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Questions to Ask BEFORE You Accept a Job Offer

Posted on: December 23, 2018

Skillful coworkers are enjoying their conversation

When applying for jobs, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re offered a position.

The euphoric “yes!” that comes after being told you were selected as the top candidate can easily overshadow some important questions that you should be asking before committing to an employer.

Is this the right job for you? The more you know, the more informed a decision you can make when deciding on whether to accept a job or not.

Interviewing goes both ways.

During the interview process, employers often ask: “Do you have any questions for me?”

Take advantage of this opportunity and be prepared. Remember, interviewing goes both ways, and it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your potential employer questions. A lot of job seekers may worry that asking questions makes them seem nitpicky or demanding, but in fact it’s the opposite. Asking questions of a potential employer lets them know that you are serious about the position and already imagining yourself in that role. It also lets them know that you are prepared and serious about the opportunity.

What to ask?

The Role:
While the job description probably provided a good overview of the position and the employer likely expanded on what your responsibilities would be, they may not have gone into the finer details – So, ask!

Here are few questions to consider:

• When do I start?
• How did this position come to be open?
• What has turnover been like in this role?
• What does success look like in this role?
• Could you give an example of a typical working day?
• What would my immediate priorities be?
• What are the expectations of this position over the first twelve months?
• How would you measure my success, if I were chosen for this role?

The Team:
When accepting a job offer, you want to make sure the position is a good fit for you. Your working environment – which includes who you work with — is a big part of that. These questions will help you see if you have the same values as the people the company has employed.

Here are few questions to consider:

• Will I have a mentor or someone providing me guidance?
• Who will I work with most closely?
• Who will I report to directly?
• What is your vision for the team?
• What is the biggest achievement this department has made?
• What is the biggest challenge facing this department right now?

The Company:
Whenever you apply for a job, it’s important to do your research. But, even if you think you already have a good understanding of what the company does, it’s still a good idea to find out as much as you can if you’re considering working there.

Here are few questions to consider:

• I’ve read about the company, but can you tell me more about it?
• How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?”
• What do you like about working here?
• Does anyone on the team hang out outside the office?
• What are the long-term prospects for the person who takes up the job?
• How is work-life balance in the company?

Salary & Benefits

Some employers are up front about salary and benefit details from the very beginning and some are not. It shouldn’t be up to the job applicant to ask what the salary is, but if you aren’t informed about this during the initial interview process, don’t be afraid to ask – just remember to be as diplomatic and professional as you can since no two hiring managers are alike.

Also, make sure you know you’re worth. This will give you solid footing should you be able to negotiate your salary or benefits once an offer is made.

Here are a few questions you could ask:

• Is the salary negotiable?
• What is included as a part of your benefits package?
• What kind of opportunities exists for personal growth?
• Are there any wellness perks?
• What is the performance review process like here?
• Can I know about the 401K program?
• Do you offer dental and vision insurance?
• How many sick days and personal days are offered?
• How much paid vacation time do you offer per year?
• What are the core working hours?

The Offer

You’ve asked all the important questions, finished the interview process and now you have an offer in front of you. Take time to carefully consider all the information you’ve gathered before accepting or declining an offer. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to go back to the employer and ask. Remember, it’s easier to decline an offer than have to quit down the line.