How to respond to a job offer

You have come to the end of the interview and the amazing happens, getting an immediate job offer. Before jumping at the job, consider how you will be responding to the job offer. The only reason to take the offer then and there is that you have either no other prospects or you have a critical need for money. So how do you respond to the job offer?

Reasons for Getting an Immediate Job Offer

First you should consider why you are getting an immediate job offer. There are three reasons which answer this question.

  • You made a very good impression
  • The job is hard to fill so the employer takes the most promising applicant immediately
  • The job needs to be filled immediately most likely due to schedule issues or project requirements

Two of these reasons benefit the employer more than you, while the first reason benefits both of you. So what do you do if this happens?

Asking for Time to Consider the Offer

When you get an immediate job offer, a good response to the job offer is to ask for time to consider the offer. The reasons for this are:

  • It gives you time to consider both the disadvantages and advantages of the job
  • If you have a history of job hopping, you want to be sure this is one you will stay with for at least two years to establish a more permanent employment record
  • If you are working through an employment agency, you may be hit with a fine or fee for leaving the job before a certain amount of time, usually 6 - 12 months.
  • Always keep your options open if you have had, or will have, more than one interview. Wait for the best offer if possible.

When responding to an immediate job offer, you need to consider if the job is your best move at the moment. Consider this example; you need a car, you find a good car but you choose to look around and come back. Why do this? The car may not be such a great deal, or there may be a better option around the corner. The immediate job offer is the same. While you may need a job, allow yourself the option of taking the best job offer to fit your needs and skills. If the employer will not allow for time, this is a sign that they need the position filled immediately and it is most likely hard to fill.