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7 questions to ask your interviewer about work after Covid-19

24 Jun 2020

Hays’ Chris Dottie outlines seven questions to ask in a job interview, helping you prepare for a new role in the new era of work.

The decision you make when choosing which employer to work for and which role to accept has always been an important one – life-changing, in fact. It’s a personal thing, rooted in your values and hopes and dreams for the future.

So, given what you want to get out of your professional life may have shifted over the past couple of months, should the questions you ask your interviewer during your upcoming interview also change? I think so.

It’s worth considering weaving in some different, potentially more topical questions that will help you be absolutely sure you’re making the best possible decision to set you up for career success in the next era of work.

What were your key learns from the Covid-19 crisis, both from a business and a leadership point of view?

No organisation on the planet will be left unchanged from the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many to reconfigure longstanding processes, find new ways of working, seek out new markets or even develop new products or services, all in record time.

Mistakes will have inevitably been made along the way, but it’s how organisations and their leaders learn from those lessons and, crucially, take what they’ve learned into the future that matters the most.

What are the strategic priorities of the organisation, and have these changed due to the crisis? How does this role support in achieving them?

Business models are quickly pivoting to adapt to the new world, galvanising entire workforces in order to ensure they are met and exceeded. As a potential new employee – someone who is likely now looking for more meaning in their role – it’s important for you to understand what the organisation’s new strategic priorities are, but also how this role will contribute to achieving them.

It’s also important for you to feel reassured that the organisation is adapting and innovating to secure a strong position in the next era of work.

How does your organisation live its organisational purpose? How does this role help deliver on it?

As our CEO, Alistair Cox, notes in his blog: “The Covid-19 crisis has changed people for good. It has forced us to re-evaluate what really matters to us, and what really matters to the world.

“It has forced us to question if we are spending our time on this planet in the best way possible, recognising that we are just visitors.”

So, it’s likely that you’re feeling more inclined than ever to work for an organisation you feel your personal values are aligned to.

How are you or how do you plan to support the lifelong learning of your employees to ensure they are able to work in an adaptable and agile way in the future?

During the pandemic, we have all been awoken to the fact that everything can change in an instant. Therefore, we must do everything we can to ensure that we are as adaptable and agile as possible – meaning upskilling and professional development may have climbed up our priorities over the past couple of months.

Therefore, it’s crucial that you feel confident you are joining an organisation that genuinely supports its employees in upskilling, giving them the autonomy to guide their own personalised learning in a way that works for them.

What support could I expect to receive when working remotely or from home?

Post-pandemic, remote working will no longer be seen as a perk. But this is relatively new territory for many organisations, so it’s important to understand what support you will be provided with, whether that be in the form of equipment, training or wellbeing programmes.

What is your management style when leading hybrid teams? Are there any best practices or rituals that you live by?

This is new territory for many managers and will bring new challenges, so it could be a good idea to understand how they plan to (or are already) leading their hybrid teams, and if they’ve learned any lessons from the extended period of remote leadership they’ve likely encountered over the past few months.

How do you ensure the organisational culture is maintained when working in a hybrid way?

The culture of an organisation is its personality. It can take years to build and requires input from all employees in order to bring it alive and, importantly, keep it alive – in the good and the bad times.

However, a new hybrid way of working – where some employees are in the office and some are working remotely – brings a whole new set of challenges when it comes to maintaining and building on an organisation’s culture.

So, it’s important to understand what steps the organisation is taking in this respect, whether that be through regular catch-ups or ensuring all communication lines are open and inclusive, for example.

By Chris Dottie

Chris Dottie is managing director of Hays Spain. A version of this article previously appeared on the Hays Viewpoint blog.

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