Employers looking to hire staff in a small size company often worry that candidates coming from a much larger company may struggle to settle into a smaller, more intimate environment despite the many benefits on offer. The interviewer, often the company owner, will really need to be convinced of 3 things during the interview:
That you have the skills and qualifications to do the job
That you will be a good cultural fit (See Also: 5 Sneaky Ways to Research Company Culture)
That you will stay for a reasonable period of time and not take off as soon as an offer from a larger company comes up
The first one is pretty easy. If you don’t have the skills and experience, you won’t make it to the interview stage. Small business owners do not have time to waste. The next 2 are a bit harder to prove. You need to make your answers sound like the smaller company environment is the sort of place where you will be happy and will flourish without being negative about your current role.
What To Say When Applying For A Job At A Small Company
- Broader Experience
A smaller environment will allow you to get involved in a huge range of tasks not just the specifics of your job description. This will give you a broader range of business experience and greater opportunities for learning overall.
This type of answer indirectly implies that you are self motivated and a team player which is exactly the sort of person smaller companies look for.
- Greater Influence
A smaller company will give you the opportunity to have a greater influence over the decision making process by having more direct contact with key management and the company owner/s. This valuable insight into into how the whole picture fits together will help you broaden your strategic thinking skills.
You can slo use this type of answer to highlight strengths such as creativity and initiative which will be truly appreciated in a smaller workplace.
- Team Spirit
It is very important to mention the culture and team spirit, you can just casually drop it in with one of the other points if you feel it sounds odd on its own. Make sure they understand that you are excited to be part of a dynamic team with a close knit culture.
You can highlight this by explaining that you don’t like to work in isolation, you thrive when you are part of a team and you share common goals and that you are highly adaptable and open to change.
- Make A Difference
In a smaller company, your contributions feel more ‘real’. Your actions can have a real and visible impact on the company and they are easily recognisable.
This shows you are not afraid of accountability and that you are transparent in your actions and motivations.
- Fast Pace
Smaller companies often have less red tape and less process and procedure. Even though this can have it’s drawbacks, you need to focus on how this creates a faster turnaround and response time for most actions.
You can also mention that less people involved in the process means less bureaucracy thus allowing innovation to flourish.
As you can see there are many benefits to joining a smaller work environment. You need to make sure that you would honestly be happy in this kind of environment and that the salary and benefits meet your needs. Once you are clear on these factors you will need to work hard to convince the employer that you are the right fit for their team. Remember, it’s less about the role and more about the cultural fit.
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