E Interview preparation academy E Negotiating Your Salary E Should You Accept a Job Offer

Should a Candidate Accept the First Job Offer They Land

How to evaluate job offers

Economies have been severely hit by the pandemic and layoffs have taken place on a massive scale. It is undoubtedly a tough job market for the candidates.  The decision to accept or reject a job offer in these times should be well thought of, taking into account all the available options, and personal needs.

To help you make the right decision when the time comes, we have analyzed all major scenarios below, providing relevant suggestions:

Scenario 1 – The candidate has received a job offer, but the opportunity is not fully aligned with their goals.

a) Candidate is in financial need

If you are not in a strong financial position, it is okay to accept a job offer even if it is not for your dream role. This will enable you to meet your short-term financial needs, which may be an immediate issue. At the same time, you can continue planning your long-term career in line with your wider needs, applying to relevant roles as required. However, if you have ethical concerns about an employer or hiring manager, it is recommended to stay away at all times.

b) Candidate has the luxury of being selective

If your circumstances allow you to be selective, then we recommend sticking with your initial plan and looking for an opportunity that fulfills all your essential criteria. If you are concerned the offer you have received is not a good fit, don’t be afraid to pass, even if this is a tough job market. Any red flags about the hiring manager, the culture, and the performance of the business should be considered carefully, as they can develop into major issues along the way.

Scenario 2 – The candidate has received a job offer and is waiting to hear from another employer.

a) You have received an offer for your target job

If you have already received an offer for one of your top preferences, you should accept it on the spot as long as it is aligned with your salary expectations. Having other potential offers in the pipeline can make it tempting for you to wait, however, this is not a risk-free strategy. Requesting for time can lead to the employer reconsidering their offer and should not be used unless there is a specific reason.

b) You expect you will receive an offer for your target job

If you have other open applications in the pipeline that you would prefer over the job offer you have received, here is what to do:

(i) Request for more time: Reach out to your point of contact from the employer who has extended the offer, requesting some time to make a decision. You can ask for as much time as you need, however, asking for more than a few days can be risky, as employers can legally retract an offer in this case. Also, contact the employer you are waiting to hear from, inform them about the job offer you have received, and request them to expedite their decision if possible.

(ii) Compare the job offers: If you get more than offers, compare them to see which one adds more value to your professional career. You can do this using the following criteria:

  • Role
  • Salary
  • Company Brand
  • Company Culture
  • Opportunities for growth

(iii) Respond to companies: No matter what you decide, don’t burn any bridges. Make sure you respond timely and maintain a positive relationship with all parties, including employers you have decided to reject. As they say, your network is your net worth!



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