10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job Offer

Receiving a job offer is such an exciting event that we usually want to sign the contract right then and there when it happens. But, in some circumstances, it might be better to tell your prospective new employer: “Thank you, but I’m going to keep looking.” Knowing when a job is not right for you can save you a whole lot of grief.

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So do yourself a favour, and remember to ask these 10 questions before signing an employment contract:

Questions to ask yourself before accepting a job

1. Do I have a solid understanding of the work I’ll be doing?

Make sure you are 100% certain about what your duties and responsibilities will be. If you love working with people, a job at a PR company might seem perfect. But what if you find out too late that you won’t be working with clients, but that you will be doing paperwork and admin instead?

2. Are there other financial aspects I need to take into consideration?

It’s not just about your pay cheque. You need to take other financial factors into account when changing jobs. Will there be changes to your medical insurance or your pension fund? Will there be a change in your travel expenses or in the free time you’ll have to do freelance work?

3. Will I fit in with the company culture?

You need to be sure that you’ll get along with your new colleagues. They don’t need to be your new best friends, but feeling like you don’t belong can make a tremendous difference in your level of job satisfaction.

4. Is this a filler position, or a chance to grow my career?

Why do you want this job? Are you in desperate need of cash, do you need more job security, or are you ambitious about furthering your career? Make sure that the job will give you what you need.

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5. Am I genuinely excited about this job?

Are you excited about the new job, or are you just excited about having been made an offer? In the words of Malcolm Forbes:

I think the foremost quality – there’s no success without it – is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there’s no success if you don’t do well what you’re working at.

Questions to ask your prospective employer before accepting a job

6. Can I have a copy of the offer and benefits package?

It is essential to go through your employment contract carefully before you accept the offer. There might be some terms and conditions in there that will change your mind about accepting the position. It is also important to see whether the benefits discussed in your interview have been incorporated into your contract.

7. Is the salary negotiable?

If you are unhappy about the salary being offered, you have to negotiate before accepting the job. You can’t accept the job with the presumption that you’ll be able to ask for a raise a few months down the line.

8. By when do you need an answer?

You should have some time to think it over, weigh up your options, and discuss the matter with friends and family. If your prospective employer doesn’t give you any time to consider the offer, then it might not be a good sign.

By taking some time to think about it, you are also leaving room for potential further negotiations if there is something you’re unhappy about.

9. What is an ordinary work day like here?

Will you be clocking in at 08:00 and leaving at 17:00, or will you be expected to work irregular hours? You’ll also need to know if you are going to be expected to be on stand-by, and what the policies are regarding overtime work.

10. Is there room for growth?

Will this position benefit your career? You should ask your prospective employer if there is room for advancement in the company, if they will help you get more training, and if you will be encouraged to grow. You don’t want to end up stuck in a dead-end job with the same salary for 10 years!

Looking for the right job

It’s not always easy to decide whether to take a job or not. Most of the time, a job offer will have a variety of pros and cons. So, while you shouldn’t accept a job that will make you unhappy, this doesn’t mean that you should keep rejecting offers in the hope of finding that ‘perfect job’. As the old saying goes:

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

A great way to ensure that you land a good job, however, is to make sure you have the training and qualifications you need to secure your dream job. With distance learning at Oxbridge Academy, you can study a range of career-changing courses while keeping your full-time job and building your CV.

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Job Mail Product and Marketing Manager. Social media fundi and digital junkie.

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