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Receiving a Job Offer

Most candidates will receive a job offer by telephone, although email is sometimes used. When you receive an offer:

  • Say "thank you." Someone just offered you a job! Thank them for the opportunity and show enthusiasm.
  • Ask the employer when they will need your answer. You do not need to accept or decline on the spot. Instead, ask a few questions about the terms of the offer, request information in writing, and wait until you come down from your adrenaline high before you commit to the terms of the offer.
  • Ask for the offer in writing if it was not yet offered.
  • Evaluate the all the components of the offer. Find more information on evaluating job offers.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Identify your ideal offer, acceptable offer, and non-acceptable offer. Think about how you will react if they say “no” after negotiating. Get advice on how to get ready to negotiate.

If you receive an offer from a company that is not your first choice, and you are hoping to receive an offer from another company:

  • Request more time from the organization making an offer. While a few days is standard, you can sometimes negotiate for more time.
  • Contact the organizations that you would most prefer to work at. Explain that you have received an offer from another employer (no need to provide specifics about the employer or salary) and inquire about their timeline. Sometimes the decision has been made but the paperwork is slow, and a phone call can help speed up the process and provide you with an answer more quickly.
  • Be prepared to make a tough decision. If the other organizations you are waiting to hear from cannot give you an answer in the timeframe you require, you may be forced to make a difficult decision.