Tuesday, April 16, 2024

What to Do If Offered a Job on the Spot

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.

You were prepared to wait a week to hear whether you were moving to the second round of interviews. But the hiring manager surprised you by offering you a job on the spot.

On one hand, that’s a huge accomplishment, and you should feel very proud. On the other hand, you might not be ready to accept the offer.

Instincts are powerful, and when considering an on-the-spot job offer, they help gauge your real feelings.

If you have thoroughly researched the company, asked questions, and feel comfortable with the job, accepting on the spot may be your ideal situation.

However, if you have any reservations, it’s best to dig a little deeper.

Considerations When You’re Offered a Job During an Interview

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While it won’t happen every time, it’s not uncommon for hiring managers to offer jobs on the spot. With the ability to review LinkedIn profiles, online websites, and social media profiles, recruiters may have a pretty good feel for candidates before they meet them.

When that happens, the interview is simply an opportunity for the hiring manager to verify that you’ll be an excellent fit for the company culture. If they’re convinced, you might get an offer on the spot.

How to Proceed When It’s Your Dream

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Even if you know the company is one you want to work for and the job is one you are genuinely interested in, there are still a few things to consider.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Additional Questions

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First, you can strategically ask for more details without giving a firm answer. For example, you might want to know more about the team you’ll be working with or the next steps in the training process.

When asking those questions, be sure to frame them as considerations. Use phrases like, “What would the next steps in the training process be if I were to accept?”

You Can Negotiate Salary and Benefits

Negotiating salary or a pay raise
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When it comes to compensation, this is the time for negotiation. Express your appreciation and excitement, but ask if they have an offer package in mind.

Is the number lower than you expected? If so, explain your salary requirements and ask if they’d be able to get closer to meeting them.

Remember that if they can’t meet your salary, you can negotiate for other benefits, like vacation days or flexible work hours.

Express Your Appreciation

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If this is your dream job, allow yourself the opportunity to be happy, and ensure that you’re gracious in your appreciation. Getting a job offer is a huge accomplishment regardless of when it’s offered.

Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and express your excitement about the opportunity.

You can say something like, “Thank you so much for this opportunity. I’m excited to see what the future holds at [XYZ] company.”

However, don’t make any promises you might be unable to keep. If you’re unsure of your answer, it’s best to say that you weren’t anticipating moving forward so quickly and need some time to think about it before giving a final answer.

How to Proceed When You’re Undecided

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The interview process is designed to give both parties time to ensure it’s a good fit. If an employer pressures you into deciding on the spot, it’s a red flag.

When an offer is made, most companies are willing to give candidates a minimum of 24 hours to think it over and consult with their family or friends.

If the interviewer tries to push for an answer before then, thank them for the offer and explain that you need some time to make your decision.

In cases like this, founder and CEO of FlexJobs Sara Sutton states, “It may be an indication that the company is generally inflexible or strong-handed and not a company you’d want to work for anyway.”

Consider Other Prospects

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It’s important to consider what other opportunities you might have on the table.

If you’ve been interviewing with several companies and this isn’t your top choice, then it may be best to wait and see what other offers come in before making a decision.

Whether or not you disclose an additional offer is up to you and might be determined by the rapport you’ve established with the hiring manager during the interview. Either way, ask for a specific amount of time to consider the offer.

Ask Probing Questions

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Are you hesitant simply because the situation isn’t standard? It could be that the employer has thoroughly researched you and is ready to make an offer.

Or, perhaps you’re filling a critical position that has been open for a while. You can ask additional questions to help you understand their process and expectations.

  • Can you share how long the role has been open?
  • Can you share if there are other applicants that you’re considering?
  • When are you hoping to have someone start in the role?

How to Proceed When You Feel the Offer Might Be a Scam

Scam
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Unfortunately, not all opportunities are real. There are certain times when you should not accept a job on the spot.

Was your interview over an instant messaging service, or are you being asked to provide personally identifiable information? Those are red flags that the job is a scam.

An interview will generally be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video. And you should never have to provide your personal information too early in the process.

What You Should Consider and Check

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You should also consider the following:

  • Have you even had an interview? Surprisingly, some scams are bold enough to offer a job on the spot without the slightest hint of an interview. If this is the case, do not accept!
  • Is the company being too forceful about getting an answer? If the company has not provided you with any information about the job, the company, or the benefits, chances are it is a scam or it’s not a company you would want to work for.
  • Can you find information about the company? Company information should be plentiful. If you have not been able to verify the company’s existence or find a moderate amount of information about the company, it could be a job search scam.

Follow Your Instincts When Considering an On-the-Spot Job Offer

Job interview
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Remember, when offered a job on the spot, follow your instincts. If you have researched the company, have interviewed, and feel good about the job and benefits, then the job offer may be one you want to accept.

However, don’t ever allow yourself to be pressured into taking a position before you’re ready.

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