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9 questions to ask before you accept a job you don't want

HI, I live in Anchorage and am a management consultant and writer. I'm founder of™, and I'm author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. I author...

Don't get stuck in a job you hate because you didn't ask the right questions

Have you ever started a new job and regretted it within a few months – and wished you had asked a few questions before you’d excitedly said “yes” to the job offer? Or have you ever not been able to choose between two job offers because you didn’t know enough about what either job offered so you could have made an informed decision?

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If either any of the above fit you, you’ve learned the hard way that you need to gain as much knowledge as possible concerning any job offer you accept – before you say yes.

Here are nine key questions to ask:

Learn what it will take for you to attain job success

Key question that help you learn what you’ll need to do – in the eyes of your prospective employer – include:

  • What will you want me to accomplish in my first thirty (sixty) days?
  • What will tell you one month from now, that you’ve hired the right candidate?
  • How will you evaluate my performance?
  • Once I’m oriented, what decision making responsibility will I have?

As a secondary benefit, asking these questions also tells the job interviewer you care about meeting employer expectations.

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What will it be like working for this manager?

Before you land a job with an employer who expects daily briefings, which you consider micromanagement, or a hands-off manager unavailable when you need guidance, ask:

  • How often will you and I be communicating and what type of communication do you prefer – email, in person, by phone, or via texting?

Will this employer have reasonable expectations?

Will this job ask more of you than you're prepared to give? Here’s how you’ll know whether you’ll be working a standard work week or days, nights and weekends – ask questions such as:

  • How reachable will you want me to be on weekends or evenings?
  • How often will the employee in this job take home work? What’s a normal workday and work week here?
  • How much business travel will I do?
  • How much overtime will there be?

So, the next time an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” ask these nine, and, if you don’t like the answers, breathe a sigh of relief – you dodged a bullet.

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© 2016, Lynne Curry. If you'd like an answer to your career question, it's easy. Write Lynne authored Beating the Workplace Bully (AMACOM, 2016) and Solutions. You can also follow Lynne@lynnecurry10 on Twitter or access her other posts on SheKnows, or

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