13 Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview in the Pandemic Era

Career Expert, author shares annual list with important COVID-related updates

Marc Cenedella, CEO of the career website Ladders, Inc., features some notable additions brought on by pandemic uncertainties. For the first time since the list’s inception ten years ago, it references topics related to remote work and hybrid schedules.

Cenedella, who wrote the Amazon Careers bestseller, Ladders Interviews Guide, said, “All of these insights will help you better understand the institution you’re about to join, and make a better, more informed decision about whether you should.”

Below, you’ll see Cenedella’s top questions to ask during a job interview this year. Some of his suggested questions (like asking about leadership styles) are part of the interview performance gold standard that’s been around for years. Others are vital as the pandemic continues to change the way we work.

Questions to Ask During Your 2021 Job Interview

  1. What are the plans for “back to normal?” (You can dig deeper by asking, What will normal look like? How are you thinking about time in-office vs. flex vs. remote for the workforce?)
  2. How has work-from-home impacted your team’s productivity? (Consider adding, During COVID, what’s been the best boost for your team productivity and morale?)
  3. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know?
  4. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?
  5. What are the three things I can contribute in the first 100 days to make you feel great about hiring me?
  6. Which competitor worries you the most? Is it their strategy, execution, market size, or something else that worries you?
  7. Why did you decide to hire for this position instead of the many other roles you could have hired for? What about this position made you prioritize it over others?
  8. If I get the job, what does great performance look like? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?
  9. How open is the company with information? What information is shared with the employees (revenues, costs, operating metrics)?
  10. If we are going to have a very successful year in 2022, what will that look like? How does this position help achieve those goals? (This question is a surprisingly easy way to come across as somebody who is always looking ahead.)
  11. How does the company do performance reviews? How do I make the most of the performance review process?
  12. What is the rhythm to the work around here? Is there a time of year that it’s “all hands on deck” and we’re pulling all-nighters, or is it pretty consistent throughout the year?
  13. Is this a new position, or an existing position? If new, why was it created and what are the expectations?

Additional Job Interview Notes

When asking these questions, it’s vital to make sure you’re engaging in a conversation rather than checking off a list. Cenedella noted, “As with all interview interactions, you want to come across as inviting a conversation, not as a know-it-all with ‘gotcha’ questions.”

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Cenedella suggests an excellent way to make sure a potential employer is a great match for you is to pick the questions in which you’re the most interested and ask every single one of your interviewers the same questions. “You can even let them know you’re doing this – it shows you’re engaged and prepared,” he said. “Asking the same question across interviewers can be very helpful in sussing out company culture, alignment, and conflict.” You’ll get excellent insights from considering whether each person provides roughly the same answers or if there are big differences between how two groups or two heads of groups respond.

About Ladders, Inc.

Ladders, Inc., is the number one career site for professionals seeking six-figure jobs and ongoing vocational enrichment. Ladders services (including Apply4Me, Ladders Premium, and Ladders News) make top-end professionals’ lives easier. Ladders has more than seven million members who use the platform to manage, market and move up in their careers. Learn more at TheLadders.com.

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