Outstanding Questions

Ask the questions now. You may not get another chance.

No, I am not referring to questions that are wonderful. I am referring to questions that are still outstanding, questions not yet fully answered. If these questions still exist when the offer is made, you have two choices: ask them at the same time the offer is made (best choice) or add them to your list of potential concessions you will request when you accept (see The Acceptable Offer Negotiation Technique later in the chapter). You should always be ready for the offer to come through—at any time, under any circumstances. If you are not prepared in advance, you will miss the opportunity to ask some "free" negotiating questions that can give you additional career commitments above and beyond what has already been given. These questions are invaluable since they cost you virtually nothing from a negotiating standpoint.

So if you are on your toes when the offer is made, you can ask these key questions (if yet unasked in the interview process) at little or no risk:

"What are the promotional opportunities of the position?"

"To what position/level?"

"How and when will my performance be reviewed?"

"Will this include a salary review?"

"What kind of salary progression would be expected in the first three to five years?"

Be sure to take careful notes of the answers and who gave them. These may be the most "liberal" responses you ever hear with regard to your position. Don't be afraid to refer to these promises and guarantees later when they become important in your work. But realize that they are not true job offer negotiations. They are "gifts" given to you at the time of your job offer, possibly never to be uttered again. Take careful notes. And for a more comprehensive printable checklist for your job offer, go to:

…then click on Job Offer Checklist to review over 40 potential topic areas to cover.