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  • Writer's pictureRenata Bernarde

Navigating Career Challenges

Episode 209 - Assessing company culture during interviews, giving feedback, and finding a mentor: some great career questions answered

Episode 209 - Assessing company culture during interviews, giving feedback, and finding a mentor: some great career questions answered

In this episode, we delve into some popular career topics that many professionals often grapple with. From seeking mentorship and providing feedback to understanding workplace culture and preparing for interviews, we cover it all. Below, I have listed the questions and summarized my answers. But please, listen to the full episode for more contexts and personal anecdotes on each of these important topics.

1. The LinkedIn Open for Work Indicator: Yes or No?


Question from Eric: What's your view on the public "open for work" indicator on LinkedIn? Should it be on or off, especially when targeting specific recruiters and not being currently employed?

My answer: The "open for work" indicator can indeed be a double-edged sword. Keeping it on for recruiters and off for public view might be a strategic move, especially if you're targeting specific roles or industries. Listen to the podcast episode to hear me talk about the exemptions to this "rule".

2. Decoding Company Culture During Interviews


Question from Sally: How does one subtly deduce culture during the interviewing stage?

My answer: Gauging a company's culture during the recruitment process, which includes the job interview stage, can be subtle yet revealing. Look for clues in how recruiters and interviewers interact with you and each other, the questions they ask, and even the office environment. Additionally, ask questions about team collaboration, company values, and growth opportunities to get insights into the organization's culture. In the episode I share a few personal experiences that may resonate with you.

3. Seeking Mentorship from a Former Manager


Gaining mentorship can accelerate your career growth. Before you reach out, follow this step-by-step guide:

  • Start with self-reflection

  • Choose the right communication medium that your mentor prefers (not you!)

  • Express gratitude

  • Provide a clear, concise request

  • Pick an inviting subject line if you're sending an email

  • Stay flexible in your mentorship format

  • Offer to reciprocate with skills or insights

  • Exhibit patience and professionalism

4. Delivering Feedback Using the BIS Model


Feedback is crucial for personal and professional growth. The Behavior, Impact, and Suggestion (BIS) model offers an effective approach:

  • Describe the observed behavior

  • Convey its impact

  • Offer a suggestion for improvement

This structured approach depersonalizes feedback, making it constructive and actionable.

5. Determining Interview or Job Attire


When in doubt about what to wear for an interview or the first day at a new job, consider observing the office environment. Perhaps, have a coffee nearby during peak office hours to get a sense of the usual attire.

6. Making the Most of a Break to Boost your Job Search


If you've taken a week off to focus on job applications:

  • Focus on quality over quantity: Aim for up to four well-researched applications

  • Use platforms like Glassdoor and LinkedIn for company insights

  • Practice for future job interviews and familiarize yourself with the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) concept for answering questions

  • Recommendation: Consider resources like "Reset Your Career" for templates and guidance to make the most of your career break

Thank you for tuning in to this Q&A episode of The Job Hunting Podcast. If you have further questions or topics you'd like covered, don't hesitate to reach out. Until next time, keep navigating your career with clarity and confidence!


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