15 Questions To Ask Before Accepting A Job Offer

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After months of being on the job hunt, going to job interviews, and putting in the work, you finally got a job offer.

Before jumping for joy and signing the dotted line, there are some important questions to ask before accepting a job offer.

When you accept a new job, you're not only agreeing to the salary but also to the company’s existing work schedule, vacation leave policy, health insurance plan, and maternity leave — or lack thereof. 

Asking the hiring manager questions before you accept a job is essential because it can help you gauge if you're getting a good offer (or not), what you could expect on your first day, and what kind of work-life balance you can expect on the job, among other things.

Here are 15 questions to ask before accepting a job offer.

The three most important things you should ask about revolve around the company's benefits, insurance policy, and culture. 

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1. What does the role look like?

This is an important question because, although you may have a brief idea of the sort of job you applied to, it's good to ask if there's a more detailed list of what's expected of you every day. 

You could ask more about what expectations your boss has for you in this position and what your daily schedule is going to look like. 

By asking all about the role you'll get a good idea of what your work life is going to look like and if you can truly see yourself fulfilling (and enjoying) those expectations. 

2. Is the company reputable and stable?

You're entitled to a truthful answer about how the company has been doing and if it's stable enough so that you won't have to worry that there's any chance you could lose your job. 

Asking about the company's reputation and stability will help you get an idea of how much you can actually succeed there. It will also give you an idea of how the company treats its employees and if it aligns with your own personal values.

3. What does the company culture look like?

Every company has its own type of work culture that makes it either a great or not-so-great place to work. 

If you want to know what working there would feel like, then this is a great question to ask. You want to make sure your work ethic and personality are similar to those of your co-workers. 

You could ask questions involving any flexible work programs, unique perks, work-life balance, and more. 

4. What are the career development opportunities?

According to Life and Career Transformation Coach Lisa Petsinis, asking questions about career development opportunities gives you a chance to learn if there's an option for you to grow and thrive at the workplace.

"As a career coach and former HR Leader, I can tell you that people leave jobs because there is a lack of development opportunities, they don't think their manager cares about them, and the job isn't what they expected when they were hired," says Petsinis. "Before accepting a job, you might want to inquire about professional development, working conditions — like safety protocols or work-from-home arrangements — particularly in this Covid era, and the company values such as diversity, employee wellness, and collaboration."

5. What do the benefits look like?

A benefits package is just as, if not more, important than salary. There's a lot of potential in receiving quality benefits such as vacation and sick days, health insurance, and a 401k program. 

"In the final stages of the selection process, it's fine to talk about compensation, and inquire about the salary range, whether there is a bonus, and if there are group health or retirement benefits," says Petsinis.

Not all benefits start on your first day so it's important to ask when those would take into effect. There are also specific questions about each benefit that you should ask about. 

Some questions about the salary you should ask include:

1. Is the salary negotiable? 

2. Is the salary provided base pay? 

3. How do employees accrue paid time off?

Questions about vacation time and sick days include:

1. How many paid vacation days do I receive per year?

2. Do unused vacation days roll over to the next year?

3. How many sick days do I receive per year?

And finally, good questions for health insurance and retirement include:

1. Is health, dental and vision insurance included? 

2. Who is the insurance provider?

3. What would be the yearly deductible?

4. What portion of the monthly premium am I responsible for?

5. What is the percentage of the employer match for the 401k plan?

6. Are there any other fees to be aware of?

7. Can my current 401k plan roll over into the company plan?

6. Does this position offer room to advance in the company?

If you see yourself at this company for a while you might want to ask your hiring manager if there is room for you to grow at the company. 

Make sure you ask about career advancement and upward mobility potential and if the company offer includes different resources for continuing your education. 

You could also ask the average time that someone spends in your role so you get the gist of how long you can imagine yourself working this role. 

This is also a good question to ask if you were offered a starting position at a company where you imagine yourself working a higher position in time and reaching your career goals. 

7. How long is the commute to and from work?

If you don't have the luxury of working a remote job, then your daily commute is important. This is a question you to consider before accepting a job because this is crucial needs to be something that works for you.

If the commute is going to be an hour or more in heavy morning and evening traffic then that might be an issue for you. 

Are you OK if getting to and from work takes up the almost entirety of your day?

Make sure when accepting the job it's somewhere that's doable. 

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8. Do I know enough about the job? 

"Ultimately, the most important question to ask yourself before accepting a job offer is 'Why do I want this job?'" says Petsinis.

One of the most important questions you should ask yourself before accepting the job is if you actually want the job or not. 

9. Does the company have an onboarding program?

According to Christine Hourd, a Success and Leadership Coach, an important question to ask during the job interview is: Does the company have an onboarding program, and what does that look like?

"The first few months of working at a new company allows for a probationary period for the new employee to settle in and get familiar with their responsibilities," Hourd says. "When there’s a program to support integration into your new role, your chances of succeeding are far greater.” 

You need to make sure that you first like the company and then imagine how you'll fit in and see if there is potential for success in this role. 

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10. Do I know enough about the manager and their management style?

Before accepting a job, you should have a good idea of what your manager expects and the type of style that they manage their employees in.

You want to make sure you have a manager who is supportive, inspiring and pushes you to do your best. 

You could ask questions like:

1. What is my supervisor or manager's leadership style?

2. How many people are on my team?

3. Can I reach out to my manager and team members for guidance?

11. Do my values align with the organization's values? 

Make sure that the company’s outlook and opportunity genuinely excite you and that you look forward to working there.

Ask about the companies values and, if you can talk to a current employee before you accept the offer to get a greater depth of the company values, do it.

Make sure the job's duties, responsibilities, and skills are something that aligns with the sort of thing you want to do and if these new skills could be added to your resume.

It’s never a good idea to reluctantly take a job without asking yourself all of the possible questions. 

12. How long do I have to accept the position? 

If you have just received the job offer and are very excited, give yourself time to get your emotions in check so you can make a logical decision. You first need to ask yourself the questions mentioned before as well as if this is a job you really want. 

Make sure you also know how long you have to accept the position so you have time to ask all these questions and reflect on your answers. 

If you have a week to accept then make sure that every day you are brainstorming any and all possible questions you need answers to before telling them yes and signing any contract. 

13. What is my expected start date?

If you are between jobs or have future plans that are coming up, then you need to know when your expected start date is.  

14. What will my schedule look like? 

When accepting a salaried job you are expected to work a certain number of hours per week. Most jobs are 9-5 or 40 hours a week, however, if you are expected to work more than that, say 60 hours a week, then that could be a problem.

You want to make sure your work schedule doesn't take up your entire life and that you still have free time to do whatever you want. 

You also need to ask this question in order to understand your offered compensation package and if that matches your expected hours required each week for work.

15. What are the expectations for communication in the workplace?

Make sure that you know who you need to be communicating with every day in the workplace in order for things to run smoothly.

Some jobs have around-the-clock communication and that can be annoying if your boss is the workaholic type.

Make sure you know how often you will be expected to be available for communication as it might be tasking for you to be on-call 24/7.

Everyone needs a healthy work-life balance. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.