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Your Money Matters: Warning signs you shouldn’t accept a job offer

Kevin Roeder

LaSalle Network, staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago

(3 locations—Chicago, Oak Brook, Arlington Heights; but main office in Chicago)

200 N. LaSalle St.

Chicago, Il  60601

312-419-1700

www.lasallenetwork.com

Tips:

How can you tell if a job is right for you?

  • Know what you want first - what works for one person doesn't work for everyone. Know the type of environment you work best in. Understand your priorities and how you like to work so you can look for that in a potential employer.

 

What are some warning signs you shouldn't accept a job?

  • The manager doesn't get you excited about the role. Good managers are passionate about their team and that shows during interviews. They should be able to explain their vision for the role and future of their team and be excited about it.
  • The environment throws you off. People need different things from companies, but if you like collaboration, open communication and the office environment is quiet and separated, it probably won't be a good place for you.
  • Other employees don't seem happy. While not all employees are going to be happy all the time, the majority should seem happy and engaged. Do people greet you when you walk in? Do you see people talking to each other? Is there laughter?
  • Executive leadership is absent. Leaders that are passionate and care about a company's culture and developing employees make the time to be present in the office. If you want to be able to grow and learn, a strong leadership team is important, so their absence may signify you won't be able to get that there.
  • The office space is messy. If you look around and see dirty dishes everywhere in the kitchen, old coffee sitting out, if the reception space is littered with papers, it could mean that employees and leaders don't respect each other or the company. While individual desks are different, not caring about public spaces could be a red flag.

 

What should you pay attention to in an interview to see if a company is right for you?

  • Company culture - when you walk through the office, get a sense for the culture - you can understand a lot from the first time you walk through an office
  • Look at how employees are (or aren't) interacting - are they collaborating with one another? talking? or, are they stuck in a cubicle
  • Look for consistency - Ask the same question to multiple people you interview with and see if their answers are similar or if they differ.
  • How comfortable the conversation is - if you aren't able to feel comfortable with the hiring manager or build a relationship (even in a short amount of time), you probably won't be able to as an employee, either

 

What questions should you ask in an interview to uncover red flags?

  • Why is the position open? Did the person in the role previously get promoted? Is it a newly created role?
  • What is your vision for the position?
  • What excites you about working for this company?
  • Ask the same questions to multiple people to see if there are any discrepancies or differences in their answers.

 

What's the best way to decline a job offer? Is there certain etiquette to be aware of?

  • Be honest and upfront. Employers know job seekers may have multiple offers or be interviewing with multiple companies and that’s okay, but it’s important to be honest with where you’re at in the job search process.
  • It doesn’t necessarily have to be a phone call, an email is fine. Explain that you’re grateful for their consideration but have decided to accept a different role.