|Martin Yate CPC
NY Times Best-Seller
35 Years in
Once an employer puts a job offer on the table, you need to consider if you want the job. Beyond the wages that put food on your table and a roof over your head, this includes deciding if the company, department and manager are right for you and your plans for the future.
You may well have asked some of these questions at different points during the interview cycle, to gain more insight into the job’s challenges and what your customer (the employer) wants to buy; for example, “What skills do you consider critical for success in this job?” Or, “ Who fails in the job and why?” Other questions, for example about benefits, you probably will not have asked because knowing company benefits, is nice to know but doesn’t move you closer to getting a job offer; so the knowledge gained isn’t important until an offer is on the table.
To help you make the right decision, here are fifty questions you can adapt to evaluate whether a particular job is right for you:
· What does it take to succeed in this job?
· Who fails in this job and why?
· What skills do you consider critical for success in this job?
· How long has the job been open?
· Why is it open? Who held the job last? What is s/he doing now? Promoted, fired, or quit?
· How long was s/he in that job?
· How many people have held this job in the last three years? Where are they now?
· How often have people been promoted from this position—and how many, and where to?
· What informal and formal benchmarks will you use to measure my effectiveness and contributions?
· Based on my effectiveness, how long would you anticipate me holding this position? When my position and responsibilities change, what are the possible titles and responsibilities I might grow into?
· What is the official corporate policy on internal promotion? How many people in this department have been promoted from their original positions since joining the company?
· How do you determine when a person is ready for promotion?
· What training and professional development programs are available to help me grow professionally?
· How does the performance appraisal and reward system work? Exactly how are outstanding employees recognized, judged, and rewarded?
· Does the company encourage outside professional development training? Does the company sponsor all or part of any costs?
· What are my potential career paths within the company?
· To what jobs have people with my title risen in the company?
· Who in the company was in this position the shortest length of time? Why? Who has remained in this position the longest? Why?
· What are the benefits for this position?
· Your manager and management style
· How long have you held this position?
· Why did you choose to work here?
· Tell me about your management style?
· How often will we meet?
· How frequent are performance and salary reviews? And what are they based on—standard raises for all, or are they weighted toward merit and performance?
· What is the complete financial package for someone at my level?
· To what extent are the functions of the department recognized as important and worthy of review by upper management? (If upper management takes an interest in the doings of your work group, rest assured you are in a visible position for recognition and reward.)
· Where and how does our department fit into the company pecking order?
· What does the department hope to achieve in the next two to three years? How will that help the company? How will it be recognized by the company?
· What do you see as the strengths of the department? What do you see as weaknesses that you are looking to turn into strengths?
· What role do you hope me to play in these goals?
· What is the company’s mission? What are the company’s goals?
· What approach does this company take to its marketplace?
· What is unique about the way this company operates?
· What is the best thing you know about this company? What is the worst thing you know about this company?
· How does the reporting structure work? What are the accepted channels of communication and how do they work?
· What kinds of checks and balances, reports, or other work-measurement tools are used in the department and company?
· What advice would you give me about fitting into the corporate culture—about understanding the way you do things here?
· Will I be encouraged or discouraged from learning about the company beyond my own department?
· Company Growth and Direction
· For those concerned about employment stability and career growth, a healthy company is mandatory.
· What expansion is planned for this department, division, or facility?
· What is your value proposition to prospective customer?
· When you lose a deal to whom do you lose it?
· What markets does the company anticipate developing?
· Does the company have plans for mergers or acquisitions?
· Currently, what new endeavors is the company actively pursuing?
· How do market trends affect company growth and progress? What is being done about them?
· What production and employee layoffs and cutbacks have you experienced in the last three years?
· What production and employee layoffs and cutbacks do you anticipate? How are they likely to affect this department, division, or facility?
· When was the last corporate reorganization? How did it affect this department? When will the next corporate reorganization occur? How will it affect this department?
· Is this department a profit center? How does that affect remuneration?
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