Questions To Ask Before Accepting A Job Offer

By Maddie Lloyd - Mar. 2, 2021

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You nailed it! Your job interview went smashingly well, and you’re now being offered the job. Before you accept the offer and say yes – STOP. There are some questions you need to ask.

Getting a job offer is always exciting. You’re proud of yourself, that feeling of being wanted is fantastic, and you’re caught up in the moment. But now you’re in a position of power.

It’s time to negotiate your new job. They want you, and you know it, so before you say yes to the hiring manager, let the negotiations begin.

Why and What Questions Do I Ask Before Accepting a Job?

There are several reasons to ask questions before you accept the offer. The first set of questions you ask should be about the basics of the position. You want to make sure you understand what the job offer entails.

Do you have the information you need regarding pay and hours, time off, and benefits? There are a lot of specifics that you need to know.

The next set of questions you ask might be about the role, the company, the team, and other information related to the day-to-day ins and outs.

You might also want to know about your future with the company. Are you going to stay in this position, or are you looking for a long-term professional solution that will let you grow along the way? We’re talking about promotions and career development.

You want to put yourself in the best position possible. The right job will turn into a career and can lead to a lifetime commitment. Starting on the right foot can mean everything to your professional future.

40 Important Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

So, let’s get at those questions. What are they? You probably won’t ask all 40 of them, but it does pay to be prepared and have an idea of what questions you could and should ask.

Questions About the Job Offer

There are some key points you need to know before accepting a job offer. Most of the very important points, things like what does the job pay, will be explained to you right away, but not always.

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Having a list of the most obvious questions is also a good idea. Then, you are less likely to get caught up in the moment and forget to ask some basics of your employment contract:

Questions About Your Role With the Company

Nailing down some important facts about your role and what you’ll be doing can help you decide. There is a lot discussed in the interview process, but further clarification can go a long way toward preparing you for the job’s reality:

  • Why was this position created?

  • How long has this position been a part of the company or is it still evolving?

  • Was there someone in the position before me or is it a new position?

  • Are there other people who currently hold this position or parallel positions?

  • How will I be trained or what is the plan for training?

  • Will there be a gradual ramping up of the position or will I be diving right in?

  • What does success in this role look like?

  • Do you have an outline of what a typical working day will look like?

  • What are the expectations for this position in the next year?

  • When are reviews done and what can I expect from the review process?

Should I ask about job expectations?

Allan Brown
Resume Expert

Do not be afraid to ask about short-term expectations. What are going to be your key performance indicators (KPIs) as related to your performance. You want to understand so you can hit the ground running, minimizing ramp-up time.

Questions About the Company

The job can be what you want, and then you discover you’re miserable in your new position because of the company culture, politics, and atmosphere.

Sometimes you can visit the company before making a decision that’s included in your interview. But asking a few extra questions can help you gauge the company’s personality better:

  • Explain the company culture.

  • Is there a dress code?

  • Do you offer a continuing education program?

  • What opportunities are there for personal growth?

  • What is the company’s approach to community involvement?

  • What is the goal of the company in the short term and in the next five years?

  • Are there other divisions and other locations?

  • Can I get a tour of the company to see where I would be working and the environment?

  • What is the company approach to a work/life balance?

  • What onsite facilities are there; is there a gym, cafeteria, snack facility, etc.

Questions About the Team

Let’s face it, if you’re in a team atmosphere, that team can make or break the job for you. It’s a great idea to learn more about the team, the team process, and then mentally try to piece that with your working habits and preferences.

  • Who will I report to?

  • What is the leadership style of my manager or direct supervisor?

  • How is the company structure divided and what division will I be in?

  • How many people are in that division?

  • What meeting or organization structure does the team use?

  • Will the person training me be leaving the position or will they be there for future guidance?

  • What projects has the team worked on before?

  • What is the current most important project(s) for the team?

  • How will work be divided among the team?

  • What is the checks and balances system or review system that you use?

Questions to Ask Yourself

While that may seem like a whole lot of questions, there’s more. There are some questions you should ask yourself. That’s right, when it comes down to it, and it’s your happiness that matters, so it’s time to evaluate the job offer from a very personal and internal position.

It’s normal to be excited and flattered by the offer. But when you move past those emotions, or if you can push them aside for a moment, you can look more deeply into the offer. These questions might be even more difficult than the ones you ask a recruiter or hiring manager. So, get ready, to be honest. You might be surprised by your answers.

  • If the money was not a factor, would I want this job?

  • What is it about the job that excites me?

  • Are there any worries or concerns I have right off the bat about this position, the company, my abilities?

  • Does this job move me closer to my long-term career goals?

  • What will my day look like? Will this job change my routines? Is there a commute? What are the hours? Can I work from home? Is the change in my day-to-day going to be better or a struggle to accommodate? (A lot of questions but they all fall under the same category – how will this change your life?)

  • Is this my dream job or is it a stepping stone? If it’s a stepping stone, will the company help me to move ahead?

  • How do I feel about the company? Does the culture fit me, and do I support their mission?

  • Are the benefits (medical, vacation, retirement, etc.) in line with what I need and want?

  • Have I researched what other people say about the company enough to really know what happens behind the scenes? (Make sure you ask friends and look at places like Glassdoor for honest opinions on the inner workings of the company)

  • Can I picture myself doing this job and being happy doing it?

Responding to a Job Offer

The whole point of asking all of those questions is to dig down deep and see if you’re a fit for the company and if the company fits you. You are not required to accept a job just because it’s being offered.

Remember, while a company is looking for an employee, you’re looking for a company. You’re interviewing potential bosses just as much as they are interviewing you. That mindset puts a different spin on the experience and can ramp up your self-confidence and comfort with the whole process.

Accepting a Job Offer

If you decide to accept the job offer, you’ll want to accept it in writing, so there’s a document of your acceptance. Usually, the company will have you sign some paperwork that details your employment contract, benefits packages, non-disclosure agreements, and a lot more.

If it’s a freelance or occasional work situation, there might not be this paperwork in place. In this situation, it’s a good idea to send an email detailing your acceptance and what the agreement terms are.

Remember that when you accept the offer, there is no more negotiating. If you want the job but you’re not happy with part of the offer, you need to negotiate more before accepting.

One thing to keep in mind, you might not get everything you want. Sometimes a company cannot accommodate your demands, and you’ll have to compromise or accept what they’re offering.

Rejecting a Job Offer

You were thrilled at the offer, and then, on second thought, you realized that it’s not what you want at all. Goodness, how do you tell them no after you’ve gone through so many interviews and they chose you?

It’s funny how rejecting a job offer can be almost as difficult as quitting a job. You don’t want to burn any bridges because you might want to work for them in the future. You want to come off so professional and likable that they keep you on top of their list of future potential employees. That’s the goal, anyway.

The best way to turn down a job offer is to thank them for the offer and then let them know that you feel it is not a good fit for you at this time. Even if you never want to work for them, don’t tell them that. Who knows, the hiring manager can change jobs and land your dream job. You want that person to have a great opinion of you still when you meet again. So, keep it short, concise, and professional, no matter why you’re rejecting them.

Never miss an opportunity that’s right for you.
Maddie Lloyd

Author

Maddie Lloyd

Maddie Lloyd was a writer for the Zippia Advice blog focused on researching tips for interview, resume, and cover letter preparation. She's currently a graduate student at North Carolina State University's department of English concentrating in Film and Media Studies.

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