In this era of instant everything and employers are offering instant job offers, too. They make the offer before the interview is over.
If this happens to you: congratulations. You should be flattered, since it means you’ve really impressed the hiring manager. Still, you may want to take a breath and consider the job carefully, said David Janowsky, a partner at WinterWyman, who focuses on accounting and financial jobs. This is especially true if you have a partner to consult or another possible job in which you are a contender.
“Because of the timing and urgency of need, we have candidates who get offers on the spot, regularly,” said Janowsky, who works mostly with temporary and contract assignments. About four in 10 of the candidates for contract work get instant offers, during the interview or within hours of it, he estimates, and perhaps 10 percent of those seeking permanent jobs with WinterWyman.
Sometimes it makes sense to say yes immediately – especially if you’ve been unemployed for a while and really need the money, or if it’s your first full-time position, and you’re jazzed about the job. For others who want to take some time to consider it, Janowsky has five tips for those instant, on-the-spot offers:
1. Express appreciation. Thank the hiring manager for the offer. “Say you’re very excited…” and if it’s true, note that the employer is your top choice. Your enthusiasm is important, so muster it even if you are not clear whether the job is right for you.
2. Ask for a little time. You want to review your notes or talk to your partner or your mom before deciding. “Give yourself a moment to process it and call back” with your answer, he said. This gives you overnight or perhaps 24 hours to consider the job. Don’t wait too long, because the employer may decide to interview others and you could lose the offer.
3. Ask for an offer package. The offer letter will spell out the key details of what’s included in the benefits and more. “Get it in writing. It does make it more official and a solid offer,” said Janowsky.
4. Explain the other prospect. When you have another job interview scheduled the next day, you may want to mention that, Janowsky said, adding: “you want to be honest and forthright.” You also want to be fair to yourself and make the right choice. If you mention another company, a smart hiring manager may ask “the next layer of questions” about who the employer is and what the other opportunity is like. You should share enough to be honest and credible.
5. Find out about follow-up. Set an expectation that some questions are likely to bubble up, and arrange a time or connection on how those will be handled. This will show that you’re treating the offer seriously, and want to go into it understanding it thoroughly. Also, find out who in HR could answer benefit questions.
Sometimes employers will gauge your interest by asking: “If I were to offer you this job now, what would you say?” Recruiters also will do this. This is something you may want to consider before the interview, and come up with a clear, enthusiastic yet honest answer. Perhaps you’d say something like: “I could very much see myself in this position. It’s a great opportunity. I just need a day or two to weigh everything I’ve heard today, and to discuss it all with my career mentor and my husband.” Then consult and deliberate quickly because instant offers often demand quick responses.