Career Center Corner: Delaying the Job Offer
I just got offered a job but I have other interviews lined up in the next few weeks with other companies I also want to consider. What should I do?
Congratulations! Getting a job offer is great news!
First, reflect on your existing offer by considering all aspects of the offer. Ask yourself some important questions – in this position, will you be doing what you want to do? Is this a company in which you can see yourself growing and developing? Are there opportunities for professional development? Does the company culture fit you well? Finally, do you feel the compensation is fair? Consider not just the salary but the whole package – do you have excellent benefits? Are you offered an acceptable number of vacation days? Are you able to take off for all the Jewish holidays? Does the company provide 401K (retirement) matching?
To answer these questions, do research about this opportunity. Use websites, such as Glassdoor.com, for salary information. Reach out to YU alums, found via LinkedIn, about company culture. Speak with the company’s human resources department to discuss benefits. If you are considering negotiating for something more, such as an increase in salary or any additional benefits, make sure your requests are absolutely reasonable and within expected considerations for this position and its level.
Once you have determined that this job is definitely a position that works well for you, your needs and your interests, consider saying yes now. However, if you really would like to weigh potential other options and wait to see if you receive more offers, you need to do it carefully and professionally.
Here are some ways to respond:
- Show gratitude. Gracefully thank the company that offered you the position and show the appropriate appreciation for this opportunity.
- Request time to consider the offer. Ask the company if you could possibly have another couple of weeks in order to make an informed decision. Be sure to provide a specific and reasonable deadline date (and stick to it).
- Be honest. Be sincere and be honest about your reasons for needing additional time to consider the offer. You really can say you are meeting with other companies. However, you must be careful and make sure you don’t make the company feel like it is the back-up choice. Rather, make sure you explain that you are seriously considering this decision and have many factors to consider.
- Practice your response. Rehearse your response so that you can be courteous and confident in communicating your message while still expressing enthusiasm and interest.
Whatever you do, consider the consequences. There is a risk in asking for extra time to make a decision, especially if the amount of time is significant. The company likely has other candidates it is considering. It may not agree to give much, or even any, additional time so as to not end up losing the other candidates who the company may consider recruiting. Also, the company may retract the offer if it believes you consider the job is second best; it will not want to hire someone only to lose that person in a few weeks or months.
When you begin meeting with other companies once you have an offer in hand, you can consider leveraging the offer. Carefully consider if it would be to your advantage when you meet with other companies to let them know you have received an offer but that you really prefer to work for them (if you do). You can use it to make yourself look like you are a desirable candidate. However, do not use it as ultimatum. Companies that may have considered you for the position may have a different opinion of your candidacy if you strike too hard a tone.
Finally, do keep in mind that once you accept a job offer, you are committed - professionally and ethically. Reneging on an accepted job offer is unacceptable and unprofessional, and may come back to affect you later in your career. The business world is always smaller than you can imagine and everyone is connected.
Good luck with your efforts and you are welcome to come to the Career Center to meet with a career counselor to further discuss your options.