Workplace Trends

Developing Your Career

Perform Your Due Diligence before Accepting a Job Offer

By Helene Cavalli on May 31, 2013

Did you ever start a new job where your expectations didn’t align with the reality of the position? If so, it could have been that the position was “oversold” during the interview process – or it could be that you – the applicant – failed to perform the due diligence required to make an informed decision. Either way, the result can be detrimental for both the employee and employer.

A recent SHRM.com survey, “Majority of New Hires Say Job Is Not What They Expected,” reveals that “six in 10 American workers say they’ve found aspects of a new job different from what they expected, indicating they may have felt misled during the interview process.” The “disconnect” was most pronounced in the following categories: employee morale (40%), job responsibilities (39%), working hours (37%), and boss’s personality (36%).

Here are some tips for uncovering valuable intel about the organization and position before you accept an offer:

Before the interview, check out the company’s reputation:

  • Google the company for postings on issues like financial health, growth and/or recent reductions in force. Add a “v” and a space before the name of the company before searching to uncover court filings. While the occasional lawsuit may not indicate a wide-spread problem, recurrent litigation can reveal a pattern of corporate behavior.
  • GlassDoor.com is a free website that provides company reviews and information about corporate culture, interview questions, salaries, etc.
  • Ask networking contacts and LinkedIn connections what they know about the company (benefits, culture, management style, etc.).

During the interview, ask the following questions to uncover as much as possible about the actual job and how you’ll fit into both the role and the organization:

  • How would you describe the corporate culture? What is the culture of this department?
  • How do you think the organization can improve?
  • How would you describe a normal workday for this position?
  • What are the top reasons employees leave the organization?
  • How would you describe the personalities of your top performers?
  • May I meet with some members of the team?
  • How much autonomous authority will the person in this position have to make things happen?

In order to land a position that’s a good “fit” for your skills, experience, goals, lifestyle, and personality, you have to take control, do the homework and ask some hard questions.

2 Responses to “Perform Your Due Diligence before Accepting a Job Offer”

  1. Rob Lamneck

    All sounds good but in this day and time having a job for many is better than not having one. Until the leverage shifts away from the ’employer’ the situation you describe probably happens frequently, and will continue.

    Reply
    • Christine Cavalier

      Very true, Rob. Still, I think it is beneficial to all job seekers to go into a new position with their “eyes wide open”. By doing the appropriate research on a company before accepting an offer, a candidate can make an informed choice. If their particular situation justifies accepting a less than ideal job, at least then, they will have more realistic expectations when starting.

      Reply

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