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  3. What are the most important questions to ask before accepting a job?
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What are the most important questions to ask before accepting a job?

Artwork by: George Mager

  • Ask questions to learn their expectations of you
  • Questions to ask before accepting a job about your salary and benefits
  • Ask about your trajectory at the company
  • Ask questions about work-life balance
  • Ask about values alignment
  • Questions to ask before accepting a job about the team
  • Ask yourself some questions
  • Key takeaways

Are you considering a job offer from a new employer? If so, it’s important to give it some serious consideration. In this blog, we list some important questions to ask before accepting a job.

Searching for a new job isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. After a month or two of sending resumes and waiting for replies, you’ll probably want to jump on the first offer that comes along. If you’re in this situation, take a beat. You have a big choice to make.

Accepting a new job is a major commitment. Your new employer will play an important role in your life for at least a few years, and it’s important to choose a good one! If you want to land in the best possible situation, you’ll want to get as much information as possible about your future position.

During the interview process, you’ll have the opportunity to sit down with company representatives and hash out the details of your potential job. This is a great time to ask some questions about compensation, benefits, expectations, values, and more. It might also be the right time to ask yourself some questions.

In this blog, we’ll review some of the most important questions to ask before accepting a job offer, including:

  • Questions about the role and the company’s expectations

  • Questions about compensation and benefits

  • Questions about your professional future

  • Questions about work-life balance

  • Questions about values

  • Questions about your team members

  • Questions for yourself

Ask questions to learn their expectations of you

Before you say yes to your next position, you should know exactly what the company expects from whoever takes on this role. It’s important to know your hours, your primary tasks, your deliverables, and anything else that could affect your decision to accept the offer. This can give you a better understanding of whether the job will mesh with your work style and the rest of your life.

Some people feel awkward asking these questions, thinking that they could come off as hesitant or aggressive. Remember that recruiters are trying to find the best candidate in the same way you’re trying to find the best job. Not asking follow-up questions could lead to a mismatch that affects you and the company, so ask away!

Here are some questions that you could ask regarding expectations:

  • “What will a typical workday look like?”

  • “What would my top priorities be in this role?”

  • “How do you measure success in this role?”

  • “What will my workload include in a typical week?”

  • “How will the role evolve over time?”

  • “What are your expectations during the first month?”

  • “What will my schedule look like?”

  • “Are the hours flexible?”

  • “Would I ever have to work atypical hours, including overtime, weekends, or holidays?”

Questions to ask before accepting a job about your salary and benefits

Although it’s not the only thing that matters, salary is usually top of mind for job candidates. We all need to get paid, right? Good compensation is a powerful incentive for accepting a job, but it’s not always what it seems, so be sure to clarify the terms. 

In 2024, getting paid often involves a lot more than a raw number. Companies are increasingly investing in ample benefits packages to attract and retain talent. If your potential employer offers benefits, be sure to ask about them and clarify the eligibility requirements.

While talking about pay may seem touchy, it’s vital to make sure that your future job offers a sustainable wage. This can save you a lot of grief later on. If you like the job but are concerned about the starting salary, it may even be a good idea to negotiate if possible.

Here are some important questions about compensation that you can ask:

  • “Is the starting salary negotiable?”

  • “Do you offer bonus opportunities, commissions, or overtime?”

  • “What is your policy regarding raises?”

  • “What benefits do you offer for employees in this role, such as health insurance?”

  • “If I accept your offer, when would I be eligible to receive benefits?”

  • “How much would I pay monthly for health benefits?”

  • “Do you offer paid time off, and if so, how do employees accrue vacation days?”

  • “Does your company offer relocation assistance or tuition reimbursement?”

Expert Tip

Stay positive!

Try to avoid negative comments about past work experiences, even if you’re just offering contrast. It can often be unattractive to potential employers. For example, when asking about salaries or benefits, there’s no need to mention your dissatisfaction with your previous wages.

