Why you need to ask hard-hitting questions in the job interview

The sudden change in the labor market

When looking for a new job, ask tough questions during the interview. The goal is to find out the truth about what is really going on in the company. Rising inflation, war, rising costs, supply chain disruptions, layoffs and rising interest rates will weigh on the economy. In the future, it will not be so easy to find a new job.

The extremely hot job market – in the tech sector, venture capital-backed startups and the cryptocurrency space – has cooled sharply. About 17,000 jobs have been cut in the technology sector. The fall in cryptocurrency prices has led to major layoffs in the digital asset space. Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency platforms, recently laid off about 1,100 people and rescinded job offers made to candidates. Their reasoning, in part, was due to current market conditions and concerns about future events, deeming it fiscally prudent to cut hiring. BlockFi, Crypto.comand Gemini along with other crypto companies have collectively cut about two thousand jobs in what has been called a “crypto winter.”

The sudden change in fortune is a cautionary tale for job seekers. The takeaway is that you can no longer blindly place your trust in companies and their pitch. Their public relations teams brag about their success. On social networks, everything is going well. To gain a true understanding of what’s going on below the surface, you’ll need to dig deep behind the hype.

Trust, but verify the veracity of what people say

The vast majority of HR professionals, recruiters, and others involved in the hiring process are decent and honorable people. They seek to attract, recruit, integrate and retain the best talent. That doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Everyone has a vested interest in the hiring process.

Recruiters want to make a placement and earn their juicy commissions. Internal corporate talent acquisition recruiters must fill seats and appease hiring managers who complain to their bosses that they are not getting a sufficient flow of suitable and suitable candidates within the allocated budget.

The reality of business is that people sometimes take shortcuts and hide the truth. For example, real estate salespeople extol the virtues of the home they’re listing, but conveniently forget to mention twenty-year-old leaky roofs, flooded basements in a storm, and next-door neighbors. organize loud and wild parties. every weekend. Likewise, recruiters, HR, hiring managers, and others involved in the hiring process may “inadvertently” overlook some of the downsides of working at the company.

Avoid job change regrets

At the height of the Great Quit, when four million Americans quit their jobs almost every month, people succumbed to fear of missing out (FOMO) and felt social pressure to change jobs to keep up. their colleagues who bragged. on the amount of money they received with their new job offer.

Several surveys have shown that people regret changing jobs within 90 days. The regret could have been because recruiters, interviewers, and hiring managers provided too rosy an image in an effort to attract candidates when the market was hot. Job seekers may have overlooked landmines because FOMO has blinded them in their quest for a substantial increase in compensation when they change jobs. Looking back, many job seekers realized too late that they should have done more due diligence on new opportunities.

They didn’t question or push back against the wonderful things recruiters, interviewers, and hiring managers told them. For a few thousand extra dollars, they dive headfirst into the bottom of the pool, without really knowing how to swim.

Questions for human resources

To make sure you won’t regret a job change later, it’s imperative to ask tough questions in interviews. Naturally, this puts you in an awkward position. You want to be liked by your future supervisor and not seem pushy or demanding. It’s reasonable for you to feel uncomfortable digging deep with probing questions that might sound like you don’t trust the company and doubt their sales pitch.

In light of the expected downturn in the job market, a candidate needs to know the truth about what’s going on right now and where they think the business is heading. Some of the fundamental basic questions during an HR interview include asking about salary range, bonus potential, and stock options. Find out whether or not there will be opportunities for promotion or the ability to rotate within the company in a lateral internal move.

You need to find out why the position is available and how long it has been open. It could be a red flag if no one accepts the role after three to six months. A more informed decision could be made if you were told what happened to the last person who held the position. The turnover within the group and the company as a whole could be a red flag if the employees do not stay too long.

It is fair and reasonable to talk about corporate culture. Find out if there is a toxic environment, if long hours are demanded, if the leadership supports the division you are considering joining, and if people are happy and empowered.

What you want to know about the hiring manager and the job

It’s okay for hiring managers to ask invasive questions about a candidate’s skills, background, education, previous experience, and relationship with their boss and co-workers. The same should be true for job seekers.

It’s only fair that you ask about your future boss. Feel free to say, “Could you please tell me about the hiring manager?” In the same way you offer your experience, the manager should share his experiences, where he went to school, how long he has been in the organization, is he valued by leadership, does he feel fulfilled and does he like his job.

The human resources department should share what is in the files of the potential supervisor. You better learn from the start that the boss scolds his team in public, has a reputation for being a bully, bullies staff members, and is known to be a mean and vindictive bully. You don’t want to be surprised after a few weeks at the new job that this critical information hasn’t been provided, and you’re stuck in a precarious position. You’ll have to decide whether to hold on so you don’t look like you’re jumping too much or cut your losses and quit with no other work in hand.

Here is a short list of questions you might ask during the hiring process

  • What happened to the last employee who held the position?
  • Was the person fired or promoted?
  • How long has the supervisor been with the company?
  • What is the average length of stay in the company?
  • Could you please share the company’s long term plans?
  • Does the company offer mentoring, coaching, training and development?
  • Learn about the expectations for the job and what you need to do to be successful.
  • What are my daily responsibilities?
  • It would be helpful to talk with colleagues and people you will interact with on a regular basis. Ask if meetings could be arranged with them.
  • What are the fundamental values ​​and principles of the company?
  • Will there be a chance for advancement? Can you please describe my potential career trajectory to me?
  • Are there fixed timelines for performance reviews and opportunities to receive salary increases, especially in this time of high inflation?
  • Could you tell me about work-life balance and what the organization is doing to help employees deal with issues of mental health, emotional well-being and burnout.
  • Everyone has their own working style preference. To avoid a bad surprise, find out if you will work remotely, hybrid, in the office, benefit from flexibility, have the possibility of becoming a digital nomad or move to a cheaper place for the same salary.
  • If the work is remote, how can you make sure I won’t be seen as a second-class citizen?
  • In a hybrid role, is there a guarantee that I won’t be required to work in the office for five days in the future?

In addition to asking questions during the interview phase, do a deep dive into the company. Scour the internet and social media to find out what others are saying about the organization. See if you can locate people you know who work there and ask if they have a few minutes to chat and offer some insider information.

When the labor market is hot and jobs are plentiful, the downside risk is not too great. In a robust economy, you can easily land another job. When circumstances begin to unravel with runaway inflation, likely recession, possible stagflation, announcements of downsizing and hiring freezes, you need to do your homework and ask hard-hitting questions to make sure you know. what you’re getting yourself into.

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