Questions to Ask Before Accepting Job Offer
Getting a job offer is a good news. Congratulations! You have probably passed through rigorous recruitment exercises and have had a successful interview. So it is a big thing to finally receive that email, phone call, or one-on-one announcement offering you a position. But before you sign contracts and seal deals with handshakes, there are important questions you might like to go over with the recruitment team.
Why Ask Questions?
Asking questions clarifies every aspect of the interview or recruitment. First of all, remember that asking questions, not being comfortable with a term or condition, not having a clear understanding of some things about the company or organization offering you a job, or deciding not to accept or agree with an offer is not a mortal sin. View asking questions before accepting a job offer the same way you would peruse, look at all corners and ask questions before buying or renting a house and moving into it. When you are house seeking, you put everything into consideration – plumbing, painting, location, comfort in general. Why settle for less on a job?
As a job seeker, treat and project yourself as a brand that can give and deserves the best. You have the right to make choices for yourself. When you have certified a workplace comfortable enough and desirable for you, then you will surely give in your best when you start work. If you have anything on your mind or something you are not sure about, it is best not to assume but to ask. A few seconds spent asking a question can spare you dissatisfaction with your place of work in the long run especially if you are looking forward to growing your career and generally enjoying your work life. Another reason why it is advisable to ask questions before accepting a job offer is that with well-thought-out questions, you could cut a good bargain for yourself regarding salary and perquisite. Also, recruiters, most times expect you to ask questions and go through contracts thoroughly before giving an answer. They understand that it is normal and healthy to be inquisitive and that is why many interviews end with the interviewer asking, ‘Any questions?’ Questions show them that you are not being agreeable to all the terms simply because you desperately need the job. It tells them you are planning to give commitment and help grow the company. Asking questions shows that you have a mind of your own and can make informed decisions which is a good character trait employers commend. When they notice this, their faith in hiring you will be strengthened. If you ask questions, you prove that you have really been listening during your interview and have a genuine interest in the job. This will give you a good rating as a valuable employee and an edge even before your first day has started if you decide to take the offer.
But you might say, ‘I have nothing to ask’. Or think, ‘What do I ask? Just anything? How do I structure my questions?’ Worry no more. This article is here to give the needed help. On things to ask about, anything about the job that is unclear to you or that you would need more information on is a good question. This includes (but is not restricted to, as each company or organization differs) work hours, expected roles and tasks, pay packages and bonuses, perks like vacations, holidays, and leaves, training and further skill acquisition, promotions, organizational work style, and culture, medical insurance, safety measures, and legal issues just to mention a few.
However, there are dos and don’ts of asking questions before accepting a job offer. Have a look at some of them.
Things to Do
- Prepare your questions before your interview. Many job advertisements add company descriptions and what is required of the role you are applying for. Read thoroughly to understand company values, culture, and ethics. You can also go to the company’s website and social media pages.
- Be polite. Allow the recruiter to answer a question completely before asking another one. It is not an interrogation but rather a diplomatic conversation.
- If there is no contract provided, ask for one to be drawn so that everything discussed and agreed on can be put down in writing. If there is one available, read thoroughly before signing. You can ask for time to go through it.
- Be cautious, especially when you are planning on accepting the offer. You do not want to give off the vibes that you are going to reject the offer. Set a limit to your negotiation but make sure you get the best for yourself.
Things to Avoid
- Do not ask obvious questions. This is why you should make prior preparation. For instance, if the work hours are clearly written on your contract, it is not necessary to ask about it.
- When you are negotiating, do not do it like you are in a flea market or thrift store nor should you make unrealistic demands. Speak for your brand and ask for what you think you are worth or what your skills or services cost on the job market as of the time you are getting the offer. Do not sell yourself short or makeover the top demands that would make your recruiter think of retracting the offer.
We have curated well-thought-out samples of questions that will ensure you have covered all grounds and will help you decide if you are taking that offer or not.
- What should I look forward to in terms of remuneration? –This question opens the floor for salary negotiation. However, some companies have non-negotiable salaries. Whatever the case is, always make sure you outrightly ask what your remuneration will be, how it is going to be paid, and if there are any chances for an increase or bonus packages. If you do not, some recruiters will take it that you expect to settle for anything given to you.
- What are the chances for growth and career development? – Ask your recruiter how climbing the ladder of success works in the company? When are promotions due? What makes you eligible for one? Is credit given to personal work that can help build your career as an individual?
- What are the perks of the job? – Are there vacations? Paid leaves? Holidays? Free breakfast? Find out.
- What does a typical workday look like? Please walk me through it. – When does a typical workday start and end? Are there breaks in between? What are the goals expected to be achieved in a day? What equipment or gadgets will you come in contact with on a daily basis?
- What are the work hours like? – How many days a week will you work? Does the company run shifts or part-time? Are the work hours flexible?
- What is the company’s work style?– Find out if you will be working with a team or independently. If you will be working with a team, could you be introduced to them? Is there a provision for remote working?
- Are there opportunities for training or courses on skill acquisition? – If there are opportunities for further education, when is it due? Does the company pay for the expenses?
- In terms of hierarchy, who will I be directly reporting to? – If you will be working under a boss or a team leader, find out who they are, their names, and the proper titles to address them by.
- When do I get eligible for benefits like health insurance? – Find out how the welfare of the staff is managed. Is there a provision for health insurance, sick leave, paternity, or maternity leave? If your job offer is from a factory or any other production-focused establishment, are there safety measures put in place?
- What challenges are common on the job? – Do not get carried away by asking only about the positive aspects of the job. Do not assume that everything is rosy. All jobs have their challenges. Find out the common challenges in the job you are being offered.
Now that you have an idea of questions to ask, we are sure that you have noticed that they are not difficult or awkward at all. You should also ask yourself some questions, specifically about non-negotiable aspects of your prospective work life and personal preferences. Every term and condition might not be agreeable to you but by asking questions you get to gauge how comfortable and enjoyable the work-life will be and make your final decision. So go ahead and ask those questions!