John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC
It can be a sinking feeling. Six months into your new job, and you see things you wish you had uncovered during your interviews. Hindsight is always 20/20, of course. But what can you do to get a clearer picture before you say yes to an offer?
Any time you are investigating an opportunity, you are examining both subjective and objective elements. Naturally, objective details are more natural to evaluate. And to be fair, there is always at least five to ten percent of the subjective factors you aren’t going to see until you have been on the job awhile. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to improve your view of the subjective side.
Ask questions aimed at giving you personal information, but in a context that allows you to judge its merit. First, are the questions to ask the interviewer who will be your immediate supervisor. (The final question can be a tough one, but it opens a key line of discussion about your potential.)
- When you made a move to come here, what was the most compelling reason?
- What keeps you here?
- How can I stand out in the first 60 days?
- Profile your top performer for me. What do they do that makes them so much better?
- Is there an engagement you completed recently that shows what this group can do? Tell me about it.
- I know you’re not hiring because everything is running perfectly smoothly. What are the problems that need solving?
Second, are questions to ask when you talk to the people who will be your co-workers. Most employers know the value of these conversations. Ask for them. If the employer declines, it could be a red flag. These questions can give you a sense of what it could be like for you down the road.
- What is the one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you were new here?
- What are the essential pieces of the history of this organization?
- Who are the people “in the know” here?
- What has been your biggest surprise? Biggest disappointment?
- What advice would you give me about being successful in this organization?
- Who does what around here?
Job changes can be challenging enough. Don’t miss any chance to get more information to help you with what is one of the toughest decisions you will face.