Interviews could be better. Think about it. You spend a couple of hours meeting with the employer, where everyone is on their best behaviour.
Then, if you are offered the job, you have another few days to think about it before deciding if you should quit your current job and take this new one.
Effectively, you are forced to make an important life decision on a small amount of information.
Yes, some will argue that the employer takes the same risk. But the consequences are more significant for you if things don’t work out.
Here are some things you should do or consider when researching a job and employer before accepting an offer:
1. Get to know your immediate boss better. This is your most important relationship and one which will have a big impact on your happiness and growth. Take the initiative to suggest meeting them off-site for a coffee or lunch. In that meeting, you should better understand what they are like as a person. Try to understand their values to see how they align with yours. Find out how they measure success and what kind of feedback you will receive. Ask about the good and bad aspects of the job, encouraging the boss to be open and honest with you.
2. Meet with your prospective co-workers. They will give you insight into what it’s like to work there. Ask what they like best about the company. What they like least. Find out about career growth and learning opportunities they have received. Inquire about the “real” work expectations of the boss, like overtime and weekends.
3. Explore the company culture and values. In addition to speaking with others, researching the company’s website, social media profiles, and employee reviews can give you insight into the company’s culture and what they value. While doing so, consider how the company’s reputation within the industry could impact your future career opportunities. You can do that by looking at industry publications, attending industry events, and speaking with people in your network who might know them.
4. Find out about work-life balance and flexibility. Work-life balance and flexibility policies can impact job satisfaction. Research the company’s policies on remote work, flexible schedules, and time off to ensure they align with your needs.
5. Determine if compensation and benefits are fair and competitive. It’s essential to research the compensation and benefits package the company offers to ensure it’s fair and meets your needs. Look at salary ranges for similar jobs in the industry to ensure that the company’s offer is competitive. If necessary, make a reasonable counteroffer.
6. Learn more about career growth and development opportunities. There’s a good chance this will not be your last job. Look for companies that support training and development and offer opportunities for learning.
7. Trust your gut. Although you should never make an important decision based on intuition alone, it does play an important role when combined with other tangible evidence you may gather. If your gut is telling you something is off, it’s worth exploring further to determine if any red flags or concerns need to be addressed. In the end, you need to trust your own judgment.