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10 Questions You Should Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

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When it comes to your daily job, money isn’t everything. Sure, a salary bump can make a significant difference in whether you accept a job, but it shouldn’t be the only factor you’re considering.

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For example, if you take a job that pays $10,000 more than your previous position but doesn’t offer bonuses or vision insurance, that salary increase could be offset by lackluster benefits. And if you’re a parent to young children, you may want to pay careful attention to the company’s vacation policy and schedule flexibility.

You should ask these critical questions to get the lowdown on your job offer before making any final decisions.

Last updated: Aug. 11, 2021

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What Are Your Expectations for Hours?

This answer should give you a clear idea of how many hours you’ll be expected to work and when you’ll be working them. If the position is salaried, you should be cautious of answers like, “The hours may vary” — especially if work-life balance is important to you.

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What Is Your Vacation Time Policy?

It’s common for companies to offer salaried employees two weeks of vacation time per year. If you’re someone who travels a lot, you should absolutely try to negotiate more vacation time — and reconsider taking the job if they won’t budge on it.

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How Do You View Work-Life Balance?

Any employer who doesn’t emphasize the importance of work-life balance probably isn’t the right employer for you. Unless you’re someone who likes to work on evenings, holidays and weekends, you’ll want to steer well clear of these companies.

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Does This Role Offer Bonuses or Commissions?

If you work in a high-powered role like sales, it’s common to earn a yearly bonus or commissions — or in some cases, both. When you’re looking into a new job, you’ll want to make sure it aligns with what you’re used to earning. And if not, you’ll want the difference reflected in your salary.

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What Does the Benefits Package Include?

Things like medical and dental insurance, long-term and short-term disability insurance, life insurance, 401(k) matching and more may be included in a company’s benefits package. And some bigger companies even offer benefits like commuter discounts, employee assistance programs, gym memberships or stock options.

You can save/make a lot of money depending on your company’s benefits, so you should definitely take them into consideration before accepting a position.

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How Is Your Employee Retention?

It’s a good sign when a company has a good portion of employees who’ve been working there for multiple years. Even better if they’ve stayed for five years or more. But when there’s consistent turnover, it points to a bigger issue that could come back to haunt you later on.

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How Would You Describe the Company Culture?

The hiring manager should be able to list some clear company values in response to this question. You should be looking for a workplace that embraces new ideas and an open line of communication — somewhere you won’t be afraid to speak up.

Do your best to avoid an environment that seems overly competitive or judgmental. Although, unfortunately, this can sometimes be hard to assess if you’re being hired remotely.

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What Do You Do To Encourage Team Building for Your Employees?

Piggybacking off the last question, companies that host employee lunches and other team bonding events will likely have a better culture than companies that don’t. The quality of your workday may often be determined by the people you work with, so keep that in mind when coming into a new workplace.

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How Diverse Is Your Staff and Company Policy?

If a company doesn’t value diversity and inclusion, that calls its ethics into question. This is another key component of a healthy company culture. You shouldn’t be met with surprise or brushed off after asking about diversity, and if you are, it’s not the right company for you.

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What Is the Opportunity for Growth?

The last thing you want to do is enter a dead-end job. Make sure your prospective new company has a clear opportunity for growth within your career path. It’s even better if they’ve already laid out a career ladder and have a timeline for promotions.

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