How Asking the Right Questions Can Help You Get the Right Job

Anxious to start working? Of course you are. But before you sign your offer letter make sure you ask these key questions

If you’ve been out of work for any length of time, you will probably be excited by almost any offer that comes your way. That’s a problem, says Marlon Cousin, managing partner for the Marquin Group, an executive recruiting firm specializing in diverse talent. Every job offer should be scrutinized – from how tasks are managed to how employees are treated. You should be clear on the company’s goals as well as the resources allotted for these objectives. “Sometimes people want a job so badly that they don’t ask the right questions or watch the indicators in the office or the environment.”

Here are several questions Cousin suggests you ask before you take the job:

  • What are your top three key performance indicators for your company? (What top three things does the company want to achieve?)
  • What do want this role to get accomplished in the first six months?
  • How would you describe your culture? Cousin says that most people don’t fail because of performance they fail because they don’t fit well with the company’s culture.
  • How does your organization define success and how is it measured?
  • Is it possible to work virtually? How do you view the virtual workforce? This sends a clear message about how a company feels about work/life balance.
  • How do you encourage innovation in your organization?
  • How do you view candidates with creative out of the box ideas, does the organization embrace new ideas? This gives you a sense of how forward thinking the organization is. Do they value creativeness, or are they more of traditional organization.
  • On a scale of one – ten how would measure your organizational capabilities? This question speaks to the health and viability of the company.
  • Do employees enjoy coming to work? Do they have the tools and resources to do their job?
  • Why did my successor leave the position?
  • You should always inquire about how current events have affected the state of the company. For example if there have been layoffs: I saw you laid off 2,000 people? What drove that decision? Are you planning to sell off any more divisions?
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