Getting a job offer in any form is exciting, especially if it's been a long, hard search for you! However, before you accept any offer, always make sure to do your homework. If you want to accept the offer the moment the phone call comes in, try to check up on the company and benefits beforehand. A better option may be to delay a day or two just so you can get a written offer and ensure you have the benefits you want. Then you can call the company back to accept the offer.
Asking the Tough Questions
Check out the details of the offer before accepting.
Even if you want to accept the offer as soon as you get it over a phone call, make sure you know what you’re getting into. If you need to, ask questions of the person making the offer, such as what your salary will be, what benefits you’ll receive, and what time off you’ll have.
- If any of this information comes as a surprise to you, you may want to hold off on accepting. Ask for more information in writing so you can follow up with questions.
Discuss your role and responsibilities if they’re not clear to you.
Make sure you know exactly what your day-to-day role will look like, as well as where your job overlaps with other people. Talk about how much you’ll be expected to work individually and on a team.
- For instance, you might say, “I’d like to know a bit more about my role in the company. What exactly would my responsibilities be? How does my position intersect with others’ in the company? How much work is cooperative and how much is individual?”
Request information about your job title and advancement.
It’s important to know where you’re entering the company. If you are starting out at a lower position than you expected, you may want to negotiate a higher position, as that will be harder to change once you accept. In addition, check how and when you can advance once you accept the position.
- For example, you may ask, “What will my starting title be? Can that be changed?”
- As far as advancement, you could say, “How does advancement work from this position? When will I have advancement opportunities?”
Be ready to commit to the company.
If you want to accept as soon as the phone call comes in, then you should be ready to commit completely. Do your homework on the company and benefits to make absolutely sure want that particular job.
- If you accept and back out later, that looks much worse than waiting a few days to accept.
- Also, bear in mind you’ll have less room to negotiate after accepting the offer.
Keep in mind that, once you accept, you likely won’t be able to negotiate.
The real value of waiting a day or two, or getting the offer in writing before accepting, is you have a bit of breathing room to think and consider whether or not you want to negotiate your salary, benefits, or position. Once you accept the offer, most companies will not engage in negotiation with you. However, if you think the offer is fair, there’s no reason not to accept!
Accepting When the Phone Call Comes In
Say you accept the offer.
If you’re positive you’re ready to accept the job, all you need to do is politely tell them yes. Try to be enthusiastic when accepting the offer, as you want the company to realize you’re excited to be working there.
- For example, you might say, “Thank you very much for offering me a position. I’d like to accept the offer with your company, and I look forward to working with you.”
Request the offer in writing.
Even if you accept immediately, always ask for the offer in writing, too. That way, you have all the details to refer to. Plus, offers in writing are more binding than verbal offers.
- You might say, “Thanks again for the offer. Can I get the details in writing so I can review them more thoroughly?”
Follow up with a written agreement.
Even if you verbally accept the offer, you need to do it in writing, too. You can send a letter or an email, depending on your preference, but you just want to make sure that you have it all down on paper.
- For instance, you might write, “Dear Mr. Roberts, Thank you again for offering me a position at Mechanics Forever. I appreciate the offer, and I would like to formally accept it in writing. Let me know if there is anything further I need to do.”
Ask who you can follow up with on any questions you may have.
Once you get your offer in writing, you’re likely to have questions. Your potential boss may not have the answers, so check in to see who you can call or email with questions about your benefits.
- You might say, “Who can I check in with if I have questions about my benefits?”
Delaying to Ensure You Get the Best Deal
Express your enthusiasm about the potential position.
While you’re not yet accepting the position, you do want to show you’re thankful and excited. Tell the person you are enthusiastic about possibly working together to impress your prospective employer.
- For example, you might say, “Thank you so much for the offer! I’m excited about the possibility of working together.”
Ask the company to send you the offer in writing.
That way, you’ll be able to review the terms and benefits at your leisure. Plus, a written offer is firmer than a verbal offer, so you are asking them to make a commitment to the offer.
- For instance, say, “I appreciate you making this offer to me over the phone, but would you mind sending me a written offer so I can review it in more detail?”
- Also, make sure to ask who you should follow up with if you have questions.
Request a deadline for your response.
Most companies are fine with you taking a day or two to review the offer and ensure it’s the best option for you. Just ask the person over the phone when they need to hear back from you so you don’t lose out on an opportunity by not responding in time.
- For instance, you could say, “When would you like an answer by?”
- You could also ask for a specific deadline, such as “Can I get back to you on Tuesday?”
- If you need to wait to hear back from another company, you can always ask for an extension on the deadline if you need one. You might call and say, “I really appreciate this offer, but I’m wondering if you’d give me another week to mull it over? I am waiting to hear back from another company, and I want to make sure that I am the best fit for this position.”
Negotiate salary and other perks.
If the salary isn’t quite what you were expecting, use research to back up a counteroffer. Check the market value for someone of your experience and background to get a typical salary. Mention that information when trying to negotiate a higher salary.
- For example, you might say, “I appreciate your offer. I would like to make a counteroffer of $45,000. After reviewing the average salary for this position in the area, I feel that is a fair salary for someone with my education and experience.”
- Be willing to negotiate other perks if they won’t budge on salary. For instance, maybe you could ask for a hiring bonus or for extra vacation days instead of the salary bump.
- If you’re not sure where to look, try the Bureau Labor of Statistics as a starting point.
Commit verbally and in writing when you’re ready.
Once you decide you want the position, call the company to let them know you want the job. At the same time, send an acceptance letter or email to them, as well.
- Call and say, “Thank you for your generous offer. I would like to accept the position with Mechanics Forever. I have also sent a written acceptance by email.”
- If you’d like to refuse the position, also do it politely: “Thank you for your offer, but I don’t think this position is the right fit for me at the moment.” Also follow up with an email so they have it in writing.