Questions to Ask for Job Offers

by Rick Suttle

Job candidates spend many hours revising and mailing resumes and interviewing to get job offers. But they also need to make sure the offer they accept is the right one. The best way to determine whether a job is right for you is by asking the employer some key questions. You should also do some soul searching before accepting a job. If you are the one making the offer, have a few questions ready for the chosen applicant.

What evaluation criteria do you use?

It's essential that you know the evaluation criteria for your job so you can rate highly on performance reviews. Evaluation criteria usually include specific duties for which you are responsible on a job: supervising employees, managing budgets and writing reports. You may also be evaluated on your ability to work on a team, or your initiative in helping others on tasks outside the scope of your job. Ask the employer to list all of the criteria and tell you which ones weigh more heavily. For example, report writing might count 25 percent toward your overall job performance.

What is the attrition rate of new hires?

The attrition rate is how many people quit jobs to work for other employers plus those whose tenture was ended by the employer. Most companies maintain these statistics because their objectives include lowering the attrition percentages. A high attrition rate means employees may be highly dissatisfied with their jobs, or the employer. Conversely, a low attrition rate indicates employees are likely satisfied with the company. In addition to the attrition rate, ask the employer offering you the job why people tend to leave; the answer can help you to decide whether to accept the job.

What is the salary structure and benefits plan?

Most employers will disclose the salary when offering you a job, but commissions and bonuses also may be involved. Therefore, ask the employer to break your salary down into a guaranteed weekly or monthly amount. Subsequently, inquire about percentages on commissions, particularly if you are in sales, and when bonuses are paid. Moreover, have the employer summarize all the fringe benefits.

Is this company a good fit for my skills?

You must also be introspective before accepting a job. After asking the employer a few questions, ask yourself if the company is a good fit for your skills. The answers you come to in your self-study should allay most of your concerns if you are still considering accepting the job. But consider taking a few days to think it over. It can be damaging to your career if you accept a job and then renege on it, according to "U.S. News & World Report." You may also be expecting an offer from another company, which is why waiting a few days is smart.

Why are you really leaving your current job?

As a hiring manager, consider asking the chosen applicant why he really wants to leave his current job. It can cost your company thousands of dollars to hire one employee, especially if you are using a recruiter. Therefore, you have every right to fully understand why someone is leaving a job. The candidate may have evaded the question when you first asked him. Most importantly, you want to ensure the new employee isn't a job hopper, but rather someone who wants a long career with your company.

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