In the film the “Devil Wears Prada” you will hear the phrase “look who is drinking the Kool Aid”. I know I have heard it used a lot more since then. What does it mean to you? The most important questions you should ask, may be: Do you want to avoid it or embrace it?

Let’s talk about how it relates to your job search and what it really means. Drinking the Kool Aid begs you to ask the question, “Will I fit into the corporate culture of the firm I am about to interview with?” We all know you can love your job, but if the people you work with leave something to be desired, it’s a problem. If you wouldn’t stay in a dysfunctional relationship in your personal life, then why would you ever stay in one in your professional life? The economy perhaps? The fear of change? I wonder how many people love their job but can live without the people they spend more time with than their own loved ones. SearchGroup500 wants to help you ask all the right questions if you are going out on an interview without using a Recruiter. Clearly it is important to talk about culture, but even more important to “frame” your questions in such a way that you get an honest and direct answer without the potential employer losing interest in your candidacy. If you are using a Recruiter, it has been my experience you will hear things like, “it’s a great company” or “you will love the people” and a battery of other assumptions. How do they know? They barely know you! I recently worked with a candidate who was with the same firm for 6 years and just has an outstanding background. He went to a very large financial firm in Boston and after several interviews loved the thought of a new opportunity and jumped at the offer. He was not using a Recruiter, but thought since he had been in the job force for many years, he would be fine. I tend to disagree with him. When he got settled into his new role not even a month had gone by and the people who interviewed him clearly had their game face on when they first met him. He started to wonder: Who are these people? What happened to the nice group that interviewed me? My response is, he met what I like to call the “representatives“. Let’s face it, in all walks of life, when you first meet somebody, do you really know who they are and what they stand for. I would say NO! It takes time to get to know a person and if you are trying to do this during the interview process, then you better be asking the right questions or you are going to be in a firm with lousy Kool Aid (for you) and then what? Now you have been employed for 3 months and you want out. What is your next employer going to think?

I can not stress enough how important it is to not only find the right role but it MUST be at the right firm.