14 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

Maddie Lloyd
by Maddie Lloyd
Get The Job, Guides - 3 years ago

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These questions are designed to help you make well-informed decisions about a potential jobs and not get sucked into the ultimate nightmare — the Worst Job Ever. You’re welcome.

1. Why was the position created? or Why is there an opening for this position?

This is a good question to ask during the actual interview. It shows intellectual curiosity, but isn’t obnoxious or prying. It’s a good way to gather some history on the position and learn whether the opening is due to growth, or because it just totally sucks and people keep leaving.

It’s good to know if the position is new or if it’s been around for a while. If the position was recently created, then you’re going to be paving the way for this shit. If it’s been around for a while, then you need to know why the person who held it before you was fired, promoted, or if they just disappeared into the abyss.

2. Do you have any doubts about my qualifications?

If you get a job interview or an offer, there’s a good chance your prospective employer at least feels somewhat okay about your qualifications. This is still a good question to ask — it shows that you’re ballsy and confident in your skills, and that you’re ready to prove that you’re qualified for the job.

3. Will I be allowed to work remotely if needed?

If the answer to this question isn’t already stated in the job description, you should just go ahead and ask. Occasionally working remotely is pretty common, so don’t worry about looking antisocial or lazy. People who work for companies that allow them to work remotely generally tend to be happier and more productive, so it might be worth your time to ask this question to help you make your final decision about the job.

4. What is an average workday like here for someone in this position?

Good luck on your job search, pilgrim.

Are you going to be expected to be at work before the crack of dawn and stay until the cows come home? Unless you want to work on a farm, it’s probably a good idea to ask this question.

Getting an idea of how heavy your workload will be, if you’ll spend your time working alone or with a team, and the general expectations will give you a lot of answers to help you make a decision.

5. What do I need to do to be considered successful in this position?

It’s a good idea to know how the company defines and measures success before you sign on to work for them. This question shows that you’re interested in being successful with their company, and their answer can tell you how to get there and if it will be a good fit for you.

6. What kind of on-the-job training and continuing education can I expect?

This is a good way to show that you’re looking to expand your knowledge and grow with the company. Everyone learns differently and no two companies train their employees the exact same way — it’s good to know if your prospective employer’s method of training works for you so that you can be successful and happy in your new job.

7. Who will I be working with and can I meet them?

It makes sense to want to meet the people you’re going to be working with. You’re going to be spending a pretty hefty chunk of your time around them, so it’s good to try to interact with the people you’re going to see on a daily basis.

You probably won’t be able to totally figure out if you’ll be best friends with your supervisor and your co-workers after just one brief meeting, but it could help give you an idea of how they prefer to communicate, if they’re hard workers and motivate one another, or if they’re all just a bunch of lazy dinguses.

8. How do you handle salary negotiation and raises? What is included in your benefits package?

Asking an employer questions about money can feel pretty awkward, but making money is kind of the main reason people work, so it’s okay to ask about a company handles wages, negotiations, and benefits before you decide if you want to work for them or not.

Asking for a raise is a pretty common and often necessary practice — and it shows an employer that you plan on advancing your career and taking on more responsibilities.

If you’re too old to be covered by your parents’ insurance, you’ll want to know what a company’s benefits include. Nobody wants to go see a sketchy, back-alley doctor because they don’t have insurance for a real one.

9. Is there a dress code?

Unless a dress code is particularly sexist or ridiculous, they don’t really tend to be deal-breakers for most people. It’s still a good idea to find out if you’re going to be expected to dress up everyday, or if you could show up wearing a potato sack without being sent home.

If you have visible tattoos or piercings, it’s a good idea to figure out what the company policy is regarding showing those off in the workplace.

10. How do you handle communication after hours and on weekends?

This is a good question to ask for your own personal sanity. While it’s normal for employers to want to stay in touch while working on big projects, you don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you’re constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown everytime your phone vibrates because the office is constantly calling and texting you.

11. How do you handle time off requests for a person in this position, and what is the vacation policy? How many sick/personal days will I get?

Some companies and managers are flexible with time-off requests, and some just can’t handle them at all — it’s good to know which situation you’re going to be dealing with.

It’s probably a good idea to mention that you’re not already planning your next Caribbean getaway right when you’d be starting a new job, but that you’re just curious about the company’s policies should something come up. And hey, sometimes you just need a mental health day.

12. What are the company values?

It’s important to make sure that a company’s values align with your own. If you think dressing children up to look like adults is the worst, you probably wouldn’t like to work for a company that hosts an annual children’s beauty pageant.

Having clashing values with your employers can lead to difficulty and conflict down the line. If something’s particularly important to you (i.e. environmentalism, women’s issues, etc.), it’s worth your time to ask an employer what a company values before accepting an offer.

13. What is office culture like?

Some offices have standard cubicles and boardrooms, and others have open floor plans that (arguably) force interaction among colleagues. This is a great question to ask that can help you decide if a job is right for you.

How an office works — the level of camaraderie among employees, how many happy hours you might be expected to attend, and the general atmosphere of the workplace — can make a job experience either super awesome or completely awful.

14. Why did the person who previously held this position leave?

The answer you want to hear for this question is either that they moved on to do the job of your dreams, or that they were promoted within the company. Ideally, you want to hear that this position would be a great step toward your ultimate career goals. Worst case scenario, you would hear that the turnover rate for this job is high because it just straight up sucks.

Depending on what the answer to this question happens to be, it might be a good idea to ask someone who would be your co-worker instead of your potential boss. That way, you can expect to hear the truth rather than a sugar-coated statement about someone not quite “fitting in.”

Final Thoughts

Now that you’re ready to make sure a potential job is the job of your dreams, or at least a job in a dream that isn’t a total nightmare, the important thing is to remember to ask the questions that are the most important to you.

Sure, it’s easier to just accept a job without looking too much into details, and asking questions can be a tedious task that makes your job hunting process seem even longer, but you deserve to know what you’re getting yourself into.

You should be ready to ask as many questions as it takes until you feel sure that this job fits your needs and interests, and it’s always okay to decline a job offer if you find that it’s not for you, or even if it just seems god awful.

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