The economy is recovering and recruiters report more and more difficulty finding top talent. The unemployment rate is dropping so it is not surprising that recruiters are getting more competitive to fill positions. With a recovering economy there are new start up companies emerging who are also competing for available talent. As always you should do your homework on a company before applying for a position. Should the invitation to interview result from your job search you must take an even closer look at the company before the interview. This will help make a future decision easier.
New companies have fewer rules, plenty of opportunities and lots of risk. If your employed looking for a better job be cautious. If on the other hand you have no job you are probably more willing to roll the dice on a job that has all the wrong signs that can do career harm. If you are one of the long term unemployed you may be willing to ignore some warning signs that the job is not going to be a good fit. After all a job is better than another month of unemployment which will eventually dry up. That makes it easy to ignore the early warning signs. Ignore the signs and join a company to quit shortly after being hired or get laid off will do little to help your situation, make other employer's wary of your short work history and give question to your decision making.
Depending on the company the Recruiter may or may not have the needed skills to make good job selection decision. Recruiters may be a gateway to employment but a Recruiter also is a sales person who has to meet a hiring quota as well. Do not allow yourself to be sold on a new job that a Recruiter is selling. A particular danger is when a person is unemployed. A jobless person has needs a positive belief that they have a lot to give and can do or learn anything is the right attitude.
Is the first interview held at a Hotel or Motel? If you are not familiar with the company this could be an early warning sign to pay a lot of attention. Does the company normally hire from a Hotel or Motel? Is there a good reason the company is hiring from a Hotel or Motel? Perhaps one of the best tools a job seeker has is the opportunity to ask questions. Use it. Learn more about the company and the job during the interview.
A reasonable interview question is to ask during the interview is why the position open? Is the company growing rapidly and suddenly adding jobs? Does the reason for the sudden growth make sense? Is the position replacing someone? Does the Recruiter bad mouth the person you would be replacing? These are early warning signs.
When the Recruiter talks about the job duties are they well defined or does the Recruiter know very little about the job except for “other duties as assigned”? If the Recruiter says the job is new and the exact job duties are uncertain expect the length of employment to be comparable. Take great care that the job your interviewing for is the same job that you will be doing. Watch out for the bait and switch job where the Recruiter suggests a different job than the one you came to interview. Suddenly the job you came to interview for is no longer available. Does the Recruiter promote a strong compensation and benefits plan but when asked cannot tell you what it means? At this point the warning signs should be getting louder.
During the interview ask the Recruiter the length of their employment and how long they have been recruiting for the company. Depending on what is said will drive whether or not the next step in the selection process is one worth your time. If the Recruiter is very new to recruiting and started as a clerk with little tenure then suddenly moved into recruiting that may sound good. It might seem that promotional opportunities abound can also be another very dangerous warning sign.
Especially true are new companies are beginning to emerge with pulled together hiring processes. Recruiters are ill-trained for making hiring decisions. Does the Recruiter asks personal questions, is disorganized, late for the interview or has not reviewed your application or resume makes for more warning signs.
Few job seekers give much thought to the fact that if an interview leads to a job offer the company is going to ask for your personal information including social security number, date of birth, address and prior work history. Solid companies will protect that personal information. Even if the job does not work out is your personal information safe? What about the new company? Depending on the warning signs you should have a good idea if the new company has given thought to secured information infrastructure.
Pay attention to the warning signs and ask if this is the job where your willing to work 40 hours or more a week for a company that is going to appreciate your work. A few warning signs may or may not mean anything. A bunch of warning signs is telling. If you are unemployed or want out of your current job there is no benefit to jumping into a job you will regret. After the interview if your not excited about the position go with that and avoid convincing yourself that it would be better than where you are at now.
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