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Answers You Need Before Accepting a Job Offer

You deserve to ask a few more questions before you actually sign the offer letter or employment contract. This will reconfirm just how perfect this new job is for you. It is better to find out if you (in the worst case) are heading for a toxic environment.

Once you get the call, thank the company for the offer. Don’t say yes on the spot. Instead, say something like, “I’m really looking forward to receiving the official offer letter, and once I give everything a look I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

As you look over those details, mentally fill in the blanks on the questions below. If you need more information from the company, schedule a call by reiterating your excitement and asking to clarify a few points. Which can be any of the following:

Questions about the Job

You and your employer must be aligned about your responsibilities and your performance measurement.

  1. Do you have a solid understanding of your job description?

  2. Have you agreed on a job title that accurately describes the work you’ll be doing, fits into the company’s existing structure, and meets your professional goals?

  3. How will your success be measured? What are the specific goals and outcomes, and how will you be evaluated?

  4. Will you be expected to work overtime and are you exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay?

  5. Will you be able to work remotely in case of a family need?

  6. What is the start date, and when does the company need to have your answer?

If you don’t already have it, ask for a copy of the job description and review all of the expectations and responsibilities. If there are differences between what you discussed in the interview and what you see in the job description, call the hiring manager to get clarification.

Questions about salary and benefits

It is easier to negotiate salary and benefits at the start of your job than in between. Your salary and benefits package is a crucial factor when considering a job offer. Let's not assume the benefits being offered, since they may vary from one company to another.

  1. Is the salary in line with comparable positions in your area, and does it work for your personal budget? If not, are you able to negotiate?

  2. What does the benefits package include, and for what benefits are you eligible? When does your eligibility begin?

  3. Are there other benefits the company offers its employees—things like gym memberships, flexible work hours, and tuition reimbursement?

  4. Are employees encouraged to use their vacation leave or pending holidays?

  5. If you’re relocating for the job, is the company offering any financial or accommodation support?

  6. If you’re a remote employee, is there a stipend or allowance for your home office?

These details should be in the formal offer letter. If you don’t have one, make sure the salary and other key details of the position are put in writing.

Questions about the hiring manager

The personality, professionalism, and management style of your reporting manager can make or break your happiness in the position, so be sure that you’re comfortable with your manager-to-be.

  1. What do you think about the person to whom you’ll be reporting?

  2. Is your supervisor someone you can learn from, and who can and will help you grow?

  3. What are his / her expectations from you?

  4. How do your work styles align?

  5. How closely will you be working with your manager?

Questions about work culture

Since we are spending almost 8 hours every day at the workplace, make sure the people you'll be working with are a good fit.

  1. Are you comfortable with the company culture and working environment?

  2. Is this a work environment where you can be productive?

  3. Is the company primarily in-office employees, or remote employees, or is the workforce more of a hybrid? How is company culture maintained depending on where and how you work?

  4. Have you met your new coworkers? Can you see yourself getting along with them in a professional setting?

  5. Do employees socialize with each other?

  6. Does the company facilitate a work-life balance that lets you have the life you want?

  7. Is this a company that you can believe in and feel excited and passionate about?

  8. Does upper management appear to uphold company values, and do those values align with what you want in a workplace?

  9. Is this a company you’d be proud to work for?

Try getting in touch with a current or former employee to ask about their experience. No luck? Look up current and past employees on LinkedIn. Do people typically stay for years and years? If the company has a high turnover, that could be a warning.

Questions about your goals

As excited as you may be about the company and the job offer, don't lose focus of your short and long-term goals

  1. Are you genuinely excited about this job—not just about getting an offer?

  2. What are you looking for in your next job, and does this position fit the bill?

  3. Will this position be interesting and challenging to you?

  4. Why did you leave (or are you leaving) your last job? Does this job have any of the same issues?

  5. Does the position use your talents and skills appropriately?

  6. Will the position help you advance your professional goals? If it doesn’t, what are you getting out of it?

Unfortunately, no one at the company can answer these questions for you. Do some serious thinking about your long-term goals and how this position fits into them. If you need more time to consider the offer, it's not a guaranteed yes, but you can always ask for it.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can accept the position (or not) knowing that you’ve made the most informed decision possible.


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