How Prospective Employees Can Do Their Part

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The main thing that a job candidate can do to gain a more realistic understanding

of the job or workplace is ask questions. Some applicants will ask

questions and others will not. A hiring manager must not wait for job

candidates to ask questions, but should make it clear that all questions are

welcome and that no question will be considered a stupid one. Hiring

managers and everyone on the interviewing team should always invite

more questions—in every job interview with every candidate—even after

giving realistic job previews.

All recruitment materials should also invite candidates to ask questions,

particularly the literature that is used in on-campus recruiting efforts and

any that is distributed to entry-level recruits.

Here are other ways for employees to minimize the potential for disillusionment

when starting a new job:

Make a list of questions to ask before every interview.

Ask friends and acquaintances what they know about the prospective

employer.

Research the prospective employer on the Internet.

Ask to be interviewed by employees other than the hiring manager.

Ask to be given a tour of the facility.

Consider starting the job as a consultant or temp staffer, if possible,

to gain a better feel for the workplace before making a full-time

commitment.

Directly ask everyone with whom you interview, ‘‘Is there anything

about this job, the culture, or the work environment that new hires

are sometimes surprised to find out after they start?’’

Remember, you will be interviewed in a manner that tells you how

employees are being treated. It is up to you to take or turn down the job,

but at least you’ll know what you’re getting into.