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20 Questions You Need to Ask Before Accepting The New Job

20 Questions You Need to Ask Before Accepting The New Job

Finding a great job is not easy!

A lot of candidates apply for jobs with the mentality, “I have to go in there and impress them!” That’s awesome, please keep doing that. However, take a moment to think about this, company X spent money, from their budget, to post that ad! They have a paid recruiter, let’s call her Amy, to spend hours on Linkedin and other job sites to find the perfect candidate.

We’ll come back to Amy later! Let’s go back to talking about you and how when you go for THAT interview, Company X has to impress you just as much as you have to impress them! (Hint Hint, Wink Wink: If they called you to come in for an interview, they are taking time out of their busy day to meet with you, and chances are they already like you!)

When I was looking for a job, I always walked in with the mentality, “I hope they pick me!” Until I went on a couple of bad interviews and found myself thinking, “I don’t mind if they don’t pick me!” If you find yourself saying that, that is definitely not the job you should be pursuing.

Here are 20 things you need to ask yourself before accepting a new job. 

20. Why Do I Want To Leave My Current Position?


Sometimes we have a bad day at work and instead of calming down, we start applying to every job post we can find! Sometimes it’s also just a Monday morning and everything is going wrong and you just want a change. It’s always important to ask yourself why you want to leave your current position. Is it just an emotional reaction that you’ll  regret once you calm down? It is very important to know that you are leaving for the right reasons like career growth, better salary, better boss, and the list can go on. Always remember that this is your journey, the reasons for you leaving have to be right for you.

19. What is the Office Culture like?


Office culture can be one of the most important factors that could determine if you enjoy going to work every day or not. What are the company’s values? Do they celebrate birthdays? Do they have company lunches? Is the office quiet or is it a locker room like environment? These are all very important questions to ask the recruiter! Tip: When you walk into the office for your interview, check out your future colleagues, are they happy? Are they smiling or do they look miserable? Pay attention to these little things that can make the biggest difference. The pay could be amazing, but if you’re miserable 9 hours a week (maybe more), no amount of zeros will make a difference!

18. Who Will I Be Reporting Too?


They always say, “You never quit your job, you quit your boss!” You can have the best job in the world, but if you are reporting to a manager you don’t get along with, he or she will drive you away in a matter of months. You should ask to meet the person you are reporting to and ask them a few questions yourself: What is your style of management? How would you describe a perfect employee? What are some things that past employees have done that have upset you? Always follow your gut feeling and pick up on the nonverbal cues.

17. What Is A Typical Day In My Job Like?


We tend to look at the job description rather than looking at the day to day tasks. You can ask the recruiter: “What would a typical day look like for me?” Do you like your day to day tasks? Remember that this is what you will be doing everyday, so if you’re slowly dying as the recruiter is listing your tasks, this is definitely not the job for you. You spend more time at work than you do at home, so you better be loving what your day-to- day looks like! Think about what you didn’t like about your previous job or the job you are leaving now, and ask yourself if you will still have that problem in the job you are applying for.

16. Is This A New Position Or Am I Replacing Someone?


If this position already existed, why was the last person fired? There are definitely red flags if the position has been filled 6 different times. If it’s a new position, you need to know that there could be lack of direction or structure in the beginning, so ask all the questions you need to find out what exactly your future employers are expecting from you. Don’t be shy to ask as many questions as you need, because accepting a new job is a big responsibility and to make the right decision you need all the answers!

15. What is the Manager Like?


Once again, people only quit their bosses not their jobs. Ask the recruiter how he or she would describe the manager you would be reporting to, what he looks for in an employee, what is a problem he has had with previous employees, and so on. It is always best to meet the manager yourself and find out if you’re compatible. You need to know if your manager wants someone to micromanage, to say in the lines, do exactly as they are told, or someone who can be be innovative, take charge of projects and doesn’t need hand holding. Once you find out what they want, ask yourself, is this what I want too?

14. How Is This Position Going To Help Me Reach My Goal?


It is easy to wake up in the morning and be in the office at 9am, take your lunch break at 1pm and leave at 5pm, but stop and think, “What are MY goals?” I know it is a question we all hate to hear during interviews, but it is important to think about where you want to be in 5 years. It is crucial to make sure that the steps you take will bring you closer to that goal. For example, if you want to become an HR generalist, working as an HR assistant makes more sense than accepting a job in sales.

13. What Is The Company’s Reputation?


While online reviews may not always be accurate, it is still important to ask about the company; you can speak to friends, people who have worked there, go on LinkedIn and check company pictures. In some positions, a company’s reputation can make your job a lot easier! For example, if you’re a recruiter, hiring people will be hell if you work for a company that has a horrible reputation; same goes for sales, if the company’s product has a bad reputation, you might have a very hard time selling it. Keep in mind, if you are working in sales  you should believe in the product, because if you don’t it might be a lot harder for you to do your job!

12. How Will This Position Affect My Personal Life?


Work affects our personal life. When we have bad days, we go home and take it out on our spouses, kids, and families. Will there be bad days? Absolutely! Will there be stressful moments? Yes! There are a couple of things that can affect your personal life, like working weekends or the holidays, travelling too much, or even working crazy hours. If you have a new family, you might want to spend more time with them rather than working 70 hour weeks! Each person has different needs, different priorities, and it’s important for you to find out what yours are.

