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Job Search & Interview Advice

Landed an exciting job opportunity and preparing to impress the company in your interview? Great news — but remember this stage of your search is just as much about gauging whether a company is the right fit for you and your needs.

From fulfilling your basic needs through salary to establishing a sense of self-fulfilment, it’s a business's duty to help you feel safe, secure, and happy in your role. In this article, we outline the following benefits you should discuss in your interview:

  • Flexible hours:to accommodate your WFH lifestyle
  • Travel arrangements:to help with your commute
  • Regular socials:to help build camaraderie with your colleagues

While some highly-requested perks like a four-day workweek feel like finding a needle in a haystack, these benefits are more widespread amongst successful businesses and can improve your professional life right here, right now.

Read on as we learn the state of the job market and learn all about the benefits you should be asking about during your interview. 

Flexible hours: to accommodate your WFH lifestyle

For many years flexible working hours have been among employees most desired benefits, but only during the pandemic have we seen it rolled out beyond those caring for children or otherwise unable to get to the office.

Raising the issue of flexible hours during an interview is important not simply because it’s a desirable perk, but it’s also a good indicator of whether a company is willing to fit into your life rather than take it over.

During the pandemic, businesses that were quick to acknowledge and respect employees’ home lives have made a successful transition to remote working. After all, there have been many distractions and responsibilities to face at home other than work, including:

  • Homeschooling
  • Maintaining regular exercise
  • Caring for family pets

These pressures aren’t necessarily going to disappear with the pandemic, and in the case of exercise, it’s likely that the benefit of fitting in some gym time will help our wellbeing going forward, thereby allowing us to perform at work.

So long as you’re committed to your contracted hours, don’t miss deadlines, and turn up to meetings, it shouldn’t matter what time you start or finish for the day.

Moreover, consider asking your interviewers how they feel about the work-life balance afforded to them — this could be a make or break question depending on their answer.

Travel arrangements: to help with your commute

Some of you might be applying for roles in the fulfilment industry; others will perhaps be expected to commute over long distances to arrive at your place of work — but all will need some sort of assistance when it comes to making travel arrangements.

Without having a supporting travel scheme in place, your prospective employer could be making your job more hassle than it’s worth. After all, being both a physical and financial burden, running costs are a heavy price to pay.

Making travel arrangements a key point of discussion during your interview helps indicate whether a certain job opportunity makes logistical sense. Here are some common (and beneficial) travel perks offered by businesses you should listen out for:

  • Public transport allowances: businesses offer to subsidise your travel by providing an allowance, usually by topping up an existing scheme such as the Oyster cards operated by Transport for London — this is especially useful if you don’t drive or live in a city.
  • Vehicle leasing:along the lines of providing a company car, businesses cover general running costs via fuel cards, like this Esso fuel card reviewed by iCompario*, to ease the financial burden of travel — plus, you get to show off and enjoy a shiny new car.
  • Cycle to work:as modern workers become more environmentally conscious, businesses commonly offer cycle schemes, like the one here by Cyclesheme, to make high-end bicycles more affordable to the average employee — this means you could be riding an e-bike for free.

Travel perks come in all shapes and sizes, but whatever your prospective employers offer in the interview, make sure it removes the worry of getting to work and puts your salary to better use.

Regular socials: to help build camaraderie with your colleagues

Enjoying the business culture and the company of those you work with is an important part of your job search. While you may find it hard to gauge whether your personality is the right fit during an interview, you can get a good idea by asking your prospective employers about the social activities they run (even if it is the odd Zoom call amidst the pandemic).

For example, if you’re not a big drinker and much of the conversation surrounds trips to a bar, then such a place might not be for you. Equally, if you do enjoy a night out then this could be a benefit that helps you get to know colleagues and build camaraderie.

Here are some other examples of popular work socials to listen out for:

  • Escape rooms
  • Go-karting
  • Quiz nights

The key is to listen out for a social life that you feel is suited to your personality — this will help you settle in much quicker if you’re offered the position.

Work perks and benefits are a great way for businesses to attract applicants, but don’t get caught up in the jargon and make it clear what matters to you as the candidate. What a business offers is an indicator of whether or not the role makes sense for you — and the interview stage is your opportunity to ask the right questions. 

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* iCompario is the free online marketplace for business products and services, where managers and owners can research and rapidly compare fuel cards, vehicle tracking systems, telecoms and other essentials.

** Note: links to third party websites are not recommendations by Allthetopbananas.com.