By Debbie Gregory.
Whether you are transitioning out of the military and looking for veteran friendly jobs, graduating from school, or simply looking for a new job, there a few steps that you can take that will help you work smarter, not harder.
First of all, you need to do your homework on any prospective employers. One of the best places to begin is on social media. Reach out and ask current and past employees about their experiences with the company. And don’t forget that prospective employers may be doing the same, so be careful what you post on your personal social media pages.
If you have been working with a recruiter, you can ask questions. But exercise caution so that you don’t jeopardize the interview if you say the wrong thing or make them feel like you aren’t serious about the job.
If you’re at the interview stage, you will learn a lot by actually going to the job interview. Remember as much as they are interviewing you, you are also interviewing them to see if they are a good fit for you. Ask the questions you have to ask to know whether it’s where you really want to work. Asking good questions also shows that you are interested in any veteran friendly jobs they have, and that you’re prepared. The answers to those questions should also help you decide whether or not you want to work for the employer.
Try not to ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. You want more information, and people will usually provide that if you ask “open-ended” questions
Important questions to ask include: What can you tell me about this job that isn’t in the description? What’s the day-to-day of the job actually like? What will I be doing, and how many hours are in a typical work week? What is the key to success in this job? Who will I be interacting with and in what capacity? How are performance reviews conducted, and how often? What is the turnover rate?
It’s best not to ask a question that could be answered by a quick visit to the employer’s website or a Google search.
Don’t forget to ask your interviewer questions about themselves, such as how long have you worked here, what do you enjoy most about working here, and to what they attribute their success at the company to.
Finally, make sure you know the final questions to ask: What happens next in your process? When will you be back in touch with me, and how (email, phone call?) When do you expect to make a decision? When do you anticipate the person in this job will start work? Who should I stay in touch with (get name, job title, and contact information)?