11. How Long Does The Commute Take?


It is one of the most important factors to consider before taking a new job. You might interview for your dream job, but will you be able to commute for 2 hours everyday? Will you be taking the bus or driving? It is easy to look at how great the compensation is without looking at the fact that you could be spending most of it on gas. Anyone who has taken a job far from home will tell you, it kills! The pain of being on the train for 4 hours a day going to and coming back from work is a total waste of time. By the time you get to work, you are already exhausted.

10. Is The Compensation Fair In Comparison To The Tasks And Market Value?


“What are your salary expectations?” Is a question that we all dread, but one way to avoid the awkwardness of this question is to do your research! Google your position and find out what the market value is. You don’t have to tell the recruiter how much you’re currently making, but if they do need an answer, it’s important to go to your interview prepared. Remember to be realistic! Compensation doesn’t just mean base salary, it can also include bonuses and perks. Nowadays, companies focus a lot on perks, from paying your transit pass, to weekly company lunches, to unlimited sick/personal days, and the list goes on!

9. How Much Overtime Would Be Required?


A lot of companies are now offering a flexible schedule, giving people a way to avoid rush hour, or working from home when they have to watch their sick kids, or wait for someone to come fix your washing machine from 11am-4pm (because they are very accurate with their appointments….not.) The flexibility of having a 4 hour window to come in in the morning can take the pressure off of you if you have to go into work a little bit later or if you miss your bus. Find out if you have a flexible schedule, if overtime is a requirement, and if that overtime is just 20-40 minutes or 2 hours. If you are a parent with kids to pick up, having a job with a strict schedule may not work for you.

8. Am I Required To Work Weekends?


Finding out your hours are very important. Sure you’ll be required to work a little bit extra every now and then, but working weekends could be a deal breaker for a lot of people, and that’s not a surprise you want after you accept the job offer. Ask the recruiter about the work week schedule, and what is the “work norm?” Do people usually come in on weekends? Are they required to work from home on weekends? If it isn’t a big deal for you and you don’t mind working weekends then it shouldn’t be a problem, but make sure you have all the facts before you accept the position.

7. What Are Some Negative Issues I Could Face?

The last thing you want to do is overlook some serious issues because you are only looking at the positive aspects of it. You know what could be helpful? Make a list! What are some of the negatives of accepting this job? Don’t just think short-term, make sure you also keep your long-term plans in mind. If you are planning to have a family in a year or two, maybe travelling 80% of the time may not work for you. The last thing you need is to leave this job a year or two later because you discovered that you’ve overlooked some major issues.

6. What Was My First Impression Of The Place?


Always follow your gut! What was your first impression of the recruiter, the employees, and the office vibe? You can never really explain your gut feeling, but remember the consequences you had to face when you silenced the voice deep down! Before you go into the interview always ask yourself what you’re looking for, what you want, what your priorities are, what are some musts, what are other perks you would like to have, and of course what are definite deal breakers! Here’s a tip, talk to the receptionist(s), they’ve dealt with most people in the company and the way they talk about the company will tell you everything you need to know! Yes, sometimes first impressions may be misleading, but trust that voice in your head.

5. Was The Recruiter Happy To Talk to Me About The Position?


A recruiter is always the best indicator of the culture, if a recruiter sounds stressed or anxious that’s definitely a red flag. Try to pick up on some key words. I once went on an interview where the interviewer nervously said, “Your manager wants you  to speak only when spoken to.” That right there was the biggest indicator that I could never get along with that manager. When the recruiter asks if you have any questions at the end, don’t be shy, in fact, it always looks better when you have questions and show interest.

4. Did the Employees Seem Happy? Stressed?


When you walk into the the office, look around, how do the employees look to you? Will you be happy in that environment? Some people can handle more stress than others, it’s up to you to find out if you would be happy in that environment. Think to yourself, do you want a quiet office? Or do you want a locker room like office? Do you want a place where people sit quietly at their desks at lunchtime to eat? Or do you want to be in the lunchroom eating with everyone else? In some companies now you get to meet some of your prospective team members to see if you would get along with them.

3. What Benefits Do They Offer?


Compensation is no longer just base salary. Companies are going out of their way to offer crazy benefits and perks! Some companies offer 4 weeks paid vacation right off the bat, others offer Airbnb discounts to encourage their employees to travel, and some companies give their employees a chance to work from home and come into work once a month! In any case, if work-life balance is important to you, find a company that will give you that. Tip: A lot of things are negotiable. Remember that before you accept an offer.

2. Am I Right For This Position?


It’s one thing to ask yourself if this is right for me, but stop to also ask yourself if YOU are right for this! Here are a couple of things you can ask yourself, “Do I have all the qualifications necessary to excel?” The last thing you want is do to accept a job you are not qualified for, bomb and have it shake your self-confidence. You should definitely aim for the moon, push yourself, but also make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t mix up “must haves” with “assets” and be honest with yourself and the recruiter about what you can and can’t do. There are certain things you can learn, but there are definitely skills that you can’t bluff.

1. How Long Do I see Myself Being Here?


Are you looking  for a summer job or a stable one? What is the company looking for? You want to make sure that your expectations are aligned with your prospective employees’ expectations as well! It’s easy to think about yourself and forget that the employer worked very hard to fill this position, so if you’re not planning to stay there for the duration that they need you, be honest. One thing to always remember is that your reputation is everything, never burn bridges and never leave a bad taste in a recruiter’s mouth; while you may not be a good fit for this position, a company can always call you back for another position that opens up if they like you!


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