When interviewing with a company, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for red flags. Examples of these can include a company having high employee turnover, offering salaries below the market rate or having negative reviews on sites such as Glassdoor.

Having said that, as important as it is to identify what sorts of things you don’t want in an employer, you should also consider the things you do want to see or “green flags” that make a company attractive to join.

While your green flags might look different from your classmates or friends, there are some common themes that tend to appeal to candidates across the board which you should definitely keep an eye out for.

From company culture to opportunities for growth, here are the top things to keep in mind when deciding between potential employers.

‍1. Do the company’s values align with yours?

There are few things better than working for a company that values the same things you do. This is because working for a company is about a lot more than just the hours you put in each day. 

Whether it's their core values, charities they partner with or CSR initiatives, it's important to feel that you and your potential employer stand for the same things and that you can build a lasting relationship. 

Researching the company website or social media pages will provide a great starting point but don't be afraid to ask questions throughout the application process to see if they practice what they preach.

2. Does the company culture fit your personality?

Many modern companies often prioritise finding candidates who they think would be a strong cultural fit. In fact, there are some specific questions they ask in the interview process to try and find out how your personality aligns with their culture. 

For example, if you’re more comfortable in a relaxed environment than a conservative one, a company with an uptight corporate culture might not be a great fit for you. Before committing to a company, take the time to assess not only how you’d fit in at the company but how the company culture would fit you.

3. Would you enjoy working with your colleagues?

Irrespective of whether you’re taking an internship or a full-time job, you’re going to be spending a significant amount of your week (roughly 25%) with your colleagues. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that they are the kind of people you’ll enjoy working with. 

Take some time during the interview process to ask your potential future colleagues questions about their ideal working environment, what their favourite thing is about working at the company and any other questions you think will give you an insight into their personality.

4. Will there be opportunities to learn?

Having the chance to learn new things is important at any stage of your career, but it’s particularly crucial when you’re just starting out. For that reason, finding an internship or full-time job that allows you to learn as much as possible is key to the development of your career.

Make sure you ask throughout the interview process not only what the onboarding process and training are like should you join, but also whether they offer ongoing learning and development for their employees. 

5. Is there room for progression?

As well as offering you opportunities to learn about the industry, a great company should also provide you with clear advancement opportunities. 

This is especially important in the case of internships or entry-level jobs because the opportunity for a promotion (or a full-time job) is a great incentive to learn as much as possible and prove your commitment to the team and the company.

6. Will your managers make you feel appreciated?

Feeling appreciated is an important part of your working life. While they are nice, appreciation doesn’t necessarily come in the form of weekly happy hours, free daily lunches or boxes of company swag. 

What you should focus on here is if the employer makes you feel valued by fostering an environment where you get positive feedback and are supported in your efforts to learn, improve and excel in your role.

8. Does the company set you up for success?

Inevitably, a lot of your professional development will depend on you. However, there are some things your employer can do to set you up for success. 

These can include organising goal-setting exercises, running training sessions, pairing you with a senior peer and giving feedback regularly on how you’re performing. 

9. Will the job teach you transferrable skills?

In addition to offering training for your current role, a great company will set you up for success by teaching you transferrable skills that you can use in any future positions. 

When applying for a job, ask yourself what you can learn from the role and don’t be afraid to discuss training opportunities and skill-building during your interview.

10. Will you be challenged in a positive way?

Last but certainly not least, you need to consider whether the role will provide you with a challenge. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to acquire new skills and derive a sense of meaning from the work you do. 

Try to find companies that make you feel enthusiastic about taking on new challenges and offer the support you need to turn those challenges into wins and positive learning experiences.