HANDLING THE PRESSURE TO RESPOND TO JOB OFFERS
YOU WENT THROUGH THE INTERVIEW PROCESS, AND NOW YOU GET THE OFFER! WOOT WOOT! BUT, WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN YOU ARE NOT READY TO ACCEPT THE JOB ON THE SPOT?
It has been weeks since you originally applied to the job posting. Then, after a lot of silence in your inbox, you find out that you scored an interview. Win! After dressing up in your Sunday best, giving solid answers to your (future) boss, you walk out of the interview with your fingers crossed that the next time you hear back from the company, they will be sharing the news of a job offer.
Finding a new job can be full time job in itself. There is a lot of work initially to find the right position and then customize your resume and cover letter. But, the hardest part of the process is usually the waiting. You wait to hear if you score an interview, then you wait to hear if there is a second interview, then you wait for the job offer and then you wait to clear references, and then you wait for your start date. So, what happens when you finally get an offer, but you are in the middle of interviewing for a bunch of other awesome roles?
Today I am sharing my top three tips on how to handle a job offer in the moment.
#1: Remind yourself that do not have to commit on the spot
When you receive a verbal offer, many times the conversation from the Hiring Manager or Recruiter will end something like this, "So, do we have our newest team member today?!" Accepting a job offer is a big commitment and while the company during the interview process holds the power, once you get a job, the power dynamic changes.
Do not feel pressured to respond to the offer on the spot. You can certainly express your excitement about the opportunity and the offer, but reserve your right to take some time and think about the position now that everything is real. Try responding by saying, "Wow, thank you, I am so excited to receive the offer and have the opportunity to join the team. I look forward to reviewing the full offer details through email and talking the decision over with my family this weekend before getting back to you early next week."
"Wow, thank you, I am so excited to receive the offer and have the opportunity to join the team. I look forward to reviewing the full offer details shortly and talking the decision over with my family this weekend before getting back to you early next week."
#2: You do not have to be an open book
This job offer may be your top pick, but you also may have just interviewed for your dream job at another company, or you may have an interview scheduled for next week that shows a lot of potential. It can almost feel disloyal to not open up and share that you are also in the running for other opportunities, but you do not have to share your full interview history or preferences when you receive a job offer. By keeping Tip #1 in mind, you will have time to consider the offer and compare it to any other options on your plate.
But, there are times when sharing this information is advantageous. For example, if the Hiring Manager is pushing for a quick start date, that person is probably looking for a quick answer, then you may want to be more transparent. Be honest and say, "I appreciate the offer and the excitement around setting a start date. At this time, I am also in the final interview stages for another position and I expect to receive another offer this week. Can I get back to you by Monday morning?". This shows you have in-demand talent and also take a thoughtful approach when managing your own career.
"At this time, I am also in the final interview stages for another position and I expect to receive another offer this week. Can I get back to you by Monday morning?"
#3: Figure out what you really want before you get an offer
Multiple job offers often do not line up perfectly. You may receive an offer for a good job the same week you applied to the open posting for a great job. So, how you do know when to hold out and when to jump in and accept right away? Consider these tips:
Must-have: Make your must-have list before you get an offer. This allows you to be much more objective when the time comes around to making a decision. You are also less likely to be swayed by perks or benefits that will make a minimal difference in the end.
Risk factor: Are you currently employed? How does your bank account look? Is your current job situation driving you up the wall? Is your family situation stable? There is always a level of risk when accepting a new job, but be sure to think about your level of personal risk right now and how it matches the job offer.
Don't stop the search: Saying yes to one job does not mean you have to close the door to every other opportunity. If you accept a good job, then work damn hard, gain some experience and continue your search for a great job.
Reputation: Some industries operate in a very tight-knit small circle. Starting a non-ideal position (like an entry- level role) could put you in a tough place later down the road (like if you really want a director position), so it may be worth it to hold out for the role you really want.
And we all thought applying for the job was the tough part! Managing job offers can be a roller coaster of emotions, but just remember that accepting a job is a huge personal commitment and the decision does not have to be made lightly. You won over the company, so give yourself a high five, take a breathe and then make a decision.
Can I change my mind after accepting a job offer?
Yes! If you accept one job and then receive another offer, you can definitely change your mind. It is of course important to handle this situation carefully. It is never a good idea to burn bridges with one company (you never know when you will work for or with them in the future!). I recommend being genuine and sharing your reasons for the change of heart. "While I am very grateful for the opportunity to join your organization, I have accepted another job that cuts my commute in half and offers two additional weeks of vacation."
If I get a job offer should I share that I am also interviewing for other roles?
Up to you! If you know you really want the job, then accept with no regrets. But, if you want to hold out and wait to see what else could be offered, you can carefully share that you have an upcoming interview and will be able to reply back at a specific time.
Can I use the aspects of one job offer to negotiate with the other offer?
You better! Whether is is salary, benefits, vacation or other perks, always compare the total package of one offer to the other. Remember to be bold and ask! Usually the worse thing that can happen is that the company will stay firm on their offer.
Can the company take away my offer if I have already accepted it?
Technically yes, but with risks, so in reality this rarely happens. You are unlikely to see a job offer withdrawn just because you are negotiating the details. Other examples when job offers may be withdrawn include include bankruptcy and unsuccessful reference or background checks. Check out this article (BS based) for more information on some of the risks a company takes if it withdraws your job offer.