No matter how many questions you ask to evaluate whether a role is for you, there are a few things that hiring managers just will not reveal. Even though you’ve prepared for the interview and asked all the must-ask questions, hiring managers are savvy and they will almost always avoid certain topics.
However, instead of being frustrated or pegging a company as “cagey,” you may need to accept that some information will not be forked over. But don’t worry. Glassdoor is all about the transparency, so we’ll tell you what hiring managers cannot.
Here are six details that hiring manager won’t (and probably can’t) tell you:
1. The biggest issues with the team.
As much as an interview is about assessing your ability to be a culture fit, it is also about gathering as much information and insight into the company culture. While you may ask a hiring manager about the "biggest challenges" or "how the team solves problems," don't be surprised if a manager doesn't reveal the overarching issues that a team is facing. From communication challenges to micromanaging, a hiring manager won't get specific. It's your job as an interviewee to listen and read between the lines. Listen for red flags in how the hiring manager describes their work style, the team activities, and communication.
2. Average employee turnover.
Even if you are bold enough to ask, "What is the turnover rate here at XYZ company?" it's unlikely that you will get the data during an interview. For one, a hiring manager may not know the answer. And secondly, depending on the industry — retail, sales, etc.— the turnover rate may be high not because of the company culture, but simply because of the industry.
3. If there are upcoming layoffs.
Hopefully, if a company is actively staffing up then they have no plans for layoffs, but occasionally these two things happen at the same time in large, multi-national companies. No need to get frustrated if a hiring manager won't dish on bigger business troubles.
4. Whether you are not their first pick for the role.
On occasion, a hiring manager or recruiter will inform you that another candidate dropped out thus making you the runner-up candidate, but it's not the norm. Instead of pressing the matter, consider simply asking, "How many other candidates are you interviewing for the role?" This will let you know the pool of candidates. Another question you may ask is, "Is there anything that I haven't shown or told you that would make me a stand-out candidate?" This question gives you the opportunity to reveal other skills and attributes to make yourself more competitive as a candidate.
5. If there is an upcoming IPO.
While many candidates hope to join a company before it goes public, a hiring manager won't reveal the potentially lucrative plans. Sorry!
6. How much they’ll spend in salary to lock you in.
For the most part, hiring managers won't reveal the true salary range for the role or how high the company will go in terms of compensation. The exception to this rule is for in-demand jobs. Software engineers, registered nurses, EMTs, warehouse associates and data scientists, you're in luck! Your roles are in demand and you have some wiggle room when it comes to asking hiring manager how much they'll spend to lock in top talent. Just remember, before you ask, you should use Know Your Worth!