1. What is the company’s reputation? The organization you work for will have an impact on your short- and long-term career. With that in mind, research the business to find out what kind of reputation it has and what its actions show about its values and the work environment. Look over its annual report and information about the company in news articles and elsewhere to decide whether the business or the industry it’s in are facing any financial or legal challenges. You want to join a financially strong company where you can feel comfortable and grow professionally.
2. What are compensation and benefits? Make sure the salary being offered is comparable to what other companies are offering to people with similar experience in similar positions. Ask also if you can earn bonuses or other additional types of compensation, especially if that’s the case in your current job. Compare the benefits package, as well, with what you may be receiving now or could expect from another employer to be sure you’re not losing out on any benefits.
3. What will you actually do? Be sure to ask as many questions as necessary to determine that you understand what is expected, what opportunities are available and whether you will be satisfied in the job.
4. Will it cost me more to work here? Your review of the benefits plan can help you answer this question, since it can tell you whether you will have to pay more for health insurance or any other crucial benefit than you are paying now, as an example. If you will have to move or face a long commute, consider whether the extra expense is worth changing jobs because, say, the new company offers better career opportunities.
5. Is this a good next step in my career? The answer—and the factors you consider—will vary based on your ambitions and current position. Issues to consider—and ask about in interviews—include the advancement opportunities, in-house training available and educational financial assistance that the company offers.
6. Will I like it here? This can be a tough question to answer before you’ve even started. If possible, reach out to people who work at the organization or see if friends or business contacts know anyone there you can speak to about the culture and other factors important to you. Another consideration is whether you will have to work longer hours or travel more in the new job. Will you consider those changes a drain on your free time or decide you should accept them as the price of getting ahead? And if you now can set your own hours or work remotely, find out if they are available with the new company. The answers to all of these questions can clarify which job is best for you.