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7 Questions To Ask About A New Job

Natasha Burton  |  February 20, 2024

You’ve gone through the interview process and have a job offer in hand. Before you accept, make sure you ask these these seven questions about the new job.

When you interview for a new position, much of the conversation focuses on you and how you’d fill the given role and meet the expected qualifications. As a result, you spend a lot of time selling yourself and your skills. But choosing to take a new job isn’t just about what you will do for the company — it’s also about whether the company is a good fit for your professional goals and happiness! After all, you’ll spend at least 40 hours a week working (whether you’re remote, hybrid, or in an office) so you need to make sure this job is one in which you’ll be happy. To make sure it’s the right fit, we we put together this list of 7 questions to ask about a new job.

What Are Your Expectations for This Role?

You need to get a sense of what you’re in for with this new position, particularly what will be expected of you during the first three months on the job. “Asking about quarterly goals for the position is key to setting yourself up for success before you even accept an offer,” says Lindsay Shoemake, career expert. “If your interviewer or potential manager doesn’t seem to provide a clear answer, that might be a red flag that they haven’t set clear expectations for the position.” And without clear goals, you might not be set up for success. 

What Personalities Flourish Here?

This question is a must. Most managers can easily identify the type of person who would be successful in their organizations. Their answer will give you a better sense of whether you would be a good fit within the organization, says Jenn DeWall, a certified career and life coach. “It’s best to know this early on versus fighting to fit in and be the type of personality you’re not,” she says. For example, when you ask this question, the hiring manager may describe someone exactly like you, which could help you to relax with the knowledge that you’ve absolutely found the right position. But on the flipside, the response might be something like, “Someone who is willing to work every weekend,” which can let you know it’s time to make a run for the exit.  

What Personal or Professional Development Opportunities Exist?

Learning about a company’s commitment to development can signal how much the organization values its employees, says career expert Maria Katrien Heslin. “For example, there are some organizations that do not provide training or time off for professional development. Some have overly strict policies on employees being able to attend conferences,” she says. “Organizations like this most often are pretty old-school in their management approach.”

Even if you don’t have designs on taking professional development courses right now, you might want to level up your skillset in future, which is why this is an essential question to ask about a new job.

What’s the Typical Career Path for This Position?

“For those who are goal-oriented, it’s important to know upfront what you’re working toward,” DeWall says. “If you are eager to climb the corporate ladder and develop your resume, and an employer indicates there aren’t career advancement opportunities, the position may be a dead end for you and your career goals.”

This is definitely something you’ll want to know before taking a position that could lead you nowhere — and back on the job hunt in a couple of years (or worse, months).

What’s the Company Culture Like?

Whether you’re interested in a job that allows for a flexible schedule, no meetings on Fridays, or you’d like to be able to bring your dog into the office, you need to find out what the company culture is like before you’re hired.

That’s why DeWall recommends one of your questions to ask about a new job focus on work-life balance and what a typical workday looks like. You try to get a general sketch in your mind about your day-to-day workflow and responsibilities. And pro tip: If you’re interviewing with several people, ask them all this question. The differing answers you get from different personalities and roles can tell you a lot about what you’re actually getting into.

Do You Have a Bonus Program, Or Do You Offer Equity?

“Don’t be bashful about asking about compensation,” Erik Bowitz, senior resume expert at Copy My Resume says. He advises job hunters to get all the details on their pay — from base salary to bonus programs and equity — before accepting an offer, even unofficially or verbally. “Remember you both are bringing value to the table, and so you should never feel lower or disadvantaged being the interviewee.”

Joseph Terach, founder of Resume Deli, also advises not being shy when asking about benefits, especially how much you’ll have to contribute to medical and dental coverage per month and how the 401(k) vesting and matching programs work. At the end of the day, you’re working to get paid, so you need to be sure your compensation is adequate.

Where Will I Sit, And What Kind Of Tech Will I Be Using?

These are more granular details that can be asked in the final stages of an interview, but they’re still important. If you’re expected to work in an office, knowing where you’d be sitting each week is very important for assessing your quality of life at the company. (There’s a big difference between a dark cubicle next to the bathroom and a spacious desk with a window!) Likewise, if you’re an Apple person but you’re going to be working on a PC, this could present a steep learning curve. Or, if you’re used to working within the Microsoft suite of products (like Outlook, Teams, etc.) it could take a few months before you’re fully up and running with the Google Office suite.  If you suspect you may need a few weeks to get up to speed on the programs, make sure to let your hiring manager know.


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