly you send a thank-you note (always within 24 hours, and simply send it via email).  Your actions outside the interview room can sometimes carry more weight in a decision than how you answered the questions!  What to remember now is that you should also evaluate each company and how you're treated from your initial application to the job offer.  What you see while interviewing is likely the company trying to put its best foot forward and if that foot is smelly, ugly and wart-covered you should take note and head for the hills.
In case you're a little rusty when it comes to being choosy, I've come up with a list of your Bill of Rights as a candidate – what you should expect each time you throw your hat in the ring. 

  1. A thoughtful and well-written job ad
  2. A reply to your application – even an auto reply
  3. An interview that doesn't get rescheduled
  4. A prompt greeting upon arrival to the interview
  5. An offer of refreshments while waiting
  6. An on-time start
  7. An interviewer who doesn't check their phone or email during the meeting
  8. An offer to tour the office while on-site
  9. A reply to your thank-you note
  10. A written job offer or correspondence to inform you that you weren't chosen for an offer
The best companies to work for realize they need to promote and care for their brand and that includes caring about any and all potential employees.  Good hunting to you!

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Amy Hoover has been with Talent Zoo for more than 12 years. Considered an industry expert in employment practices and trends, she speaks often at events and is frequently interviewed by industry publications.

Amy was also widely read as the premier blogger on Hiring-Revolution for many years where she earned a reputation for wit, entertainment, information, and no bull. You can find her on Linked, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
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