15+ Important Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job
Any job seeker should be asking questions before accepting a job offer. These questions to ask before accepting a job offer can ensure that you place yourself into a position you're happy with. And that you're aware of the types of benefits you'll receive when working with the company.
Before asking these questions, be sure to review the offer letter to see if these details are part of the employment agreement.
Best Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job
Questions to ask before you accept a job offer.
Are there any performance incentives?
Performance incentives could be on an individual level or on a company level. Ideally, there are corporate incentives that are provided when the company does well.
This could include stock, RSU's, or cash bonuses when the company has a great year.
Is there any opportunity to get equity or stock in the company?
Most companies will tease this to you when you interview with them. In circumstances where it's not clear, it's best to ask.
It's common for companies to want to give their employees stock options in order to motivate them.
What's the company culture pride itself on?
Learning about the company culture in advance of accepting a new job can be a great idea. It's important to consider work/life balance as part of your overall compensation package.
Companies that want to pay you well but don't treat you well aren't worth it.
Learn what it will be like to work within the company before you accept.
What does the benefits package look like?
Does the company offer 401k's, health, dental, vision, or maternity leave? These are important questions that should be asked in advance.
Ask these additional questions to gain further insights:
- Does the company over maternity leave?
- Do you have dental or vision?
Does the company have a 401k or retirement benefit?
Learn about the 401k benefits the company might offer. If the hiring manager speaks about 401k contribution options, be sure to follow up with these questions:
- How much can I contribute annually?
- Does the company have a 401k match policy?
What is the paid vacation time policy?
Paid vacation days are important. What's the policy on the paid vacation days?
Ask the following questions to learn more:
- How many paid vacation days can I take annually?
- Do unused vacation days rollover into the following year?
What's the sick day policy?
Does the company have paid sick days? For corporate positions, this could be included in the paid vacation time policy.
Here are some questions to ask about sick days:
- Does the company offer paid sick days?
- How many sick days can an employee take per year?
Does the company have a bonus plan?
Are there bonuses for achieving specific objectives, goals, or completing initiatives? This could be part of your salary negotiation discussions, to include asking about bonus options.
This could have been discussed in the interview process. Though, it's best to clarify and ensure that you have all the information you need.
After asking this question, in combination with questions around company benefits, you may want to negotiate a higher salary before accepting the job offer.
How long do I have to accept the position?
A question that helps to determine which jobs or job offers you want to take. An employer will usually provide you with one week to decide. In some cases, they may want you to decide within 48 hours.
Here are variations of the question to ask:
- I'd like to take some time to consider this position. How much time do I have to accept?
- Is it okay if I take 3-5 business days to discuss with my family before accepting?
- When would you like this offer letter signed by?
What team am I going to be on?
If you want to make sure you're going to like the team you are begin assigned with, it's best to ask. A job offer won't have the details of which team or project you'll be starting with.
A hiring manager will have more information about who you'll be working with. And can provide their names or the department.
From there, you can investigate further, and decide if you like the chemistry of the team.
Who am I going to report to?
Many companies won't list who you'll be reporting to on the job offer. Instead, you'll need to ask the hiring manager this question.
Here is what you can ask:
- I'd love to learn who I'll be reporting to. This is my dream job and I would love to learn who my boss is going to be in advance.
- Who will I be reporting to in this new role?
- Is there a particular piece of success my new boss is looking to achieve?
What does the daily job duties and responsibilities look like?
Get a sense of what the long-term vision of the role looks like. And how it fits in with the company's overall objectives. As a professional, this can help to level-set how you'll feel about your daily activities, before accepting.
Here's what to ask:
- Is there anything that I'll be working on that wasn't listed in the job description?
What does my weekly schedule look like?
Does the company operate on a 4-day work week? Is there a specific schedule that the job is going to follow? Ask in order to confirm that you aren't getting yourself into a situation that could be difficult to get out of.
Can you tell me which paid holidays the company follows?
While this is not one of the key points that you'll need to know before accepting the job, it can be helpful to confirm. Ask questions like this to ensure you aren't going to have a unique work schedule.
The company could follow bank holidays and stock market holidays. Which aren't the exact same as school holidays.
Is there anything unique in the company handbook?
Ask questions like these to ensure that you have a good idea of the future. Is there a termination policy that's unique to the business? Are you an "at-will employee?"
Ask what the expectations are of each employee when they join the business.
What's the first project I'll be working on?
Learn more about what your first task will be when you start. Be sure to ask questions related to what the project is. And how long the project has been active for.
In some cases, the hiring manager won't be able to reveal the full details of the project, due to confidentiality.
Ask these questions:
- What type of project am I going to work on when I start?
- How long has the initiative been active?
When is my start date?
If this is not listed in the job offer, be sure to ask the hiring manager. When is your first official start date? When is your first day?
This will be helpful to know. And will be critical to know, especially when you submit your two weeks' notice to your current position.
Are there any other perks of the job?
Think of what you might have missed. Ask the hiring manager if there are any other perks of the job that isn't included in the job offer letter.
For example, do they offer laptops and other technical equipment? Do they offer free lunches? Or snacks?
These perks are important to know and could be beneficial in making your final decision.
Will there be a training program as part of my job?
Do they offer training? Or do they expect that you have all the knowledge you need from your career history and your education?
Ask if they offer on-the-job training or if they want you to hit the ground running on your first day.
Accepting a Job Offer Tips
Here are some tips to consider before accepting a job offer:
- Negotiate your salary before accepting. If you aren't happy with your overall compensation package, then discuss that with the manager.
- Be clear about when you'll accept. Don't string the company along if you don't have any plans to accept the job offer.
- Don't market your job offer. Using an offer to promote an increase in salary through other offers is a bold move. It can ruin a professional relationship.
- Inform the manager that you received the offer. Always tell the hiring manager that you received the job offer and need a few days to review.
- Ask questions by email. It can be easier for many job seekers to ask questions related to the job by email. It's far less stressful.
- Use a counter-offer email. If you aren't happy with your salary, try using a counter-offer email to speak with the manager regarding your package.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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