1. First are foremost — The responsibilities of the prospective role
2. Second (arguably could also be #1) — the culture — what are the people like? What traits do these people have in common? (if someone had to describe the culture in one sentence)
a. The only way to find this out is to truly talk to people at the company
b. Try to use your network to find someone who works at the prospective firm and ask them the hard questions!
3. The formal or typical career path(s) beyond this role
4. The company’s values (and how much that does or does not infiltrates into and/or affect the day to day culture of the company)
5. Flat versus hierarchical culture/structure
a. Is there a meritocracy of ideas?
b. Are you allowed/encouraged to meet with senior people?
c. Are you allowed/encouraged to question those more senior to you?
6. Team structure — how many people you’ll work with and how interactive or independent your work/role/responsibilities will be (does this fit your personality/working style?)
7. Formal and informal trainings that are available
8. Career focus — how often and with whom do you discuss your career path and new opportunities?
9. Lifestyle — what are the hours? What is the commute like? Do people work once they leave the office?
These can range in importance to you. There may be others you consider important. Figure out what is important to you, rank them, and do not settle for less.
Email me your thoughts and ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.