10 Questions to Ask When You Get An Offer
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Job title. What’s the job title and what are the responsibilities?
Make sure the offer is for the job you interviewed for. During the course of the interview process, needs may have changed within the company and the position you are offered is not the position you originally applied for. Coaching tip: Find out the official title and ask, “To whom will I be reporting? What department will I be working in?”
Salaried or hourly. Is this a salaried or hourly position?
Companies determine whether you will be paid salaried or hourly by the type of work that is required. Salaried positions are paid based on an annual amount and you’re not required to keep track of your time. Hourly positions are paid based on the amount of hours you work and you are required to keep track of your time. Coaching tip: The major difference is that hourly employees are generally paid overtime whereas salaried employees are exempt from overtime but do receive benefits and paid time off.
Insurance and retirement. Could you tell me about the benefits and retirement plans you offer?
A compensation package is 70% salary and 30% benefits. A company may offer you health, life, dental, long-term and short-term disability insurance and retirement benefits. Coaching tip: It’s very important to have a good understanding of the benefits package included in your job offer. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Do not accept a position before having a clear understanding of the entire offer.
Paid time off. How much vacation/sick/paid time off will I get?
Most companies base their paid time off policy on years of service. The national average for a first-year employee is 14 days, which includes 6-10 national holidays. Coaching tip: You can negotiate for more paid time off.
Travel. Will I be required to travel and, if so, what percentage of the time?
Traveling for work means that there will be expenses. Make sure you find out how expenses are reimbursed. Coaching tip: Some companies offer a per-diem (which is a daily allowance to cover living expenses when traveling for work). You also may be offered a company credit card or be expected to pay for your own expenses before getting reimbursed.
Professional development. What will the training program be like?
You are not expected to know everything on day one. Companies are expected to train you. Some careers require that you acquire and maintain a professional designation or attend continuing education courses to maintain a license. In order to do that, you may need time off to study and financial help to pay for study materials and exams. Ask if your licenses or professional development is paid for by the organization. Coaching tip: Ask, “Is there tuition reimbursement?”
Raises and evaluations. How will I be evaluated for a raise?
You might be caught up in the current offer, but it’s very important to know how the company plans on compensating you in the future. Coaching tip: Ask, “How will I be evaluated? When are evaluations conducted? Are raises determined on personal performance or company performance?”
Bonuses. Is there additional compensation?
In addition to your salary, you may be offered a sign-on bonus, a relocation allowance, opportunities for commission, or other additional compensation. Coaching tip: If you are not pleased with your base salary, you can ask for a sign-on bonus or an opportunity to re-evaluate your salary at a pre-determined later date.
Contingencies. What is this offer contingent upon?
Just because you have an offer doesn’t mean that you will get the job. Employment may be contingent upon a background check and a drug test. You may be required to submit an application, references, and/or a signed confidentiality agreement. Coaching tip: It’s very important that you find out if there are deadlines to meet. If you fail to submit documents by the deadline, or you do not pass the drug test, your offer may be rescinded.
Negotiation. Is this offer negotiable?
If you are dissatisfied with the offer, you should negotiate. Coaching tip: Every recruiter is prepared to negotiate. You should be too. If you tell them you want more money, you need to have an answer and an amount ready. Remember you can negotiate non-salary benefits such as paid time off, bonuses, a better title, working from home and salary evaluations. Don’t be shy!
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