Hiring markets ebb and flow, with some markets favoring candidates and others favoring employees. Right now, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them, meaning people applying for work could have multiple job offers to choose from. No matter what the market looks like when you’re applying for a new position, if you’re interviewing for multiple positions, it’s important to learn about potential future employers while they’re learning about you. But what should you look for and what questions should you ask? HopeWorks Personal and Career Development team has a few recommendations for you to consider.
Pay and benefits
We don’t have to tell you that how well a job pays should be a serious factor to consider when you’re reviewing job offers. But beyond a salary or hourly wage, there are other types of compensation that you should factor into your decision. For example, some companies offer great health insurance at a low premium for employees. This could save you thousands of dollars a year, and may actually make your take home pay higher than a company with a better starting salary but more expensive benefits. You should also talk with the person preparing your offer about policies around bonuses, pay structures and performance incentives.
Schedule and shift
For some people, schedule flexibility is a must for a job. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the hours you’ll be expected to work, how much time you get off and what their policies are for sick days. Compare their policies against your transportation habits (Do you have a reliable car? Need to carpool? Ride a bus?), your childcare arrangements, personal commitments and other life circumstances. All of these factors combined can give you a really clear idea of whether or not a job will work for you and your family.
Upward mobility and professional development
Finding a job you love, one that provides opportunities for you to advance and increase your pay, is important. In the interview process, talk with the interviewer about your future ability to gain responsibilities and get promotions. Finding yourself stagnant in a role after several years can leave you feeling dissatisfied, so it’s important to understand what opportunities are ahead of you! Similarly, discuss professional development opportunities with the interviewer. This could include on-the-job training for necessary software and equipment, or chances to go to conferences or trade events to meet other industry professionals.
Management and personalities
One of the hardest things to gauge can be the most important – management styles and personalities of coworkers. You want to be happy in your working environment, and a huge influence on workplace happiness is how you are treated by your superiors. Ask questions in your interview about how the company delivers feedback and what the employee review process is like. If the interviewer is a manager or would be your superior, ask them about their management style and how they like to work with their employees. If it’s appropriate, see if you can talk with an employee about their workplace experience to get a better feel for what it’s like to work at the company.
Making a career change can feel scary – but oftentimes, the right choice is clear if you enter the process with goals outlined. We encourage you to use this criteria to find the job that works best for you!