When a person looks for a place of work, the interview process helps the hiring company learn about them. But it also gives the prospective employee a glimpse into the life of the potential new job.

In the recent past, power seemed to sit in the hands of the company hiring. More people were looking for jobs than there were openings, so companies could afford to be choosy.

Those days are long gone. In October 2022, there were approximately 1.7 job openings for every person seeking employment. That means there are almost twice as many employers looking to hire new workers as there are people to fill those positions. As a result, the job seeker now controls the wheel.

Perhaps you’ve started a new job that seemed full of potential, only to discover that the culture was unwelcoming or even toxic once you started. But, of course, it is unlikely the person interviewing you will share those secrets. So how can you ferret them out?

The savvy potential new hire will ask questions that reveal details about the company culture. The person sitting on the other side of the desk should be prepared to answer questions like these.

  1. Ask what employees find surprising after they begin their new job. The interviewer may reveal something unexpected, in a good or bad way. Either way, you’re more prepared when you show up on day one if you decide to take the job.
  2. Another question is, what is your favorite office tradition? Many companies spend a lot of effort creating a family-type culture with their employees. For example, they may have a yearly picnic or fun things like a Halloween costume contest by departments. Perhaps your group has a potluck lunch once a month. Activities like these help employees get to know each other and create bonds of friendship. Working with people you like and enjoy spending time with is more fun, so it’s good to know the company provides these opportunities.
  3. Ask what the team does for lunch. Maybe everyone brown bags it, and they all take a break at the job site. Perhaps they leave to buy lunch at a local fast-food restaurant. Are you expected to stay? Are you allowed to leave? Is anything ever scheduled with the express purpose of building community? In the grand scheme, a detail like this may seem unimportant, but you’ll spend five days a week with your team. So it would be good to know what to expect and whether it agrees with your personality.
  4. Ask if your team ever does joint events with other departments or teams. Sometimes, you may feel your job duties are isolated from the rest of the company –getting to know other employees and seeing what other departments offer is a plus. Maybe you’ll see an opportunity to provide new ideas or a different point of view.
  5. Ask the interviewer what is different from working here than in other places they’ve worked. A company might rise above the competition if they have differences. It might be salary structure or raises, chances to earn a bonus. It could be a mentorship program between managers and employees that offers help in your growth.
  6. Ask how the company has changed since the interviewer joined. If they haven’t, even after all Covid put the job market through, perhaps they’re not best positioned to adjust if necessary in the coming months. You don’t want to invest your future in a dinosaur.

Gillmann Services wants to help you find the best job for you. We will assist you in your search for companies that best fit your talents and skills – focusing on commercial, industrial, and marine construction. Call us today!