11 Questions To Ask Before Accepting A Job Offer


A job interview is a stressful experience for any candidate. Everyone tries to look best in the eyes of the potential employer, sell their experience and skills and go on great lengths to get that desired job offer. The best candidates manage stress reduction techniques and dress for success.

However, what the applicants often forget is that the interview is a two-way road. And the real purpose of the interview is not only to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best fit, but also to be convinced that this position is the best fit personally for you. That’s why, when an interview comes to an end and the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions for me” most of us only ask something related to salary/bonuses, responsibilities and corporate culture. This isn’t the wise approach, as if you neglect to find out more about the organization and the position you can end up in a position that is totally different from what you expected.  

Use the end of the conversation to astonish the interviewer with the smart questions that will help you understand if the position is right for your personality and your career goals. Here are a few examples of such questions.

  1. How would you describe the company’s mission, culture and leadership philosophy?
    You are interested in joining the company in the long run. So, you can’t underestimate the importance of understanding their core values right before you say “yes” in response to a job offer. For a hiring manager, this question means that you are interested in learning more about the company and find out how you can contribute, not only make some money to pay your bills.
  2. What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 3 months?
    To be a successful candidate, the very first thing you should find out is how the success looks like here. The manager’s expectations from the candidate in this role can make things even clearer on what you should focus your efforts at to succeed. Moreover, by asking this, you position yourself as a hard-working and proactive individual. You show that you won’t need weeks to learn more about the company and get acquainted with the team and are ready to make a valuable contribution straightaway.
    If the hiring person gives a vague answer to this question, be cautious. Maybe, they don’t have clear expectations or are looking for a ‘jack of all trades’.
  3. What makes a top-performer in this role?
    Every organization has different values and corporate culture. Thus, by asking this, you have a chance to find out which skills, personal traits and work attitude is expected here to help you succeed. Some organization value creative approach above all, while the others expect the successful personalities to work extra hours on a regular basis. states that you should find this out, first of all, to find out whether your personality fits under these requirements. And, if you do, you need to find out which action will turn you into a top performer.
  4. What is a typical career trajectory for a person in this position?
    This question offered by Forbes is a must to ask for those wishing to climb the corporate ladder. Thus, you will know the career advancement opportunities and see if they align with your long-term career goals. If the role, however, provides no options of promotion, it’s better to reject it in advance to avoid wasting your time in a dead-end job.
  5. What bonus program do you have to offer?
    Although it’s a bad tone to ask about the salary before the recruiter brings it up, if he hadn’t, you should find it out at the end of the interview. Don’t be shy – this issue should be totally clear before the hiring process goes any further. Get all the details of the compensation, from salary itself to bonus programs, paid leave, medical coverage and 401K. Your priority is to make sure you will get an adequate compensation for your professional skills and efforts.
  6. Why do you like it working here?
    This unexpected question can tell you a lot about the emotional climate within the organization. Some recruiters may give you cookie-cutter answers, while the others might stumble over their own words. In any case, you should follow the emotional state of the person answering this question rather than paying attention to words. If the recruiter doesn’t look excited when speaking about the positive aspects of this job, you probably won’t find this job engrossing either. However, if he/she sounds positive, joining the organization will probably be the right option for you.
  7. What is the reason why you wouldn’t hire me?
     During the interview, the hiring manager makes an impression about you and mentally notices why you would (or wouldn’t) make a successful candidate. By asking this question in an open, straightforward way, you’ll probably get the interviewer surprised and hear his doubts and hesitations about you. So, you’ll have the chance to address them straightaway!
  8. Does the company offer education and professional growth opportunities?
    If you are interested in professional growth and continued development, ask this before you’re onboard, as the training and development policies vary dramatically from company to company. Ask which opportunities they offer to broaden and deepen your skills. And, not only you will be aware of how exactly the company is willing to invest in its employees, but also position yourself as a proactive individual who is oriented at the professional growth and bringing more revenue to the table.
  9. What is your largest challenge and how do you plan to address it?
    Every business has problems and challenges, from small to great ones. These challenges can be related to technology, actions of competitors, and the economy conditions. The perfect way to look as a dedicated and result-oriented employee is to ask about their major issue and how they are going to handle it. This question can be followed by “How can I contribute?” This question is not only to demonstrate your interest in company problems. It also helps you evaluate their management style and goals. Does the company want to be proactive or they still don’t have the plan of actions? If the latter is true, should you work for them?
  10. Can I see my workplace?
    This question might sound not so serious comparing to the previous one. However, your future office is the place where you’re going to spend at least 40 hours a week, so you do want to make sure it will be comfortable. Upon having a glance at an office, you might even regret having sent in your resume to the company!
  11. What does success in this position look like?
    To achieve the success in a position, it’s crucial that you clearly know how the company sees the success. Ask the prospective manager to provide you with clear examples, or even figures, of what is expected from a successful candidate. Which results should you deliver to be considered as a top performer? Are there any work related habits or attitude which is expected from a candidate? By clarifying it in advance, you will have a clear idea whether you match their standards or not. And, more importantly, you can predict your chances for success and career growth.

By asking the above question, you’ll have a clear picture of company’s real values and expectations and will realize whether they match your demands from a prospective employer. Make things totally clear before actually join the organization, and you will avoid ending up in a job that isn’t your fit and will pick the organization that will be right for you in the long run.

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Have you ever asked tricky questions to the hiring managers during the interview? Were you satisfied with the answer you got?

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