Job Search Questions Latinos Can Ask About Potential Employers
By Murray A. Mann and Rose Mary Bombela-Tobias
Co-authors, Barron’s The Complete Job Search Guide for Latinos
Do you want to increase your chances of landing an interview and earning the job offer with a company that is welcoming to Latinos? When conducting your research on a potential employer there are additional questions that Latinos can ask of company representatives at a diversity career fair, Hispanic professional associations, Latino contacts at the company, the company’s Hispanic Employee Group (see Hispanic Employee Networks / Affinity Groups) or other knowledgeable resources in your network. These sources are often open to providing the critical information you need to achieve success in your job search.
Assessing Latino-Friendly Company Culture
Your basic questions are “What makes your company an employer of choice for Latinos?” and “What do Latinos need to know about your company to determine if it is the right fit for them?”
It is often best to ask personal questions to open dialog such as:
- What do you enjoy most about working for the company?
- Why did you apply for a job with the company?
- Why have you continued your employment with the company?
- What do you see for your future with the company?
You may need to ask follow-up questions such as:
- What is the work environment for Latinos?
- How many Latinos are in the company, at what levels, and specifically, work in
- the department that you are applying for?
- What characteristics do successful Latinos in this company seem to share?
- What support systems does your company have for new Latino employees
- (orientation, training, mentors)?
- What support systems does your company have for the retention, development,
- and advancement of Latino employees (ongoing training, educational benefits,
- special rotations, employee networks)?
- What is the retention rate of Latinos vs. others in the position for which I am
Identifying Company Access Contacts / Strategy
Your basic question is “What are the best strategies for Latinos to get their résumé reviewed by the right people and secure an interview in your company?”
Some sample follow-up questions are:
- Who can I contact in your company to get my résumé reviewed and secure an interview (such as actual hiring official, division manager, Latino/diversity recruiters, chief diversity officer, Latino managers, or employee groups)?
- What is the best way to initiate contact and follow-up with these individuals?
- Can I use your name as the person who suggested I communicate with these contacts?
Preparing for the Interview
Your basic question is “What do I need to know about your interview process to be selected for employment?”
You may need to ask follow-up questions for instance:
- What types of interview formats are used for the position I am applying for (individual, panel, sequential, behavioral)?
- What characteristics are the interviewers looking for in a candidate for this position?
- What do the interviewers look for from Latino candidates? (Author’s note: see our upcoming article, “How to T.R.I.U.M.P.H Over Illegal Interview Questions”)
- How do you assess Spanish speaking and writing proficiency?
- Should I bring my career portfolio to the interview and what should it contain?
- Do you have other recommendations for preparing for the interview and discussing my cultural and/or language expertise?