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Career Counselor
Watch for Corporate Culture Cues

July 2006 As you prepare to accept a job offer, make sure you don't focus exclusively on compensation. While salary and benefits will certainly be key factors in your decision, take as much time assessing the corporate culture of a potential employer to ensure it is a good fit for you. Ask yourself if you will be happy and be able to thrive in the new environment.

Below are a few questions to pose to the hiring manager during your interview to gauge your match with the company culture:

What is the workplace style? Before and after the interview, notice as much as you can about how employees interact. How do they address each other? What seems to be the prevalent style of dress? In addition to discussing them with the hiring manager, find out if you can speak with other employees in the department. Also check with members in your professional network to see what they know of the organization. 

Will this job help me advance in my career? Keep your long-term professional development goals in mind and don't hesitate to ask the hiring manager about the company's support of continuing education programs, the possibility of increasing responsibilities in your position and the opportunity to participate in mentoring programs.

Will I develop a level of autonomy with my projects? Ask about the level of supervision on individual or team projects and spend time discussing the department's decision-making process. This will help you understand your assignments and future growth possibilities within the department.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2006 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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