5 Job Search Scenarios That Shouldn’t Come As a Surprise


When you are new to job search, it can seem like a complex maze of unfamiliar scenarios. Don’t let requests from a future employer surprise you. Here’s help to prepare for five things employers frequently request.  

As a new job seeker, your challenge is to respond to new situations adeptly and as knowledgeably as possible. Experience is the best teacher, but you don’t have time to monkey around when it comes to your job search. You’ll need to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can, so you’re not caught off guard by unfamiliar scenarios and demands.

There may even be some instances in which you decide not to comply with the requests of a future employer. You must carefully weigh the pros and cons before you decide because your decision not to comply can eliminate you as a candidate for the job.

Are you ready to handle these five unexpected requests during your job search?

1. “We’d like to schedule a video interview.”

If you haven’t experienced this yet, expect to hear this request soon. Organizations use video interviewing to save time and money. It enables the interviewers to review your answers at a time that fits with their schedules. The video can also be shared and reviewed more than once to help the interviewer evaluate the applicant. There are many different tools and procedures used for video interviews today. Skype interviews require that you have a Skype account. Be sure to set one up today to become familiar with how to use it. Organizations use a variety of video tools, either live or the type that records video. Some software will pose a question and when you are ready, your answer is recorded. Sometimes you can review your answer, and sometimes you can’t. The trick is to always read and follow the instructions provided so you understand how the interview will work. The basic rules apply to all video interviews: Dress as you would for an interview, look at the camera and make sure you are in a location free from distractions and loud noises. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to the interview coordinator.

You can learn more by reading Are You Ready For Your Video Interview

2. “Take this personality assessment.”

Organizations are putting more focus on finding candidates who fit the company’s culture. Rather than leave the assessment to the interviewer, some companies have turned to using online personality assessments. Based on the results of your assessment, you may not be selected to move forward in the interviewing process. However, you don’t want to fudge your answers. Fit is a two-way street. The better you fit, the greater your chances of success in the role. When answering personality assessment questions, don’t overthink the question. Go with your gut or the first answer that pops into your head.

You can learn more about finding the right fit by reading Find The Right Company Culture

3. “You’ll be interviewing with 10 other candidates … at the same time.”

During a group interview, companies with numerous candidates may schedule all the candidates to interview at the same time. One medical company asked a group of scientist candidates to work together to solve problems and present the solutions. This scenario tested teamwork skills. Another organization brought candidates together for a sales position and asked each candidate a question while the others listened in the same room. In this interview scenario, the company wanted to evaluate candidates’ ability to sell their qualifications compared to the competition.

4. “Please give us permission to run a credit check.”

It isn’t unusual for companies to ask permission to run a credit check for roles in finance or accounting. In such roles, you will have access to other people’s money. In these instances, a company is using your credit score to evaluate how you manage your own finances. In the case where your credit is poor, the hiring managers may feel that you are at risk for mismanaging clients’ money or the organization’s money. But asking for your credit history isn’t limited to money-handling roles. To protect your credit history, only provide permission to run a credit check if the company is ready to extend an offer. Too many credit checks can have a negative impact on your credit score.

5. “Please provide your W-2.”

Your W-2 is the form an employer provides to show how much you earned for the year. When you file your taxes, you use this information to show your earnings. So why would a future employer ask to see this? In positions where you earned a salary and commission, your W-2 provides proof of the total income earned, rather than taking your word for it. Candidates pursuing sales roles are more likely to experience this request. However, other types of professionals may be asked to supply this information as well. When providing any information which contains your Social Security number, it is important that you trust the person requesting the information. Organizations typically won’t ask for a W-2 until later in the interviewing process, but you should always take steps to protect your Social Security number and other identifying information.

To learn more about providing your W-2, read Would Your Provide Your W-2


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