Receiving a job offer is an exciting moment. All of the thought and preparation you put into your job search has paid off, and the company has chosen you from a crowded field of candidates. 

But before you accept the offer, it’s important to slow down and ask some thoughtful questions to make sure the offer, role and company are a good fit.

While you do that, keep in mind that recruiters and hiring managers don’t find questions annoying. In some ways, asking questions shows that you are thinking seriously about the commitment you are making to the company.

“I always like when a candidate comes prepared with questions,” Alexandra Parker, senior manager of human resources at, told Built In. “I think it’s very important that they’ve thought about it.”

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18 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Job

If you didn’t have a chance to ask some of the below questions earlier in the interview process, you can always ask them during the job offer call, in an email after the call or by scheduling another quick chat with the hiring manager while they await your decision.


Company Culture Questions

Ideally, by this stage in the interview process, you have already thought about whether this company’s values and culture align with your own. Company culture is a nuanced topic, though, so it’s understandable if you have more questions on your mind. Whenever possible, try to ask questions that most directly address the organizational dynamics most important to you.

“I think this is your opportunity to ask cultural questions that haven’t come up in the past,” Parker said. “Throughout the process, you are the one being interviewed. This gives you an opportunity to kind of switch it up. You interview them and ask any questions that you thought might have been a bit awkward during the interview process.” 

Some examples of company culture questions include:

1. How do you ensure the well-being of your employees?

2. What does the company think about work-life balance?

3. What sort of feedback have employees given on company culture, and how have you adjusted to that feedback?

4. What does the company do to promote diversity and equity?


PTO (Paid Time Off) Questions

Once you reach the offer stage, you should feel comfortable asking some of the questions that might have felt a little risky in the earlier stages of the interview process.

If you ask about work-life balance or PTO during the initial screening with the recruiter, for example, that might raise a yellow or red flag about your work ethic. Recruiters may interpret this as a sign that you are more enthusiastic about time off than the job itself. 

Bonnie Dilber, recruiting manager for Zapier, said she was going through the interview process at Zapier around the same time she was preparing for a vacation. Once the company offered her the job, she felt comfortable asking whether she could take the week-long vacation that was set to begin two weeks after her start date.

“I recommend waiting until the offer stage [for these types of questions] because you don’t want to give them any reason before then to think someone else would be easier to hire than you,” Dilber said.

Here are some PTO-related questions you could ask:

5. Can you go into more detail about your PTO policy?

6. Does the company offer parental leave?

7. What are the options for remote work?

8. I already have an upcoming vacation planned. Is it OK to still take that time off? 


Expectations and Evaluations Questions

The hiring manager has probably discussed what they expect from you, but it can be helpful to understand how the company will be evaluating your performance. Consider some of these questions.

9. How is success in this role defined and measured?

By understanding what measurements are used to evaluate your performance, you might gain more insight into how your professional abilities track with the company’s priorities — and how you might be able to address any areas of inexperience with professional development.

10. What should I accomplish in the first 30, 60, 90 days?

Chelle Johnson, founder of Best You Talent Advisors, told Built In that this question can help you gain clarity so you can start developing a plan of attack to address the company’s most pressing pain points. 

“You want to be crystal clear on how you can quickly add value and get some quick wins by providing solutions on low-hanging fruit type of initiatives,” Johnson said.

11. How often is job performance reviewed? 

You may also want to understand how you are being evaluated in terms of performance reviews. By understanding more about the review cycle, you can start setting yourself up for success right away. You are also showing the company that you want to excel in your new job.

“This shows that the person is already thinking about their future and imagining themselves with the company,” Parker said.

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Career Advancement Questions

If you are serious about growing your career, you should be thinking about how this role aligns with your broader career goals and what your next step might look like. Below are some potential questions you can ask.

12. What resources do you offer for professional development?

Ideally, you could advance your career with a company that will assist you in your career development, either through tuition assistance, on-the-job training or a professional development stipend for conferences and training opportunities. This question will help you learn what resources the company provides to assist you in your growth.

13. When did you last promote someone on the team?

You could ask your direct manager about previous employees in your position to understand if the company nurtures career development — or if employees typically leave the company to reach their goals. If you are earlier in your career, your manager might be able to give you ideas about potential career trajectories in your industry.


Compensation Questions

Candidates should almost always try to negotiate their salary. A company is very unlikely to rescind a job offer if you try to negotiate your salary, unless you are being rude or unrealistic.

