So, you’ve potentially landed your dream job.
Your new company is offering you an excellent salary with benefits galore. But you’re still in the middle of the hiring process — and you need to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not actually dreaming.
To ensure this career is exactly what you’re looking for, you need to ask the right questions to know if you’re positioning yourself for success.
After all, a job offer can be one of the most exciting moments in your budding career, but it’s essential to know precisely what you’re getting into before accepting it. The last thing you want is to agree to work somewhere you thought would be magical only to find out that it’s a dystopian nightmare where everyone wears the same gray jumpsuit.
We want you to excel at everything you do here at DotConnect, and we’ve got your back when it comes to feeling out your latest job offer to ensure you’re landing in the right place.
Without further ado, let’s hop into our top five questions to ask your hiring manager before accepting your new job to ensure your career has everything you need to thrive.
#1: What Is This Position's Career Path and Upward Mobility?
This question may seem a little too corporate from the outside looking in, but knowing the opportunities your potential job has to offer is essential for knowing if your future company is the right fit.
Asking about your career path doesn’t just give you an idea of what you can expect from your new position — it also gives you insight into what your future employer expects from you. If they want you to participate in professional development, increase your workload, or take on new responsibilities, a transparent career path will give you a better idea of what’s expected.
And when you ask about upward mobility, you’re narrowing in on how you will be able to grow in your new career. These questions are important because your personal growth should be a top priority when you’re about to start a new job. If you are about to step into a role where there’s no chance of a promotion or raise, your chances for growth will be limited.
Another specific question you can ask your hiring manager to learn more about upward mobility is how many people typically get promoted from their position at the company. If it’s less than 5% a year, you may not have much chance for growth.
#2: What Is the Organization’s Vision and Strategy for the Next 12-18 Months?
During the hiring process, the hiring manager’s job is to help you understand the position and how your role fits into the organization’s vision. But it’s your job to ask the right questions to reveal the specific vision and strategy for your potential career.
Questions like “What does success look like for my position?” and “How will my performance be measured?” will lay a clear foundation for how you can achieve success in your future job. Understanding what success already looks like to your future employer and the metrics for how they interpret your achievement keeps you from guessing whether you’re doing well.
Another quandary you can pose to your hiring manager is what a typical work day will look like in your new position.
Not only does asking for the abridged version of your future job give you just a bit more information about what to expect, but it also shows that you’re curious about what your potential employer has in store for you. This enthusiasm lets your hiring manager know you’re motivated to succeed and prepared to put forth effort from day one.
#3: What Will the First 30, 60, 90 Days in the Role Look Like?
If you’re noticing a trend in the questions you need to ask to ensure you’re choosing the right career path, good — that’s because there is.
Asking what the first 30, 60, and 90 days will look like in your potential role may sound the same as asking about your career path and the organization’s vision for your position. Even though they are similar, the key difference (and why you should ask all three questions) is the focus of your questions.
Starting by asking about upward mobility is like using a wide-angle lens to take a picture. You can see a lot in the picture, but the focus is broad. Conversely, asking about certain milestone days in your potential position is like using a zoom lens to take a pinpointed picture of something from a distance.
You need to know if you’ll be asked to dive in with both feet or if there’s going to be a period of training, adjustment, and settling into your new role — asking about the first 30, 60, and 90 days will do just that.
Knowing these answers will help you realize if you’re going to be nurtured and developed at this new company or if you’re just going to be someone who is there to make the organization more money. In our opinion, if your potential new company isn’t investing in your growth, why should you invest in theirs?
#4: What Are You Going to Achieve in This Role a Year From Now?
Everybody likes to have a reason to celebrate, right?
By asking about your potential achievements, you get a snapshot of the goals you can set for yourself once you start your job. Also, this question loops back to the idea of knowing what the organization expects from you.
Your hiring manager should have a solid understanding of what your job will look like in the future, and it could be a significant red flag if they don’t. A lack of understanding about your potential accomplishments could mean that your potential employer doesn’t have a clear vision for your position.
Asking questions like “What are reasonable goals for someone after their first year of employment? How might those goals change as they get more experience? And is there anything special I should know about how things work around here?” will give you invaluable insight into the company’s corporate culture and how they view employees.
As you listen to the hiring manager’s response to your question, look for reasons to celebrate. The more positive goals you have to work toward, the more excited you will be to pursue a career at that company.
#5: Which Part of the Position Has the Steepest Learning Curve?
You’d want a guide if you were about to start climbing a mountain for the first time, right?
The same is true as you start a new job — especially if you feel a little underqualified for the position. Asking about the steepest learning curve will help you decide what to focus on during the crucial transitional period as you enter your new career.
Once you accept your new position, knowing the challenging aspects ahead of time will give you a better understanding of where you want to dedicate the most time during your training period. This knowledge will give you a chance to seek the guidance of someone who’s already experienced in the subject instead of trying to decipher your new role independently.
Learning from a more knowledgeable other gives you an advantage as you transition into your new position. It helps you sink into your role more quickly than if you were trying to figure it out on your own, and it opens the door for success as you begin your new work journey.
Side note: If you ask about the most challenging aspects of your future career, and the hiring manager doesn’t have a straightforward answer, you want to be a bit wary of the opportunity to work for the organization.
Your hiring manager should clearly understand what you’re about to experience in your new role, and if they are unsure, it could mean that you won’t get the support you need to succeed in your position.
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These five questions will give you better insight into whether your potential new career will be a good fit. Ultimately though, you need to give the job a shot if you think it could work for you — fortune favors the bold, and stepping into the unknown could be your thing.
If you accept the position, we recommend working at a position for at least 90 days to give yourself ample time to learn and grow in your position before you make a judgment about whether you want to stay or not. Those three months should be enough time for that brand new feeling to wear off so that you have a level-minded view of your new career moving forward.
To learn more about our philosophy on hiring, visit us on LinkedIn and follow our CEO, Dom Farnan, who regularly shares tips on being more conscious about building and growing your team. And if you’re ready to pivot in your career and thinking about pursuing a career in talent acquisition, visit our careers page to learn about our available roles.
Hiring is our passion at DotConnect, and if you’re a hiring manager looking for a better way to build your team, reach out to us. We’ve helped clients like Samsung NEXT, Beautycounter, and Zendesk build incredible teams grounded in a conscious corporate culture, and we can do the same for you!