Additional Early Meeting Questions

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Among the many questions that come with initial meetings/interviews for vetting new clients and projects, I’ve recently added a few additional questions. The pandemic has sharpened my focus on the kinds of companies with whom I want to or do not want to do business, and these questions help me in the vetting process.

If the potential client gets prickly or offended by any of them, it gives me information I need to make my decisions.

Among the questions I’ve added are:

–How did you support your employees during the pandemic?

–How many employees did you furlough or lay off?

–How many of them were asked to return, and, if so, was it at least their previous rate? Are new employees brought in at the same rate as those let go? Lower or higher?

–How much money did you get in PPP loans? (I look up the answer to this on the SBA website, which distributed those loans. It is public record, and it tells me a lot if the company lowballs me, especially if they laid off employees during the pandemic).

–What did you learn that you will use for the next pandemic? (Because there will be more pandemics, natural disasters, etc.).

Companies that simply cut loose employees, collected PPP loans, and then tried to hire either former employees or new ones at a lower rate are not companies with whom I want to do business.

Getting this information in an early conversation helps me vet the potential client. If you’re on the job hunt and having a more traditional type of interview, I suggest also asking these questions. It will give you far more information about the vision and ethics for the company than the interviewer’s rehearsed spiel.

What questions have you added to your initial information sessions?

(Note: Apologies. This should have posted already, and did not, due to technical glitches. The plan is to post here every other Wednesday, rather than every Wednesday. This time it was every other other Wednesday).