You prepared for your interviews, and finally, you got a job offer! It’s an exciting moment, right? Sometimes, a job offer isn’t that exciting if you just aren’t sure that the job is the next right step for your career, or you haven’t completed your other interviews with another dream company yet and want to make sure you’re not leaving any other offers on the table.
What do you do when you aren’t sure if the job is right for you?
When you aren’t ready to accept a job offer, either because you aren’t quite sure about it or you want to buy some time to see if you can obtain an offer from another company with which you’re interviewing, you’ll need to tactfully negotiate some time to think about the offer.
In general, I do not recommend accepting an offer immediately, no matter how great it is. First, you need to carefully review all aspects of the compensation package. Has the company sent you their benefits package information? If they have, you may want to discuss this offer with your spouse, partner, or a trusted friend or colleague if you have doubts about it.
You should also avoid accepting a job offer prematurely and then having to turn the offer down after the fact because you changed your mind or another opportunity became available. If you aren’t sure that this is the right job, or if you are potentially juggling multiple job offers, you will need to buy some time to analyze which is the best opportunity for you by evaluating the criteria that is most important to you.
You can also decline an offer if you are absolutely sure it’s not the right position for you. Declining the offer gives the company an opportunity to offer the position to someone else. If you wait too long to decline the offer, or if you quit after you start the job, you risk putting the company in a difficult position, and they may have to start their candidate search all over again.
So, how do you buy more time to get back to the company on the offer?
Before you request extra time to provide your answer, it’s critical that you express your enthusiasm for the position and also reiterate why you are strongly qualified for it. Companies don’t want to hold open a position if they think you are only leveraging their offer to try to get a higher offer somewhere else. You must be careful, because a company can legally rescind any offer if they don’t think you are serious about it. As a former recruiter, I have seen this happen.
If you need time to think about an offer, do the following:
- Ask the company if there is a deadline on when you have to respond to the offer. Don’t be unreasonable on the time you need – when you have an offer in your hand, you need to treat it with care, since you really don’t know if other offers are forthcoming.
- You can also buy some time by saying that you’d like to meet or talk to some other individuals on the team who are already in the role, or tell them that you have some additional questions for the hiring manager.
- Contact the other company with which you are interviewing and tell them that you have an offer on the table. See if they are willing to expedite their process more quickly – but be prepared for them to say no. In general, companies want to feel that they’re your first choice.
- Of course, if the reason you are hedging on the offer is related to compensation, you will want to try to negotiate the salary before you make your decision.
- I cannot emphasize this enough: You must demonstrate your enthusiasm for the company and for the job that is being offered to you. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face and end up with no offer because you were perceived as arrogant about your needs to delay a decision!
Fortunately, I’m an expert at navigating salary negotiation and also helping my clients develop strategies to handle multiple offers and come out on top. You can set up a time to talk with me by clicking here:
I would love to help you get the highest compensation possible.