Vetting Potential Employers During a Virtual Interview

Posted January 12, 2021

Vetting Potential Employers During a Virtual Interview

The interview process is evolving and the hiring process may look different for the foreseeable future. When interviews are conducted via video conference instead of in-person, it may seem risky to accept a new position. In today’s blog, we look at this challenge and how to best vet your potential new employer during the age of COVID.

Evaluate Stability

It can be challenging for anyone to forecast what the year ahead will bring. Here are some questions you should research on your own, as well as ask potential employers, when considering whether a job is reasonably low-risk:

  • How volatile is the industry overall?
  • How well-established is the company?
  • Which departments had layoffs in the last 6 months and which have potential for growth?
  • What major challenges has the company faced since the onset of COVID?
  • What are the company’s plans to recover from the impacts of COVID?

Learn the Company Culture

In addition to vetting the potential security of the company, it’s important to understand the company culture and how it aligns with your goals. If you have interviews with potential co-workers, ask them about the work environment, what makes them proud to work there, what they would like to change and how they are navigating this challenging time. It’s important to speak to as many people as you can about the work environment so you can get a more complete picture. Also look at your network to see if any of your previous co-workers or friends know about the company you are considering and get their insight. How you’re treated during the interview process speaks volumes about how you’ll be treated once you’re brought on board.

Assess Your Potential New Team

When you interview via video, it can be challenging to observe body language and get an accurate read of your manager and new team. As you progress through the remote interview process, find out if your potential employer is doing anything like virtual “happy hours” or “team lunches” and ask if you may be able to join. Another option before making a final decision is to set a brief socially distanced meeting with the manager off site for coffee or anywhere outdoors. It can be very beneficial to see your potential team in a more relaxed setting to get a better sense of how they interact and how your personality may fit. Social media also allows you to research the tenure of the key managers and current team or uncover any red flags regarding turnover.

The Takeaway

Securing a job offer is a major achievement in any economic environment, however, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should automatically say yes to the opportunity you’ve been presented. Learn as much as you can from multiple sources about a company’s financial situation, the long-term viability of the job and how you may fit into the culture.