Ask about your trajectory at the company

We all have hopes and dreams, and it’s no good if our job gets in the way. With this in mind, it’s important to find a job that will help you meet your long-term goals, both professional and personal. Try to find a job that offers ample opportunities for advancement on a trajectory that works for you. Make sure to ask a few probing questions to find out if you’re making a lateral move or taking a step up.

Asking questions about your future is a good way to ensure alignment and future professional satisfaction. It’s also helpful when you’re trying to decide between two or more employment options. As a bonus, asking these questions can show the interviewer that you have ambition, a drive to succeed, and plans to stay with the company long term.

Here are some questions that you can ask about your future and your career goals:

  • “Does your company offer any professional development programs?”

  • “Do you offer mentoring?”

  • “What opportunities for advancement will I have in this role?”

  • “How does promotion work in your company?”

Ask questions about work-life balance

There’s more to life than work, and it’s important to consider your other priorities when accepting a new job. Many professionals have families to take care of and others just like to have time for hobbies. Whatever you’re passionate about, make sure that your new position gives you enough flexibility to balance work with life.

Here are some questions that you can ask if you’re concerned about work-life balance:

  • “Do you offer remote or hybrid work arrangements?”

  • “How flexible are schedules and work hours?”

  • “Will I get called into work on short notice?”

  • “When can I start accruing PTO?”

  • “Do you offer parental leave?”

Ask about values alignment

We all have values that are near and dear to our hearts. Finding a company that mirrors these values is a great way to improve your life and enjoy your work. Before you go to your interview, try to do some research into your future employer and find out what they prioritize. If you like what you see, you can bring up these values in your interview and ask to learn more about how they affect daily life at the company.

If you’re looking for a long-term professional home, this is a vital step. Values misalignment can lead to dissatisfaction or even conflict down the road and may force you to start the job search process all over again. If you do find a company that matches your values, you’re more likely to enjoy your work, get along with your team members, and feel like you’re making a positive impact on the world.

Here are some questions that you can ask about values and corporate culture:

  • “What are your company’s core values?”

  • “How do these values inform the daily lives of your employees?”

  • “What is your favorite thing about working here?”

  • “How would you describe your company’s culture?”

  • “What is the office environment like?”

Questions to ask before accepting a job about the team

In any job, your coworkers make all the difference. If you’re new to a company, finding out more about the people who will work alongside you is important. Learning more about them is a great way to gauge a company’s values and priorities. If you were referred, take some time to talk to your contact and find out what they think of the job and the company.

If you don’t know anyone at the company, ask to meet someone. This can give you an authentic peek into the daily operations of the business. It can also help you determine whether other  employees like their jobs.

These are some questions that you can ask your future teammates. This could include your interviewer or another acquaintance at the company:

  • “Why did you choose to work here?”

  • “Do you see yourself staying with the company long-term?”

  • “Who can I talk to if I need guidance in this role?”

  • “Who would I work with most closely if hired?”

  • “How would you describe my supervisor’s leadership style?”

Ask yourself some questions

Once you’re done speaking with your interviewer, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions. There are a few answers that only you can provide. Use these questions to decide whether you have a genuine enthusiasm for the role or if you feel pressured to accept it. Some of these questions might include:

  • “Is this job what I thought it was when I applied?”

  • “Will this position offer me a good work-life balance?”

  • “Is the commute too much to do every day?”

  • “Does this job match my long-term professional and personal goals?”

  • “Does this position offer financial stability?”

  • “Do I see myself at this company in five years?”

Key takeaways

  1. Accepting a job is a big step and it’s a good idea to ask your interviewer some questions before you sign.

  2. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what the company expects of employees in your position.

  3. Ask a few questions to find out more about how much the job pays and what benefits it offers. 

  4. Keep your career goals in mind and make sure that your new position gives you the flexibility you need to attain a good work-life balance.

  5. Always try to find a company that matches your personal values.

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