The jobs market is about to get a lot more competitive than it was six months ago. With the government’s furlough scheme coming to an end, the UK unemployment rate has hit 3.9% and will no doubt continue to rise.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Financial Services sector has been in a position of strength throughout the pandemic – owing to technical ability and workspace agility – and has been able to continue recruiting. This makes it an appealing market for existing employees on the move and for candidates who have never considered this sector before.
So, without doubt, there will be a lot of competition for roles – but there are roles out there.
If you do find yourself being lined up for an interview, your recruiter will ensure you are thoroughly prepared. But there are some “new” interview questions that you might find yourself longing to ask – namely focusing on the company’s decisions during the pandemic and their plans for the future.
Here are some great Covid-related questions you might want to ask at your next job interview:
How has the company tried to maintain their culture and team motivation whilst everyone is working from home?
Asking this question tells you so much more than what you’ve read on the job description or the company website. This question will take into account things like emotional intelligence, organisational agility and teamwork. It might also give you a greater insight into the company culture itself. Remember – culture is not things like team Zoom quizzes or beanbags in the office.
In light of social distancing and remote work, what tools or practices have you implemented?
Many companies were caught short by this pandemic and were simply not set up to work from home at all. This will let you know if this company was one of them – or if they embraced home / remote working years ago. It will let you know what type of tech is available to you and how important team connectivity is.
Could you share more about the onboarding process? What changes have been made to ensure that the new hire is still successful once they join the team?
How can you blend in with your new team if you can’t meet them in person? What will training and introductory meetings look like? These are two really important elements to “getting your bearings” when you join a new company – and they have been heavily impacted by remote working. It would be good to know how they’ll integrate you to your new team and get you up to speed with systems and processes.
Things are quite uncertain right now but, going forward, what are the company’s top priorities and plans for the next few months?
No company can predict what the world is going to look like in six months’ time – did anyone see this situation coming? – but it would helpful to know what they plan to focus on and where you can fit in to those plans. This gives the company the chance to enthusiastic (and perhaps demonstrate some innovative thinking) as well as up front about the challenges they are likely to face.
Is working from home / remote working something you will continue to offer or would you prefer a blended office and home working approach?
Maybe this entire experience has confirmed to you that you don’t want to be part of the rat race anymore and would like the opportunity to work from home full- or part-time. Well, can you still do that when things go back to normal or would this new company expect you to be at your desk every day with no exceptions? This will be really important to know.
If you would like to speak to me about opportunities within the Financial Services market across Scotland, I’d be delighted to help. Click here to drop me an email and we can have a chat.