Before you negotiate, it’s important to thank the hiring manager or recruiter for the offer and to express your enthusiasm about the position and the company.

“Make sure they know that you’re excited,” Tammy Dain, founder and CEO of recruiting firm Rabble, told Built In. “Literally say, ‘I’m so excited — I’m over the moon — that I’ve been accepted to this position. I can’t wait to start.’... Because that just assumes that you’re going to come to a conclusion and be able to make it work.”

If you’ve already done research about comparable salaries, be prepared to have a dollar amount ready. Keep in mind, though, that a recruiter rarely has the authority to approve a higher dollar amount on the spot.

14. Is this offer negotiable?

This question is a polite way of beginning the negotiation process, but you can also open negotiations by stating your case for a higher salary. If the recruiter says the offer is firm, ask about other items in the offer that can be negotiated, such as PTO or the number of days you are allowed to work from home. That’s what Erica Law, founder of fractional recruiting firm Springhouse Talent, suggests.

“Usually a work from home policy is a very low-hanging fruit that you can negotiate,” Law said. “Maybe they want you in the office three days a week and you really only want to ideally do two.”

15. Can you tell me more about how the employee stock options work?

If you’re applying for a job in the tech industry, you should consider asking about stock options and opportunities for gaining equity in the company.

Stock options give you the chance to purchase an equity stake in the company in the future. Companies will typically tell you how many options you are getting and the price at which you can purchase shares.

Companies should also share their fair market value, which will give you an idea of what you stand to gain if you exercise your options. If the company is successful, the value of its shares will increase over time.

You could also ask about the vesting schedule, which will explain when you can start acquiring stock options and how quickly you can acquire more options.

Lastly, you might want to ask about the post-termination exercise period, which dictates how long you will be able to purchase shares of stock after leaving the company. Tech companies have traditionally allowed employees to exercise their options within 90 days after closing, but Law said companies are now extending that window to up to 10 years.

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Onboarding Questions

Companies are typically happy to answer questions about the onboarding process because it shows you are already looking forward to getting started. Larger companies will usually have an onboarding plan in place, but that may not always be the case with smaller companies. Below are two questions to consider asking.

16. What does the onboarding process look like?

“If they don’t really know what your onboarding will look like, or if they’re just expecting you to show up and get to work, that could be a sign that it’s going to be a hard position to jump into,” Dilber said.

Law added that companies that under-invest in onboarding may not be adequately communicating their expectations for the employee.

17. When is my start date?

Companies will typically tell you what date they would like you to start, but that date might be flexible. The team is probably looking forward to having a new team member that can take on the workload of their predecessor, or they might want to onboard several new hires on the same day. Generally, though, companies also want to make new employees happy and will likely allow you to push back your start date if you explain the circumstances.


Health of the Company Questions

By this point in the conversation, candidates should have researched the company and its position in the marketplace. Still, job seekers are only able to access a limited amount of information from the outside. 

If you haven’t already, you might want to ask about the company’s clients, upcoming product launches and how the company is forecasting for the future. If a candidate has signed a non-disclosure agreement, the company may be willing to go into a greater amount of detail about the state of its business.

“Candidates should be really drilling down, especially in the finishing stages, on the company’s health and making sure they are a growing company, a stable company, that’s going to continue to hire and grow,” Dain said. 

Here’s one way to ask it:

18. How much is the company growing quarter over quarter?

“That way, the recruiter or the hiring manager can share with you a percent growth versus having to actually share revenue dollars and cents,” Dain said. “Then you can stack their growth up against other companies that you’re interviewing with as well.”


Too Many Questions?

Recruiters and hiring managers are typically happy to answer a candidate’s questions, but their patience might start wearing thin if there are multiple rounds of follow-up questions or a candidate’s salary expectations skyrocketed beyond the range that was initially discussed.

For in-demand roles, Law said a second or third round of questions may lead the company or recruiter to feel like the candidate is stalling until a better offer comes in. That skepticism can be assuaged, Law said, if the candidate is enthusiastic and expressing interest in the position.

Parker said there is no such thing as too many questions, as long as they feel productive and not redundant with previous questions.

“As long as you’re polite and courteous. I would never ding a candidate based on the questions they asked,” Parker said. “If anything, it would make me excited that they’re being so thorough.”

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