How to Evaluate Whether a Workplace is Right for You

September 07, 2021

Susie Woodford

Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Program


Looking for a new job can be stressful and exciting at the same time. Finding the right fit for you is critically important. After all, you’ll be spending a large amount of time in your workplace every week. So while you put your best foot forward for potential employers, don’t forget to also evaluate your employers to decide if the environment will be right for you. Here are things to look for that can help you make that decision:

Job Information

Make sure you understand what will be expected of you. What are the hours? Will you need to work weekends? What is the sick policy? How many vacation hours can you expect? Look for signs that the company culture encourages professional growth and development, such as reimbursement for continuing education classes and other educational opportunities. Some workplaces will pay for advanced degrees as well. The benefits a company offers may give you an idea of the value they place on their employees.

Professional Style

Just as you present yourself in a professional manner, be aware of how the company communicates with you. For example, how long did it take to get a response to your application? If you have an interview scheduled, how long did you wait in the waiting room before being called into the interview? Did the interviewer dress professionally? If you received an email from the hiring manager, what was the tone of the email? How you’re treated in the hiring process can point to how you’d be treated as an employee.

Company Culture

When visiting a potential workplace, observe the environment. Is the facility clean and organized or chaotic and unkempt? Do the employees seem happy or harassed? Is the receptionist friendly and helpful or grumpy and resentful? Is your interviewer energized or haggard? Use these nuggets of information to deduce the workplace culture and ask yourself if you would feel comfortable working there.

Ask Questions

When it’s your turn to ask questions during the interview, ask about things that will give you true insight into what it’s like to work there. Your interviewers want to paint the job and company in a positive light so be specific. Ask what the employee turnover is, how they handle employee conflicts and how new their electronic medical record system is. Ask how they handle specific clerical or clinical processes. Lastly, don’t forget to ask questions about employee reviews, such as how often they occur and who performs the evaluations.

Remember, the application process is just as important for you as it is for a company. Each step provides you with valuable information about how employees communicate, collaborate and do their jobs. If you uncover anything that makes you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to walk away from the opportunity. Taking the time to find the right fit ensures you’ll have a more fulfilling job and career.

Be prepared for the healthcare or nursing job you want. Explore American College of Education’s fully online healthcare and nursing programs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Susie Woodford
Susie Woodford, Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Program

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