What’s in a job offer? Usually they are pretty formal documents outlining salary; start date; reporting structure etc.
When you get a job offer you should have a pretty good idea what is going to be in it. If you are working through a recruiter you should know what the money is going to be. In fact if your recruiter hasn’t brought it up you should broach the subject with him/her.
Most people are worried that they will get lowballed but trust me on a typical search I will have talked to 50-100 people in a similar role. I generally know what the market rate is.
So money shouldn’t be a surprise when you get the offer nor should things like start date; vacation and other small details, these questions should be brought up and answered through the recruiting process.
Additionally you should already have a comfort level with the people you have met and have a reasonable idea of the company culture.
Also you should be clear on what the duties are going to be before you get an offer.
In short their shouldn’t be any mysteries unless there are some specific promises the company has made about the job that you have asked for in writing.
What am I getting at?
By the time an offer comes around you should have already made up your mind whether you are going to take this job or not. The only reason you shouldn’t is if there are some surprises in the offer.
People who get an offer and then take a week to make up their mind always mystify me. My question is – what were they doing through the three interviews and the four weeks that the process took to get to that point?
If you have doubts voice them early on, if you really aren’t going to take the job drop out of the process – trust me there are other candidates that could easily take your place.
But don’t play this game (as some people do) of getting an offer extended and then acting like it is a 40-page document that needs to be read and reread and scrutinized word by word for you to accept. When that happens my conclusion is this: there is a competitive offer or one coming and the person is trying to decide which one is better.
Nothing wrong with that but you should be upfront about it. For one it will cause the company that is most serious to make the best possible offer for your services.
And when it comes right down to it you want the best possible offer right?