Offer Questions: Mutual understanding starts with great questions. Here are questions you should ask before accepting a job offer.
When a company makes offers you a job, you have done a lot of work. Writing your resume, scheduling interviews, company research, job interviews, follow up, and other steps along the way.
Now you are in control of the process. You have the power to accept or decline the offer.
Before you do either, ask yourself some questions.
Job Offer Questions: Have you met the supervisor?
As a recruiter, I have seen situations where people had not met with the supervisor before starting to work.
In one case, a man quit three days after meeting his supervisor for the first time on the first day of work. He returned to his former employer.
Do you understand the job description?
I have learned from working on recruiting assignments that job descriptions can create confusion. Here are some things you might want to clarify before you take a job. This question is one the most important job offer questions.
- If the job involves travel, where will need to go and how often?
- What are the reporting relationships in the new company? If the job title includes a word such as “manager,” what does that mean? Will you manage a budget? Will you manage people? If so, how many?
- What is the job? If you think that you are joining an innovation team and you find that you are joining a planning team, you will need to do a lot more analysis that creative thinking.
- What is the promotion opportunity or expectation? If you want promotions and there is little opportunity, you are facing frustration. If the company expects you to take promotions and you want to settle into a career position, you could find that you face pressure to leave for people who can keep the promotion pipeline fluid.
Is the workplace right for you?
- How long is the commute?
- What type area surrounds the office?
- Does the job allow you to work at home or require that you commute daily?
- Do you have affordable transportation?
Do you have any special conditions?
For example, you sunk a few thousand dollars into a family vacation that will start six months into your new job.
If you cannot get your money back or if this vacation has special importance to your family, the time to raise the subject is before you accept the offer.
In taking my first job after military service, I came to an agreement that I would be able to take an early vacation for my honeymoon. The management team at the new company fully supported the honeymoon vacation time.
Discussing the matter in advance was important. I was able to prevent any surprises to my new employer. I had the peace of mind of knowing before I started the new job that my plans worked well for the company and me.
Do you understand the benefits?
There are a few things for you to consider about benefits before you accept a job offer.
- What the start date of the benefits? This information is critical to transitioning your healthcare coverage from your current coverage to the coverage at your new job.
- What are the out-of-pocket costs for the benefits? There are differences from one company to the next. I placed people with a company that had terrific coverage for people who lived in California, the home state of the company. However, the costs to people who lived outside of California were several thousand dollars a year.
- What benefits are you giving up in the transition? If you have prescription, major medical, primary care coverage, dental, and optical coverage at your current company, and the new company does not cover some of these things, based on your health, you might find a big gap between what you are getting and what the new company will give you.
- What are the deductibles in the plans at your new company? Insurance companies offer lower rates for higher deductibles. You not need in any surprises in these potential gaps.
How often will the new company pay you?
If the new company pays you twice a month, you get 24 checks a year.
If the new company pays you every two weeks, you get 26 checks a year.
I went through a counteroffer interview when I left a fulltime job while working my way through college. I didn’t accept the counteroffer. However, in hindsight, I did learn that my pay raise at the new job was not a great an increase as I thought.