How To Evaluate a Job Offer


When you’re in the often unenviable role of “job seeker”, you’re so eager to prove you’re everything a potential employer could want, it’s easy to neglect what YOU want.

Of course, before we can seek what we truly want in a job, we first must define it for ourselves.  So, how can you best evaluate a job offer to ensure it will lead to long-term career satisfaction?

While it may be tempting to jump at an offer that feels like it meets your financial needs, there’s a lot more to a rewarding role than the size of a paycheck.  In fact, today candidates are asking for a lot more from the companies interested in them.

Let’s look at how to best approach a new opportunity to ensure that you’ll land somewhere that fulfills what matters to you most:

1) Do Your Research

First, research the prospective company with the same deep dive they’re likely taking in learning about you.  Explore their website and their social media pages so you can understand their vision, their mission, and their culture.  Do their values align with yours?  In what ways do they speak of valuing their employees?  If you could describe the company’s “personality” in one sentence, what would that be?

You’ll also want to consider how well-established the business is, and what kind of influence you will have on the company itself.  It’s worth exploring questions about your specific role:  Will you be doing a variety of tasks or taking more of a deep dive into a particular skill set?  Is it a culture that encourages learning and development of your skills?

These are questions that may not be answered by a simple Google search, so the next step in ensuring your job satisfaction involves action that is a bit more tactical.

2) Perform a Company Reference Call

Just as a business will reach out to your references to get a sense of who you are and how well you fulfill their needs, you can do the same with the company.  Performing a company reference call is an effective step in understanding what an organization is really like.

Visit LinkedIn and seek out former employees who might be willing to briefly share their insights with you about their time there.  Ask questions, such as:

  • What is the potential for upward growth?
  • Is the organization flat or hierarchal?
  • How many layers are there between you and your ideal role?
  • What is the turnover like?
  • Do people like working there?
  • What is the culture like: do employees hang out with each other, or do they just do their jobs and go home?
  • How do they celebrate holidays/special occasions in the workplace?

Questions such as these tell a lot about the work environment which you’re considering entering and can help you make a more well-informed decision about where you’re planning to spend 40+ hours each week for the foreseeable future.

3) Ask Your Recruiter

Next, you can talk to your recruiter, asking them to share what they know about the company’s culture and what the day-to-day work environment is like.  Recruiters often have a rich awareness of the businesses they are supporting and want nothing more than to create an ideal match.  So, a conversation with your recruiter may just give you the insights you need to make a final decision.  Again, ask questions that get to the heart of what matters most to you, such as:

  • What have employees said about working there?
  • What kind of employee tends to be most successful?
  • What do I need to look out for?
  • What is the dynamic between management and employees?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • How would you describe management’s leadership style?

Of course, you may have other questions as well, including what the company values, what perks they offer their employees, and what feedback the recruiters have heard from others who they’ve helped onboard at the organization.

4) Ask Your Interviewer Qualifying Questions

Finally, when it’s time for the big interview, think of it as a two-way street.  Your interviewer will be asking you a healthy list of questions about yourself, and you should be prepared to do the same with them.  In fact, they’d be disappointed if you didn’t come in with some qualifying questions.  After all, they want someone who is curious, ambitious, and eager to find a good fit for themselves.  Here are some potential questions for your interviewer or the hiring manager:

  • What would an average work week look like?
  • What about a busy one?
  • What kind of people are successful here?
  • What do you personally like about working here?
  • What’s something you hope will change about the business in the near future?
  • What advice would you give someone who is interested in working here?

Final Words

As you can see, there are a lot of steps involved to truly evaluate a job offer on a cultural and technical level.  One more step - perhaps, in fact, the first one to take - is to talk to Accountants One about your aspirations.

We’re a business made up of talented recruiters who truly care about your career journey.  We’re good listeners who are invested in helping you discover what matters most to you and then matching you with a role that helps bring those goals to fruition.  Think of us as trusted career partners who value people and their passions.  In fact, that’s OUR passion:  connecting you with a role that will allow you to thrive.  We’re here to help you find AND qualify for job opportunities so you can curate the career you desire.

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