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9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job Offer

How to make sure the position is a good fit before you say yes

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​With employers eager to hire, a job offer could be in your future if you decide to look for a new position. But before you accept a job, take a moment to make sure that the new opportunity is a good match for what you want, both professionally and personally. Mid- and late-career workers have some specific concerns they should pay attention to before saying yes, says career coach Lisa Lewis Miller, host of The Career Clarity Show podcast.

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Here are nine questions to ask yourself — and your prospective employer — to help ensure the opportunity is a good fit for you.

1. How did the interview process feel?

The time you spend interviewing with the folks who may be your coworkers can offer insight into the company and its people. So think about how you feel about the opportunity and environment along the way, Miller says. One warning sign is if the interview process feels rushed. “Make sure that it felt like you were able to get all of your questions answered; ensure that it didn’t feel rushed,” she says. “A quick process or a much higher-than-expected offer can be symptomatic of an organization that is suffering from some pretty severe talent problems.”

2. Does the company share your values?

When a company’s values match your own, you will have a better sense of what it will prioritize and how it will respond to various situations, says entrepreneur Josh Steimle, creator of the 7 Systems of Influence approach to enhancing your personal and professional impact. If you ask questions about how the company puts its values into action, the interviewer should have ready examples. Think about whether the values the company espouses were evident in your interview experience.

3. Is the culture a good fit for you?

In addition to the company’s values, what is its office culture like? Think about how you were treated or what you saw during the interview process, Miller says. Were you treated with respect? Did the employees seem engaged and motivated? Sometimes a job offer can look so good on paper that it’s tempting to ignore warning signs that the culture may not be respectful or healthy, she adds. Do you share the team’s “work hard, play hard” approach? Does the company prioritize family or personal obligations? These are questions to explore, both during the interview process and with yourself, she says.

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4. Does the company value mature employees?

You can look for clues about how welcoming the company is to older workers by noticing the people you meet during the interview process and in the office, as well as by checking out the company’s website and social media profiles, Steimle says. Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its forms means appreciating older employees, too.

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5. Do the compensation and benefits match what you need?

You likely have a salary figure in mind, but be sure to look at the entire compensation package, says job search strategist Kate Pozeznik. In addition to the salary, consider how the organization handles requests for leave and time off. If you have caregiving responsibilities, will you be able to take the time you need? Is the health insurance adequate for your family and personal needs? Does the organization offer the flexibility you need if you prefer to work from home or shift your work hours? All of these aspects can have an impact on your job satisfaction, Pozeznik says.

6. Who will be your boss?

The position’s place on the organizational chart may tell you something about how it’s valued within the company. “Getting to know the people who have more authority and decision-making power than you do in the organization is critical to make sure that it’s a good fit,” Miller says. If you’ll be reporting to someone younger than you, think about how that will work for you.

7. How stable is the company?

While there are often good opportunities with thriving start-ups, you also need to weigh the risk of accepting a job with an entity that may be proving itself in the market, Pozeznik says. If you decide to accept a job with a company that doesn’t have a long record of stability, be sure you are prepared to accept the risks, she says.

8. What are the advancement opportunities?

​Ask interviewers about the opportunities to develop professionally and grow with the company, Pozeznik says. Ensure that you would continue to have career development opportunities in your new role. Look into internal learning and development programs as well as possible tuition reimbursement plans. Explore whether the company will support your participation in conferences and networking events as well. It’s important that employers help you reach your goals throughout your career trajectory, she says.

9. What would “knocking it out of the park” look like?

We all want to feel successful in our jobs, so be sure you know what success means in the job you’re being offered, Pozeznik says. Ask how your job performance would be evaluated and what metrics would be used to determine whether you’re making the right impact. After all, you don’t want to assume that your job is to deliver improvements in one area only to find out that the company is prioritizing something else.

Also, ask how success would be measured in both the short term (perhaps the next six months to a year) and long term (a few years out). That will help you understand how you would need to approach the role to accomplish what you’re being hired to achieve.

Asking yourself these questions will help you understand better whether that new job opportunity is the best fit for you today and tomorrow.

How to Answer Tough Interview Questions

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