A new job offers a lot of rewarding and interesting opportunities, but they also present many challenges. Some of these challenges are relatively easy while others are quite difficult to deal with; but whatever challenges you will face in your new job, you will need to know what they are, and the only way you can do that is to ask the right questions.
Here are 6 important things to ask before accepting a new job offer.
1. “What are the working hours?”
Before you decide to take a job offer, be sure to consult the company about your working hours. Will you be working a regular 9 to 5 job, or will your schedule change every week? Will you need to work late most days or do you have access to a flexible work schedule? What can you expect in terms of arrival and departure times? How much overtime will you be asked to do every month? Be sure to ask these questions, and consider the answers carefully.
2. “What are your expectations around reaching me after hours?”
Some jobs will require your attention after regular work hours. For example, if you work for a news organisation then you will need to cover important events regardless of the time. Likewise, if you work as a technical specialist then you may be called in to troubleshoot problems whenever they happen.
If your company wants you to work after hours then you will need to ask them about what kind of compensation you can expect in exchange.
3. “What are the rules and/or norms here about taking time off?”
Time off is another issue that you will need to consider. What is the process for getting time off? Who are the people in charge of the process? Is there a protocol for getting time off?
Some companies include a lot of information about their time off policies in their handbooks and employee orientations, but if you require more information then you can always consult one of the company’s HR officers. They can usually address all time-off related questions.
4. “Who are my internal clients, and what are the expectations around my interactions with them?”
Most job positions will require you to interact with a lot of internal clients, and this sort of work requires soft skills. For example, if you’re a customer service representative then expect to interact with a lot of sales representatives. Likewise, if you’re a technical specialist then you will be the company’s troubleshooter whenever problems arise.
So be sure to ask the company’s representatives about the rules that cover internal client interaction. For example, are there protocols that you will need to comply with? Will you need to fill out paper work whenever someone asks for your help? Will you need to get someone’s approval before you can start working on the issue?
5. “Who will be evaluating my performance in this role?”
Employee evaluations are usually carried out by supervisors and the HR department using a wide variety of tools, including tracking software, questionnaires, customer feedback and more. Most companies are prepared to tell their personnel about their evaluation policies. So if you have a few concerns about this topic then simply ask the right people.
Aside from the people who conduct employee evaluations, you will also need to consider the criteria that they use. Employee performance evaluations usually focus on certain issues, such as negative behavior, work-related performance, office interaction, compliance with company protocols and more.
6. “What do you think will be the most challenging part of the role?”
Finally, you will need to consider the most challenging aspects of your new job. For example, if you’re going to be assigned out in the field then expect a little physical stress. If you’re going to get an editing or fact-checking job then you will need to get used to correcting other people’s mistakes on a daily basis. And if you’re getting a sales-related position then you better be prepared to deal with irate customers and sales quotas.
All job positions have challenges, but most companies will not discuss them unless you are prepared to bring up the issues. So ask as many questions as you want.