The seismic shift during the last two years has turned the labor market on its head. Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports nearly 11 million jobs available, with almost two job openings for every unemployed American. This gap is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, despite fears of a looming recession, and is confirmed by new data from Employ Inc.
According to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, nearly half of workers are actively looking for a new job or planning to within the next year, providing an excellent job outlook for college graduates and Gen Z workers. As a result, candidates have made it clear they want more from employers and are empowered to ask for it. And with candidates in firm control of the market, it’s more important than ever to determine if available roles align with expectations and preferences in the workplace. And the best way to do this is during the job interview.
Near the end of the interview, the hiring manager will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” This presents an excellent opportunity to better understand whether the job is a good fit and highlight your enthusiasm for the role. By asking the right, practical questions, you’ll set yourself apart in the interview process and ensure you have the correct information before accepting a job.
Effective questions to end a job interview:
“What motivates you [Hiring Manager] to stay on the team at [Company]?”
One of the most important factors for college graduates and Gen-Z workers looking for a job is to be satisfied with their future employment. New research reveals that workers are more likely to walk away from a job if they are not content with their work environment, supervisors, or daily tasks. What’s more, Employ data shows that 32% of workers would quit a job without having another one lined up if they don’t feel content or fulfilled with their job.
By asking this question, it presents the opportunity to uncover why you might want to join that organization. It also shows that you’re not just looking for any job but also care about finding the right cultural fit, which is crucial for staying in a long-term position. According to Employ data, 21% of job seekers cited poor company culture as the top reason for leaving a job in the last 12 months.
Further, understanding why the hiring manager is committed to their team can go a long way toward seeing what elements are the most exciting about the job opportunity. This question is also reasonable to ask multiple team members to help gather a census on the type of sentiment across the organization.
“What has the company implemented to help drive improvement in the organization?”
This question is intentionally broad because job seekers interview with companies in various sectors with a spectrum of long-term goals and the answers will be very different.
For instance, in an interview with a non-profit organization, it’s important to learn about how they’re improving the yield of their donations, growing their donor base, or creating efficiency that reduces overhead costs. Conversely, in an interview with a technology company building toward a successful exit, candidates are looking for answers that help drive revenue, improve product adoption, enhance product-market fit, or benefit customer retention.
This question can also correlate to the initiatives implemented to build the company culture or improve the well-being of its employees, such as mental health benefits, strong work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, among others.
“How has the organization been performing against goals this year?”
Determining if a company is setting and achieving its goals is critical. In a role that requires hitting a quota, it’s important to understand how the team performs against these goals. This is especially important for roles where reaching individual goals correlates with salaries, as compensation continues to be a driving factor in today’s hiring climate. Per Employ data, half of job seekers today believe they can make more money right now simply by switching jobs, while 53% cited compensation being the top influence in accepting a job offer. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of how attainable the goals are and if the company has been successful in reaching them to set yourself up for success.
“What is [Hiring Manager’s] leadership style?”
Misalignment on leadership styles can cause significant issues in the workplace and future career path. Employ data found that nearly one third of workers who left their job after 90 days claim unsatisfactory company leadership as the main rationale for departing. That’s why understanding leadership style is vital when assessing a company’s work environment, making this question extremely important.
Job seekers know what they like and don’t like in a leader. Recent college graduates and Gen-Z workers refuse to work under leadership who are demeaning, impatient, or lack transparency. Knowing an employer’s leadership style can help identify if they are committed to your growth or just need someone to fill a role.
“Do you have any concerns about recommending me for this position?”
Asking this question can be difficult because the answer may not align with what you want to hear. On the other hand, hiring team members do not enjoy this question because it can be tricky to answer. Ultimately, this should be the last thing a candidate asks because it’s a nice closure point and helps leave a memorable impression if handled appropriately.
Ask the question – then listen to the feedback. This is not an opportunity to argue. Handling critical feedback well can show a willingness to grow while helping you land the desired role. Your reply to the hiring manager’s answer should highlight facts and experiences that help reduce any concern in giving you the job. The best way to frame this is to explain why the interviewer should not be concerned – not telling them that they’re wrong. It is also important to prepare to hear things that are insuperable – like missing a key experience or skill.
Thinking quickly and refocusing the conversation onto compelling traits can outweigh the lack of a specific experience or skill. The bottom line is that you can make, or break, the chance at the role depending on how this question is handled.
— Corey Berkey is an experienced Human Resources executive with a demonstrated history of working in a variety of industries. With more than a decade of experience in employee relations, benefits
management, compensation strategy, talent acquisition, HR policies, and leadership, Corey now serves as the SVP of People & Talent at Employ Inc., the parent company of JazzHR, Lever, Jobvite, and
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