In such a competitive job market, receiving an employment offer is an exciting prospect. It may be super exciting, but don’t sell yourself short by failing to be well-informed about what the employment offer, position, and company are really all about. Whether it’s a lack of knowledge, lack of experience, or a fear of coming across as greedy and unappreciative, not asking questions is something we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another. From inquiries into the typical day-to-day of someone in your position to information about salary and benefits, here are some questions to ask an employer before accepting a job offer.
When Do You Need an Answer By?
Never make the decision right away, even if the job seems great. Always ask how many days you have to make your decision. In most case, employers will give you a 24-hour buffer to think over the employment offer. This gives you time to think about follow-up questions, come up with a salary negotiation tactic, or research the company a little bit more in-depth. Also, by asking this question, you’re signaling that you might want to discuss the employment offer and salary a little bit further, preparing them for a conversation about pay negotiation.
What’s an Ordinary Workday Like Here?
Although this is something you should have asked in your face-to-face or phone interview, it’s never too late to ask about the company and their culture. For example, some employers expect you to be at work every day at 9am, while others will give you a little more freedom to create your own schedule. Make sure to ask about any uniform requirements you’ll be responsible for, along with what will be expected from you. If it doesn’t seem like a good fit, or you’re already wondering if you can handle it, think twice about accepting this job offer.
How Do You Handle Time-Off Requests?
Some companies and some managers take time-off requests in stride, while others simply cannot handle them. As an employee, you want to work somewhere where you’ll be able to take a day off from time to time without your boss doing their best to make you feel guilty. Ask how employees accumulate sick days and vacation hours, and what the process is like for requesting time off. In some cases, you’ll be given hours to be used towards paid time off right off the bat, while in other cases you’ll earn a certain amount of time with each hour you work.
Can I Receive a Copy of the Offer & Benefits Package?
Chances are, you heard the phrase “we’d like to extend you an employment offer” and your mind went blank for a few minutes. With so much excitement going on, it’s hard to concentrate on things like salary and benefits packages. Make sure you request a follow-up with email with everything laid out, so you can look through it on your own time and make the decision that’s best for you. You’re entitled to a copy of both items, so if they’re unwilling to supply you with either one, they may be trying to hide something shady on their end.
What Kind of Education & Training Can I Expect?
This is not only an important question because it conveys to your employer that you’re interested in expanding your knowledge, but it’s an important question to ask because everyone learns differently and no two company’s train employees in the exact same way. If you want to be happy and successful in your new job, then you’ll need to find out if their method of on-the-job training is compatible with your learning style. Plus, expanding your skillset while on the job will only help, not hinder, your career progression.
Is the Salary Negotiable?
If you’re unhappy with the employment offer and think you’ll be offered elsewhere, you’ll need to find out if the company is open to negotiation. If they’re not and you think you’re worth more, you already have your answer- politely decline the offer and keep looking for something that’s more in line with your salary expectations. If the answer is “yes,” it’s time to sit down and seriously consider the amount you want to counter them with. If the salary isn’t quite what you wanted, but the benefits are better than you expected, consider settling for less pay.