Ask Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
As excited as you may be upon receiving an offer for the job in IT that you really want, there are questions to ask before you accept that offer.
It can be tempting to say yes to what seems like a great offer without asking many questions, especially when the salary is what you require. But that is a mistake. There is much more to job satisfaction than what is in your paycheck. Other things may mean a lot to you in a job, and clarifying these items by asking questions before you accept can mean the difference between immediate job satisfaction and realizing that you and your new employer are not on the same page.
Categories of Questions to Ask Before You Accept Any Job Offer
The questions to ask before you accept a job offer should cover five categories:
- The offer itself
- Your role and responsibilities
- Your team
- The company and its culture
- Salary and benefits
Questions About The Offer
These questions to ask before you accept will be the easiest to ask and should be the easiest for your potential employer to answer.
- When do you need an answer from me?
- Can you/will you put the offer in writing?
- When do you expect me to start?
- Is there room to negotiate salary, benefits, flextime, start date, etc.?
- Who can I contact to ask any follow-up questions?
Questions About Your Role and Responsibilities
To be successful in your new role, there are questions you need to ask before you accept to clearly understand the employer’s expectations from the moment you walk in the door. While many of these will be questions to ask during your tech interview, you will want to confirm the answers again before accepting the offer.
- What does success in this role look like, and how is that success measured?
- How often are there performance reviews, and what is the process?
- What would be my immediate priorities in this role?
- What responsibilities should I focus on in the first 12 months of this role?
- How important is this position to the overall success of the company?
- What hours and shifts does my department currently have?
- What will my specific schedule be?
Questions About Your Team
No one wants to go into a new situation blind, and the answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the dynamic of the team you are joining. After all, interactions with your coworkers will have a direct impact on your job satisfaction.
- Do you have a program for mentoring new hires?
- Who will I work with most closely?
- Who will I report to directly, and how many employees will report directly to me?
- What is your vision for the team?
- What is my team’s most significant accomplishment to date?
- What is the biggest challenge facing my team right now?
Questions About The Company and Its Culture
Company culture is more important now than ever before, and employees want to work for companies they can be proud to be associated with. More employers are learning that the secret to keeping the best IT staff lies in more than the salary offered. So, think about these questions to ask before you accept what seems like an amazing offer.
- How would you describe the company’s culture?
- What type of employees tend to thrive here, and what type don’t do as well?
- What do you like about working here?
- Do you offer any flexible work programs?
- What unique perks does the company offer?
- How does the company prioritize work-life balance?
- May I have a tour of the office to see where I would work?
- What are the long-term prospects for a person in this position?
The Brass Tacks: Questions About Your Salary & Benefits
Of course, all the subjects addressed by the questions above are essential. But you won’t be working for free. In today’s highly competitive job market, companies are falling all over themselves to attract top talent, and you don’t want to sell yourself short on compensation and benefits. While your potential employer should at least tell you your base salary when they make the offer, if they didn’t share that with you during the interview process, there are plenty of other dimensions to compensation you should inquire about before signing on the dotted line. These are the essential questions to ask before you accept any job offer:
- What does the benefits package include?
- Do you offer health, dental, and vision insurance?
- When would my benefits start?
- What amount of the cost of benefits does the company cover?
- How many sick days will I have each year?
- How do employees accrue paid time off?
- How many paid vacation days do I receive per year?
- Can you roll over unused vacation days to the next year?
- Is the salary provided base pay?
- Does this role offer bonuses or commissions?
- Is there a draw against the base pay?
- Do you offer any retirement program benefits?
- Do you provide a vesting schedule?
- Will the company cover my relocation expenses?
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask!
Employers and technical recruiters may want an immediate answer when offering you a new position. Still, they will not be surprised if you ask additional questions before giving that resounding YES. Indeed, the current hiring climate makes employers just as anxious as employees to ensure that new hires are a good fit and will not be immediately back out in the job market. So ask away!
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