We’ve all heard “the new normal” more times than we can count. When it comes to the workplace, so much has evolved since the start of the pandemic. Organizations are changing the way they work, and candidates are in the driver’s seat. However, the interview process and the questions asked have remained the same.

“Tell me about your culture.” “What’s your leadership style?” These are important questions that speak to the longevity of your time at a potential employer. But, what about the details of your day-to-day?

Use All Your Senses

The spectrum for remote and hybrid working environments between employers can vary greatly. The office environment can be one of the most overlooked aspects of business. In your interviews, go beyond the questions about ping pong tables and lounge areas (although those are great additions) to ask about details that can affect your environment specifically. Will you have an office or a cubicle? Are there individual pods? How do they set up employees for successful collaboration? Does the office support the inclusion of any personal needs you may require? Request an in-person visit for the full experience. Discovering these details can help you understand if this is the right fit for you.

A woman pets a husky dog while seated in her home office
Dig Deep to Find Company Perks

It’s time to ask about the hidden gems offered by the employer. In fact, you should be asking every employee you speak with about their favorite company perk. Some companies offer wellness benefits that give you hundreds of dollars just for getting an annual physical. Do they partner with local or national companies that offer discounts to employees? There are countless hidden gems in benefit plans all the time – can they speak to any of them? Tally up the company perks to have a greater understanding of the value you get outside standard compensation. Additionally, this can tell you how well the company communicates their perks.

Get the Scoop on Meetings

We’ve lived through it all! Meetings about meetings, not being able to meet enough, Zoom fatigue, or blocking time on calendars just to get work done. What your day-to-day looks like can be determined by  the meeting cadence set by collaborating partners, the department, and the hiring manager. First, it’s important to understand what you consider ideal. Do you prefer working independently, finding the right balance, or staying busy? If the hiring manager says they block time on their calendars so they can get work done, you can expect that their day – and most likely yours – will be filled with meetings. How many weekly or bi-weekly video calls can you expect from the hiring manager, immediate teams, partners, and the entire department? If meetings are sparse, can you request to participate in other meetings that will benefit your contributions to the organization? Get the scoop!

A group of diverse working women collaborate in a conference room


Award a Job Well Done

Beyond a standard recognition program – which every employer should have and promote – how do they celebrate employees? If their enterprise-wide program is points-based, are executives the only ones able to award points, or can colleagues do this as well? How do they recognize individual and team performance on a local and national level? What sort of events and team building activities have they done in the past and are planning on in the future?

Thirty minutes to an hour with a hiring manager is not much to understand if you’re making the right move. Don’t hold back if you feel you need more time. Remember that you’re interviewing the employer as much as they’re interviewing you. Considering the blurred lines between work and life, it’s important to have a holistic understanding of what your employee experience will be.

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