Do I Really Want This Job? Important Questions to Ask During Job Interviews and Salary Negotiations
By Cheryl Palmer
At a time when competition for jobs is still stiff, it may seem counterintuitive to question whether or not the job you are being offered is a job that you want to accept. However, it may be worth your while to look before you leap so that you do not end up in a job that is so bad that you have a short tenure and appear to be a job hopper.
Of course, if you already have a job and do not have an immediate need to find new employment, you can afford to be choosy and look for the best opportunity possible. So how do you determine whether or not this job is going to be wonderful, bearable, or just downright awful? Ask questions; the right questions.
Usually at the time of the interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This is your opportunity to find out more about the position, the organization, and your potential boss. Be sure to take advantage of it.
Questions to Ask at the Interview
- What are your top priorities for the person in this position for the next three months? (You will know what to focus on if you are hired.)
- If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say? (The answer to this question can reveal a lot about what the interviewer thinks of the company.)
- What are the top qualities necessary to succeed in this company? (The answer to this question will let you know what is valued in the organization.)
- What is your vision for the organization? (This gives you an idea of where the manager wants to take the organization and how you might fit into that plan.)
- What are some of the toughest challenges facing the person who will fill this position? (The answer to this question can yield some good information about what you will be facing.)
- What do employees like most about working here? (If the interviewer cannot immediately come up with an answer, it should be a red flag.)
- How would you describe your management style? (It is important to know how your future boss likes to manage.)
It is also advantageous to ask questions during the salary negotiation process. You will not have another opportunity to negotiate the terms of your employment, so be sure to gather all the information you can before you accept the position.
Questions to Ask During Salary Negotiation
- When are performance reviews conducted? (You will know how often you will be evaluated.)
- Could you please explain to me your benefits package? (You need to be able to evaluate the entire compensation package before making a decision about your starting salary.)
- Will I receive a copy of my agreement before my start date? (Having the agreement of the terms of your employment in writing is critical so that you are not told one thing over the phone only to find out that the terms are changed when you start.)
Asking the right questions can help you avoid a bad situation. You should not be so excited about the prospect of a job that you ignore potential issues.
About the Author
Cheryl Palmer is a career expert, professional speaker, and the president of Call to Career. Learn more about Cheryl at www.linkedin.com/in/cherylpalmer. She can be contacted at Cheryl.Palmer@calltocareer.com or by visiting www.calltocareer.com. Her blog is available at www.calltocareer.com/category/blog. To receive the free report, “Top 10 Mistakes that Executives Make,” visit www.calltocareer.com.