Starting a new job presents many challenges, including a new commute, handling new responsibilities and interacting with different people. How do you know if a dealership is the right fit for you? Take the following factors into account so you can make the best decision for yourself and your career.
1. Envision Yourself in the Job Description
The duties of a car salesperson look relatively similar from dealership to dealership, but each location has its own variables that could add a new wrinkle to the job. Carefully read the job description to see if any such variables stand out.
As you read through the description, first check off the big-picture stuff. Can you comfortably manage the commute? Do the hours give you ample time to handle your non-work responsibilities? If the company provided a salary, does that number allow you to make a decent living? Is it an upgrade from your last position?
Next, inspect the company’s work environment. Does the description say anything about culture or values? If it doesn’t, that’s a major red flag. A company with a supportive culture and strong values is always happy to promote those things to potential employees.
What about the day-to-day tasks? Can you envision yourself completing each one? Does this dealership present any new challenges that you haven’t experienced before? If you’re lacking in experience, that’s okay. You don’t need to fit the description to a tee. Just make sure you have the confidence and people skills to adapt to whatever situation may arise.
2. Observe the Interview Process
You should also take careful notes throughout the interview process. Although you’re the one being interviewed, the dealership must also show competence and professionalism during your first interactions. Pay close attention to their choice of language and communication methods.
Many companies have ditched the corporate culture in favour of a more informal, supportive environment, but the fundamentals of decent business etiquette still remain. Do they treat you with respect? Do they respond to your messages in a timely manner?
As you move further along, you should use the same language and tones that the dealership uses. See if you feel comfortable adopting their voice. Also, take note of how long they use automated emails. If they still use automated messaging to communicate with you past the first stage, they don’t put much effort into recruiting new employees. Personalised messaging is a sign of a thoughtful and detail-oriented company.
How the dealership handles rejections also says a lot about their culture. If they give you a considerate message and leave the door open for a future opportunity, it’s a good idea to maintain correspondence with them. Don’t burn your bridges!
3. Talk to Other Sources
Before you make your final choice, try to get in touch with employees, customers or anyone who has associated with the dealership in the past. Third-party opinions take your personal biases out of the equation and allow you to make a more informed decision.
You should also read company reviews on job boards and see if anything stands out. You can get great insight into the work environment, co-workers, management and other influential factors.
Reviews are valuable resources, but some of them might not paint the dealership in an accurate light. A recently fired employee might leave a negative review because they’re upset, or a customer might give the dealership a poor rating because they had a bad day.
On the flip side, some desperate companies create fake accounts to leave five-star reviews and generic comments about how great the company is. Keep a reasonable level of scepticism and try to weed out these fake reviews, whether positive or negative.
4. Inspect the Dealership’s Conditions
Word of mouth and online reviews only carry so much credibility, so the best thing you can do is get a first-hand account of the dealership’s environment. Take a stroll around the property and observe the scene.
Start with the basic working conditions. Do all the cars look new and display-worthy for customers? Are the signs and decorations up-to-date? Are the facilities clean and functional? These factors can significantly impact your ability to do your job well.
What about accessibility? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires businesses with over 15 employees to have entrances, pathways, parking options and other ADA-compliant features available so they can accommodate all customers.
An in-person inspection also gives you an opportunity to meet potential co-workers and get first-hand information about the dealership’s current situation and outlook for the future. If the employees appear aloof and disinterested, you might want to look elsewhere. If they’re lively and engaged, sales are probably going well, and there’s room for you to join.
5. Consider the Opportunities for Advancement
Career advancement is another essential factor you should consider before joining a new dealership. Sometimes the job description will provide a detailed outline of the company’s promotion plan, but you should be wary of these outlines. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are.
Make sure to ask about advancement opportunities during the interview process or find the information elsewhere. You don’t want to get trapped in a “dead-end job.” You want a position that allows you to grow, whether within the company or elsewhere.
A coach/supervisor, training programme and quantifiable goals are all key elements you should look for. If the dealership has already outlined the first few months of the job, they probably want to keep you around and have plans for your progression.
Introspection is Key
The information you obtain from the job description, interview process, online reviews and other resources will help push you in the right direction, but this information won’t always be objective. In the end, choosing a new job is a matter of deep introspection. How do you fit in at the dealership? Will the dealership help you improve? You’ll never truly know until you try. Evaluate your situation and make a judgement call.
Oscar Collins is the founder and editor-in-chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates from the Modded team.