Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer
You do not want to rush into a new role if you are changing jobs in the post-pandemic economy, especially if you are leaving a previous role where you had a certain degree of comfort, streamlined operations, or recognition from the team. To collect all the information you need, choose your questions well and negotiate with a collaborative, enthusiastic tone.
To maintain a positive relationship after a job offer has been made, don’t hesitate to ask a few important questions before you give the company your decision. Some of these questions may not have been appropriate during the interviewing phase, but are perfectly acceptable now that you have an offer. Remember: you and the organization both want to work together in the service to your industry and the clients. The last few questions you ask are meant to help you situate yourself better.
Here are examples of such questions:
You may be wondering about technologies or certain work processes. If your work involves particular health hazards, travel, Covid testing, or a specific process that you need to follow on a regular basis, ask the organization to give you examples from daily operations or the latest projects. You can ask about deadlines and tools. If you will be leading a team, find out about their latest advances and challenges, top performers, expertise, etc.
Ask if you will be given company equipment and if you are expected to maintain it in specific ways. If it is critical in your work, ask to see quick demos of the software you will be using.
Schedules and Flexibility
With a return to hybrid or office work, you want to know what to expect, especially if you had already made adjustments to your parenting or health routines that work for you. You can find out if the organization anticipates change in schedules and office locations and what department is responsible for enforcing new rules and/or exceptions.
Probations and Growth
You do not want to say yes and later discover that there is a probation period of several months or an upcoming change in the reporting structure. Perhaps you plan on applying for a mortgage, which cannot be done easily while you are on probation. Perhaps you are starting in a slightly lower-level role than you’re qualified for and you would like to see a clear career growth path from early on.
All questions are valid; be sure to reflect on how you phrase them. Show your enthusiasm to work collaboratively and understand the reporting structure, levels of management, clients or teams you will be supporting, and how you can be supported if you would like to grow with the organization. Understand how you will be assessed and when (how many times a year, around what milestones, etc.).
Find out about the training duration, mentors, and evaluations. For example, ask if you would need to prepare anything for your training and what is expected of you at the end of the training.
Protection of Your Work
Learn about the union (if applicable), insurance, benefits package, and overtime. Understand your complete compensation package and compare it to your current package.
Some contracts may include language like “willingness to perform work outside of business hours.” Clarify if overtime is frequent. Are there any non-disclosure or non-compete clauses that may seriously limit you in your next role?
If your work is cross-functional and involves diverse activities, ask: What will my typical day look like?
All of these questions are worth considering before you apply, during the interview, and after the offer has been made. You can find answers to some of them in advance: via company research online, networking (ask the company’s past employers on LinkedIn), or during the interview (discuss work as a business partner and show your genuine interest in the company and its processes). Once the offer has been made, carefully choose the final few questions to ask and discuss them collaboratively.
About the author:
Tanya Mykhaylychenko provides resume writing and career strategy services for executives. Connect with her on LinkedIn for networking tips and ideas on executive career development.