Congratulations! You’ve made it through the grueling application process and nerve-wracking interviews. You’ve proven a good fit in the eyes of the recruiter and you’ve been offered the job you’ve had your eye on.
But don’t just accept the job right away. Make sure you get answers to any questions that you feel weren’t answered already. We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask in an interview, or if not in the interview, at least before you accept the position.
1. “What are the hours typically like?”
Every company varies. Sometimes you’ll be asked to work a typical 9am-5pm. At some companies you’ll find most people staying late at the office or putting in hours over the weekend. Ask what actual hours are standard for the company’s expectations.
2. “Is there any travel involved?”
Depending on your circumstances, travel at a job can be make it or break it. If you’re a parent to young children and your job requires constant travel, you may be more hesitant to accept the position. Or if you’re a travel enthusiast that never has the opportunity to leave the office, it could be a dealer breaker.
3. “Is parking provided?”
If your company doesn’t have parking, it can sometimes end up costing you thousands a year. It’s important to ask a question upfront about parking so that if you do need to negotiate for the company to cover the expense, you can do so before you sign anything.
4. “What’s the policy on vacation and sick days?”
How many vacation days are you allotted? How many sick days? How do you request them and how much notice do you need to give if you do plan on taking them at some point? Do the days you don’t use roll over to the next year?
5. “Is there ever opportunity to work from home?”
With advances in technology, more and more companies are allowing employees to work from home. Some positions are fully remote, some offer a few days a week, and some just offer occasional work from home days. If working from home is a definite perk for you, then make sure to ask about it.
6. “What can I expect from my training process?”
How much time will be allotted to training? Will you be shadowing someone? Will you be trained periodically throughout your time at the company? In the same vein, ask if there will be any educational opportunities, like courses or conferences, while you’re at the company.
7. “What does an average day look like?”
Although you’re likely to hear that no day is alike, you can at least get a general idea of morning meetings, when people take lunch, what’s considered working late, etc.
8. “Whom will I be working with?”
If possible, try to meet your team before you accept the job. The people you work with determine so much of your happiness and success in a workplace. Try to get a feel for the social dynamic of your workplace and see if it will be a good fit.
9. “How do you handle communication?”
Some people prefer email, some prefer calls. Often companies will use a specific chat client. What’s the most appropriate way to communicate for this new position? Also, what are the boundaries on communicating after work or on weekends? Are you expected to check email on a Saturday?
10. “What is the biggest challenge the team has faced?”
Knowing what the team has overcome can give you insight into how they work together. Plus, it will probably be talked about fairly often, so going into the situation with prior knowledge of the situation will help you in a smooth transition.
11. “What is the biggest priority that I would be expected to focus on?”
Are you prepared for what they expect of you? Knowing how they prioritize their projects will help you gain a sense of what goals they want to achieve, how they organize themselves, and how they work together as a team.
12. “What are the company’s values?”
Knowing the company’s goals can help you understand if they align with your own personal goals. If you have differing values than the company, then you can’t sacrifice your own integrity by accepting the position. It’s best to know beforehand what type of company you’ll possibly be dedicating years.
13. “Where do you see the company in five years?”
Does the company have a clear plan? It’s been known to happen: accepting a position with a company, and then a year later the company folds. The success of the company reflects on your own efforts, so ask about the company’s strategy for growth in the coming years.
14. “What are my opportunities for growth at the company?”
While you’re at it, ask about your own plan for growth at the company. Will there be regular opportunities for raises, perks, or title changes? Are there performance based perks? How will your success be measured? Will you have chances to take on more responsibility? Ask specifics about your expected trajectory at the company to ensure that their view of your future there aligns with your goals. You can even ask about other people’s progress in similar positions at the company and what their timelines are like.
Accepting a job offer is a big decision, so it’s best to make sure you’re informed. Asking questions can sometimes make you feel nervous, but it only shows that you care about your success, the company’s success, and achieving goals.
So next time you’re about to accept a position, take a breath and ask some questions to clarify what you’re committing.
How do you prepare to accept, or decline, a job offer? Have any of these questions helped you in the past? Help other people answer these questions for themselves by submitting a description of what your type of job is really like to UltiCareer.
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