Congratulations, you got that interview at the company headquarters!
As you pull into the parking lot, you ask yourself, “What would it be like to work here?”
Here are 6 signs you are about to interview at a servant leadership company.
- Visitors Get the Good Parking, Executives Don’t. Is visitor parking the best in the lot? If so, it suggests the company is welcoming and values outside relationships. That’s good. But if the best parking is reserved for the company executives, it suggests executive feet are more valuable than other feet. That’s bad. An executive practicing servant leadership would be embarrassed to have the best spot in the lot.
- The Receptionist is Friendly. You walk up to the receptionist, introduce yourself and state your purpose. How does the receptionist respond? Is he smiling and friendly? Is he expecting you? Good signs. As the public face of the company, the receptionist may be the single most important indicator of company culture. Consider it a bad sign if the receptionist looks bothered to see you, takes a personal call or has a bureaucratic demeanor.
- People Look to Be Enjoying Themselves. It’s a good idea to get to an interview early, if for no other reason than to do some investigative people watching. Are people smiling or frowning? Is there a bounce in their steps or do they trudge? If it’s lunchtime, are they in groups or alone? Do they exchange greetings with the receptionist? And here’s an especially good sign: the people coming and going stop and say hello to you!
- The Company Mission, Vision and Values Are Prominently Displayed. As you sit in the reception area, look around and see how the company displays mission, vision and values statements. If a company is proud of these things, it would reasonable to expect it to be bragging about them. And if there is no mention of mission, vision or values – nothing to tell the public that the company is purpose driven? Bad sign.
- You See More Pictures of People Than Things. When we visited the headquarters of great servant leadership companies like Southwest Airlines and TDIndustries, we could not help noticing how many pictures of people – their people – hung on the walls. This tells us that people are valued above all else. That’s a good servant leadership sign.
- You Are Not Made to Wait. You know what the company is telling you if you are ushered to your ten o’clock interview at ten-fifteen? The company is telling you that your time is not as important as someone higher up. Period. Being kept waiting is a truly bad sign. It’s a classic power move. Remember, the company is never going to be on better behavior than it is during your interview process.
OK, now you are being brought to your interview – right on time. Good luck!
If you have items to add to this list, let us know.