Congratulations! You’ve made it through the most difficult part of the job hunt. All the job applications, interview rounds, and thank you emails after the interviews have paid off! Now, it might be tempting to jump right in and accept a job offer, but hold on for the more grueling decision is yet to be taken. If you don’t know how to accept a job offer, keep in mind that you need to ensure you’re going into the new role with clarity about what it will entail.
Most people are so nerve-wracked during an interview that they don’t want to rock the boat or say the wrong thing. This keeps them from getting more information about the role, the compensation, the team and the company. How would you know if it’s the right job for you? Is it your desired job title? The key here is to imagine a job interview as a sales pitch. If you know your role well, you’ve got to sell yourself into the role and let the results do the talking. At the end of the day, you’re selling your time for money.
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The HR Digest has a checklist of sensible questions to ask before you accept a job offer.
Interviewing is a two-way street. The employer is offering you the job, and you are offering the talent. Remember, the person interviewing you might very well be your working partner. Talk to them, ask for clarification so you have more details about the role you have been offered. There is a slight chance that no one has ever asked this question. It can help you break the ice and give you the edge when it’s time to select a candidate. If you have a panel interview, it probably makes the most sense to ask these sorts of questions to the person who would be your direct manager.
When you ask questions, it shows interest in the company, gives you more information, and makes the conversation flow between you and the interviewer.
- When do I start?
- How did this position come to be open?
- What does success look like in this role?
- Could you give an example of a typical working day?
- What would my immediate priorities be?
- What are the expectations of this position over the first twelve months?
- How would you measure my success, if I were chosen for this role?
- Do you have any reservations about me or my background for this position?
Example: I’m very excited about the possibility of joining General Dynamics as an IT consultant. How did this position become available? Is there any possibility of the professional in this role joining the team full time as an IT systems administrator?
These questions would serve multiple purposes. It would give you a brief idea about how well suited you are for the role or the management style. It also lets the company know you’re motivated, passionate and ambitious in life. Moreover, they will open doors to discuss training, what projects you’ll be working on, and whom you would be working with.
- Is there anyone I can reach out to and get guidance from?
- What are the biggest challenges people face when they start out in this position?
- Who will I work with most closely?
- Who will I report to directly?
- What is your vision for the team?
- What is the biggest achievement this department has made?
- What is the biggest challenge facing this department right now?
Example: Employees in hospitals and medical centers are notoriously burnt out. How does this team handle burn out? Could I reach out to someone on the team for guidance?
These questions will help you see if you have the same values as the people the company has employed. Moreover, asking these questions will prevent situations in which you’ll take up a job with almost no work, no supervisor, and no idea what your basic responsibilities are.
Salary & benefits
- Is the salary negotiable?
- Is the amount provided base pay?
- What is included as a part of your benefits package?
- What kind of opportunities exists for personal growth?
- Will I be getting any additional wellness perks?
- What is the performance review process like here?
- What metrics or goals will I be evaluated against?
- Can I know about the 401K program?
- Do you offer dental and vision insurance?
- How many sick days and personal days will I get?
- How much PTO will I get per year?
- Can I carry over the paid vacation time if I don’t utilize it?
- What are the core working hours?
- Will I get the flexibility of working from home once in a while?
These are specific questions you can ask when considering a job offer. It will make it much easier for you to negotiate on your contract before you join the team.
The company culture
- I’ve read about the company’s founding, can you tell me more about…?
- Where do you see the company in the next five years?
- Can you tell me about your new products or plans for growth?
- Would you mind giving me a tour of where this job would take place so I can get a feel of where I’d be working and who I would be working with?
- How is work-life balance in the company?
- What kinds of things do people say about the company in their exit interviews?
- Does anyone on the team hang out outside the office?
- What are the long term prospects for the person who takes up the job?
- What do you offer in regards to training the staff?
- Would I be able to represent the company at industry events and conferences?
- Can I answer any final questions for you?
These are some very good questions to ask before you accept a job offer. It means you’re already thinking about the role you have been offered and what motivates you to join the team. You can also find out whether a company is right for you. Of course, you won’t use all of the questions mentioned here, so pick the ones that are most important to you. It will also help you make a better decision when you’re deciding between multiple offers so you can compare responses.
Remember, it’s okay to decline a job offer if it isn’t the job for you. If they already answered all your questions, just reply “Well, you’ve answered all my questions already, thank you for your time.”
This post was originally published on September 25, 2017 and appeared on The HR Digest.
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