Summary: Weigh your options and ask some questions to really understand if the company is the right place for you.
We know you are happy to finally see the light at the end of the job search tunnel when you receive the welcome news of a job offer, but don’t immediately hop on board. Before accepting the job offer, there are some things you should be asking. A number of these questions may have already been addressed during the interview process, but if not, now is the time to bring them up.
- Does the company accept wage negotiations and raises?
While you may not be intending to inquire about a pay raise at that very moment, it is good to know if a company is open to pay increases over time before you sign a contract for employment with them. You want to work for a company that allows for growth, so asking this question shows that you are planning to advance your career and do the necessary work to do so, including taking on additional responsibilities.
- Can you walk me through a typical day in this position so I can get a feel for my hours and responsibilities?
Hopefully, you asked this question before now, but if not, now is the chance to learn if they have any surprising policies. It is also wise to understand their expectations of you before you sign a contract.
- What does the company stand for?
Once again, this is a good question for an interview. You want to ensure you are joining ranks with a company that has values that align with your own if that is something you are concerned about. There are times with having conflicting values with your employer can cause problems later down the line. If there are values that are especially important, then finding out if they care about the value or related values is important.
- What is the office culture like?
If you did not get a tour of the office, then you may not be aware of what kind of organization style the office has like cubicles or an open floor plan with tables for desks. If you know you don’t like to work in a certain environment then working with this company may be a problem. There may also be a large number of social events you are expected to attend or a very strict, no-fun kind of atmosphere. Depending on what you are looking for in an employer, the answer they give can affect whether you take the offer or not.
- What exactly is included in the benefits package?
You need to know exactly what you will be getting so you can determine if the salary is adequate. Are there additional benefits like dental, prescriptions, gym membership, etc. included in the benefits? Having these additional things may justify a lower salary. If there are very few benefits included, then you will be able to figure out what your additional payments will be and if the salary can cover all your expenses.
- What is the vacation policy? How many sick/personal days do I receive?
No one wants to work for a company that drags their tails in approving vacation days or gives employees a hard time when they take a sick or even personal day. Clarify that you are not planning on taking days off already but that you want to understand the policies in case of an emergency.
- Why is the position available? Why did the previous person leave?
While you are hoping that the person left for their dream job or advanced to another position, there is the chance that the person before left due to bad management or overall dissatisfaction with the job or employer. This question is generally a good one to ask during the interview or from someone else working at the company, since the boss may not tell you the ugly truth. Weigh the answer to this question carefully, because it is bad news to get roped into a stressful job, bad company, or other negative situation that will hurt your career chances more than help you progress.
Have you ever told an employer no after receiving a job offer? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.
To learn more about questions to ask during an interview, read these articles:
- 7 Must-Ask Questions during Your Interview
- 9 Questions to Ask Before Working at a Startup Company
- Top 4 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview: How to “Blow Away” Interviewers with Incredible Questions
Photo: flickr.comWhat Should You Do Once You Receive a Job Offer? by Amanda Griffin