You’ve spent hours fine-tuning your CV. You’ve scoured various job boards and emailed plenty of recruitment consultants. You’ve read all of these interview advice articles (obviously) and now you’ve been through the interview process to find that you’ve been made a formal offer of the job. Fantastic! However, it’s very common to just say ‘yes’ straight away because of how hard you’ve worked to secure the position. Hold up – you should always ask yourself these questions first before you eagerly accept what could be the worst job in the world:
First things first – make sure you thank the company for making the offer and let them know when you’ll be getting back to them with an answer. Usually 24 hours is a good amount of time for you to think about things without messing the employer around. If they pressure you into giving an answer immediately there and then, then you need to consider if you want to work for such an impatient company.
Let’s get the most obvious out of the way
Okay, so the obvious will spring to mind at once before you accept a job. Things like salary, commuting time, company benefits/perks and holiday entitlement are all the usual deal breakers that need to pass the test. If you’re happy with all of the above, then move on to the next set of questions. If not, can you negotiate salary? It’s now acceptable to ask the company about benefits and holiday if you didn’t feel like you could when you were in the interview (sometimes it’s just not appropriate to ask).
The second level of important job related stuff
Is the job title something you’d be proud to have on your CV? Are you expected to work longer than the core hours (and what are the core hours)? What’s the company culture like? Working longer hours is something many don’t mind doing if the company culture is great. Can you imagine what your day to day tasks would be? A lot of this is presumptive, but even if you have a small understanding of your responsibilities day to day then you’re more likely to be able to make an informed decision.
You’re going to want to know how you can progress in this new role, so how will this happen? Do they just rely on a yearly appraisal process or will your progress and achievements be tracked another way? Is there much flexibility with the role itself? What opportunities and prospects have been hinted at by the employer if at all? Are you in the right sector to progress or do you instead to sidestep in a couple of years? The main question you need to ask yourself here is what your overall goal is – does it match with the job description and what possibilities are there?
What else will make you happy?
Do you agree with the ethics and values of the company? Because if you don’t, then don’t go for the job! You’ll end up resenting your role within the company if you disagree with the values and what they’re trying to achieve. If you feel you have no other choice, read my article here on whether any job is better than no job at all.
As well as all the factors above, you need to consider whether or not you can actually do the job you’ve said you can do. Is there any element of it that you’ll find difficult and need support on? You may need to raise this as a point before accepting the job. The last thing you want is to be given an impossible task and have no one around to ask for help. Also, would you get along with the person who’s interviewed you (if that’s going to be your manager)? If you didn’t like them, why not?
There are lots of questions you need to ask yourself before accepting a job offer. Just remember to take your time and don’t be afraid to turn it down because it doesn’t meet your requirements. Sometimes you can negotiate on various aspects of a job offer, so be sure to do this first (in writing) before saying no.