Ensuring that you apply for jobs that match your needs is important; otherwise you could find yourself on the search again in a few months’ time.

Here are some ideas to consider when researching and applying for a new job:

  • Stability and security

Decide whether you are ready to settle into a permanent role to begin your career development or are happy to have a zero hours contact with little security. If you are looking for a stable, secure job, you should be researching and considering the company’s history and future. How long has it been registered as a company? How has it grown in that time? How many employees does it have? And what is its growth plan? If these aren’t questions you can answer through researching online, they are appropriate to ask at interview stage – they show interest and dedication.

  • Opportunity

It is likely that if looking for security you will be hoping to stay with this company for a significant amount of time. You need to know that career progression is available and supported, meaning you would need the opportunity to learn and challenge yourself during your time there. This could be through training, taking on new responsibilities or by development to management. Alongside career progression are relevant salary increases; it may be that the company follows a set salary growth ladder. It is important to know that, with hard work and dedication, opportunities to earn more are available. It is not ideal to ask about salaries in an interview. However, you can be clever by asking about career progression and opportunities, which should give you the answers. It is helpful to know the rate of staff turnover, as this can be a good indication of how career progression is supported.

  • Work/life balance

Alongside your drive to do well in your career, consider the work/life balance the job offers. If you need the hours to be flexible you can request and discuss this before you sign a contract. The sign of a company that respects and empathises with employees is one that offers support for people in need of flexible working. It is helpful to know if there is a lot of overtime expected, how often this is, how it is agreed and if you can claim your time back in lieu or payment.

  • Management

Request an indication of the amount of management support available, depending on the level of job you are applying for. As a new employee it is integral to your success in the role. If you begin on a probation period, how will this work? How are success and concerns communicated? It is helpful to know whether your manager would work in the same building or if support will be through phone/email. You may decide that more face-to-face support is required.

  • Ethical impact

The ethics and views of a business should always be considered. How it treats people will indicate its values and expectations. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure employees behave ethically and treat others with respect, dignity and fairness. This in turn provides a positive workplace, with success and employment satisfaction more likely. The impact the company has on the environment is something to consider. Many companies raise money for charity – this maybe an important factor for you.

  • Diversity

In the current climate and in media discussions it is important to consider the people and make-up of a company. Employing people from a range of backgrounds and genders helps the company to build a strong reputation.

To research particular companies, go online – try Companies House, LinkedIn and the company’s own website.

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Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job

Experts from the best companies in the UK share their experience and advice on how to boss the interview process

interview tips

Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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