Q: Dear Ima, what questions should I ask myself before applying to or accepting a job? I want to make sure I am getting the most out of my interviews.

A: Here is a list of a dozen common negotiable items when considering your job offer.

  1. Response to offer time – How soon do I need to let you know?
  2. Length of contract  – What is my start date? End date? Do I have any prior commitments that must be considered?
  3. Salary – What am I worth? What can I afford?
  4. Benefits including:
    1. Insurance – Does the company offer Health, Life, Disability, Accident, and/or Liability coverage?
    2. Housing – Is housing provided? Is there subsidized housing? Can you recommend a place to live?
    3. Equipment/Tool allowance – What is provided? Is there a tool, uniform and/or clothing allowance?
    4. Parking – Where can I park? Who pays? How much?
    5. Pension – Does the company offer a retirement plan?
  5. Decision-making authority – What comes with the job? What more can I gain, if it would make my life easier?
  6. Reporting relationships – Who is my supervisor? Who reports to me? What about other staffing – can I hire new, or get rid of old?
  7. Working conditions – What kind of office will I have? What is the condition of the inventory or the studio?
  8. Moving expenses – Is there funding for a moving company, a truck, at least support to pay for some boxes?
  9. Title – What is the job title that I will be credited with?  Is there an accompanying my job description?
  10. Time until review – When are performance reviews normally scheduled?  What is the possibility that I can move up the timetable for an early review to reconsider my salary?
  11. Support for professional activities – Is there a travel allowance? Can you cover dues in my professional association?
  12. Continuing Education – Do you provide support for skills development?

Check out the latest industry job postings at Jobs USITT.