Job Offer Questions
December 4, 2012 10:39 AM   Subscribe

I got the job offer! ...Now what?

What research do I need to do, questions do I need to ask, and things do I need to think about before accepting a job offer?

I've been engaged in a moderately intensive job hunt (mostly large companies) for the past five months as I prepare to graduate college (Mechanical Engineering) in the Spring. I just got an offer from an awesome company in Houston. They're offering great pay, great benefits (including generous relocation), and I really like what I've seen of their company and employees. I have two weeks to decide if I will accept their offer, and I have the contact information for my potential manager, recruiter, hiring manager, and relocation consultant.

I'm also concerned about other jobs. This company is not my top choice, but they're definitely top 3. No other company has made me an offer, but I have about 20 entry level applications with my top choice that are still technically in play. I say technically because while topChoice company has a reputation for being slow, these applications have been out for 6 weeks with no movement.

I'm 22, male, single from Miami (all my family is there), and go to the University of Florida.

I'm kind of out of my league here. What do I do next?
posted by nickhb to Work & Money (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you need the job right away? If they told you you can't wait, would you be okay with the possibility of not getting any of your top choices by letting this one go?

If you want to accept the offer, but want to negotiate for more money or benefits, research what the salaries are with your experience and education. Sites like can help with this. Decide if the offer as it stands is good enough if they won't negotiate, and if you're willing to walk away from it if the bottom line isn't in alignment with what you were expecting.

Finally, if you are going to accept, ask a few things about company culture. Hours? Dress code? Parking? Etc. Also see if you can arrange to talk with your boss before you start, so you can feel more comfortable on your first day there.

Congratulations! This is a wonderful set of things to have to think about!
posted by xingcat at 10:43 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Okay, this is your offer. Don't wait around for others to chime in.

Call HR and understand what the actual benefits are. Is there an annual bonus, stock purchase plan, what's the 401(k) match? Understand it all.

You can experiementally see if you can negotiate the salary a bit more. "Everything looks good, is there any flexibility in the base salary?" I asked once and got $10k more.

Weigh this offer against the other offers you have. If there are none, welcome to your new company!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think the only question is whether you want to let choices number 1 and/or 2 know about the offer. Because often that will get a slow responder to ante up with their own offer. Let them know that you need to respond very soon to number 3.

If you are happy enough with number 3, then accept with joy and enthusiasm now and start making your relocation plans.

I recommend not waiting the whole two weeks to respond. Unless number 3 is a behemoth, people remember the way you came on board. Preferred way to do it is happily and with reasonable alacrity.
posted by bearwife at 10:45 AM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Make sure the health insurance is up to par. I've gotten good job offers with hilariously awful health insurance that offset everything else (awesome salary! nice people! $5K yearly limit!). You'll never get better insurance on your own, and if you plan to stay there a while, you ought to make sure you can actually go to the doctor if you need to.
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

One thing that you might do is give topChoice a call and say "Look, I've just got an offer from another company. I really would like to work for you, but if you can't give me any love in the next week, I need to accept this other job."

I've known several people who have gotten the jobs they wanted this way.
posted by valkyryn at 10:55 AM on December 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

Depending on what the situation at TopChoice is (did you have any interviews?), it couldn't hurt to point out to the hiring manager(s) or your other contacts there that you have other offers on the table and need to make some decisions soon.

Keep in mind, unless you are signing a contract with you new employer, you can always back out if the dream job at TopChoice comes through.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't get wrapped up in getting the best job ever right now. If it's a good offer in a decent place to live with decent benefits you only pass on it for a better offer. After two years there the world is all yours if you want to move on.

If you have had interviews with other companies and are in limbo waiting for an answer, it is appropriate to tell them you have an offer and need to make a decision. Don't tell them what the offer is though. If they ask tap dance by saying salary isn't the only thing that is important. Location, opportunity to advance, benefits, etc. are all factors.
posted by COD at 11:02 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

They're offering great pay, great benefits

Triple-check this. Cost of living varies hugely from place to place. A salary on which you'd live like a king in suburban Ohio would have you starving in San Francisco. Make sure it's a great (or at least livable) salary for where you'd actually be living.
posted by jon1270 at 11:08 AM on December 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Triple-check this. Cost of living varies hugely from place to place. A salary on which you'd live like a king in suburban Ohio would have you starving in San Francisco. Make sure it's a great (or at least livable) salary for where you'd actually be living.

I cannot emphasis this enough. I was once offered a position in another city that would have been 50% higher (gross) than the role I was in at the time. By the time you accounted for the higher cost of living and the fact that my wife and I would have almost certainly needed two vehicles if we'd chosen to relocate, we'd have been breaking even at best.
posted by asnider at 11:16 AM on December 4, 2012

Addendum: I know you said they have "great benefits," but, specifically, get them to send you their health plan options (most big companies have 3-4) and have someone who knows what they're doing look over them with you. Family, or an older friend who has been working, or whatever. Even better if they're familiar with health insurance in Texas. Health insurance gets really tricky, very much on purpose.
posted by griphus at 11:38 AM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, make sure you have examined the health benefits information. If you don't have it, ask for it.

Cost-of-living in Houston is as low as any major city in the country. Also, you pay no income tax in Texas.

It can't hurt to reach out to 2 (maybe 3) of your other options. Do it TODAY (12/4), however. Reiterate your interest in their firm, tell them you have an offer (not the amount) and that if you do not hear from them by Friday (12/7) you will be accepting the offer. Do not do this in a threatening or cajoling tone. You're showing business-like courtesy. If you feel strongly enough about the offer you have ('bird in the hand', and all that), go ahead and accept immediately.

Remember this: You will never enjoy a deeper reservoir of goodwill from your new employer than by delivering a clear and excited YES as soon as you can. It may sound odd to contemplate, but it's like they have told you they love you. They want to hear that you love them, too. Don't make them wait.
posted by John Borrowman at 12:06 PM on December 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

Definitely use this as to see if TopChoice1 and 2 would give you offers now that they know they can lose out on you! That's how I got my TopChoiceOutOfAllInterviewsSoFar job out of college. And then yes, compare all benefits/location/work culture information you have before accepting.
posted by at 12:51 PM on December 4, 2012

I concur with the suggestions to contact TopChoice and SecondChoice ASAP to get offers out of them. In addition, I concur that it is ideal to respond to ThirdChoice as soon as possible (positive or negative). Ideally this would happen by the end of the week. I would not entertain any suggestions by TopChoice or SecondChoice to wait for an offer from them. If TopChoice/SecondChoice are willing to make an offer, they will do so very quickly in this scenario. If they don't do so quickly, it is likely that TopChoice/SecondChoice are not appropriate for you.

I'd like to make one note about benefits. Yes, benefits are important. Yes, benefits are a substantial part of your compensation. However, a lot of people don't consider that benefits can be bought. Health care is difficult to buy - so, if your health insurance sucks, that's difficult to accommodate (however, you should know that as a young person, you are a perfect candidate for a catastrophic-only plan). Pretty much anything else can be accommodated out of work though. That gym membership that TrendyCompany offers? Just ensure you get paid $50/month more and pay for it yourself. I've seen people reject companies for benefits reasons for the oddest of benefits, even if the salaries are radically different. Don't get tripped up in thinking that if a company doesn't offer a particular benefit, that there's no way to get it.
posted by saeculorum at 12:59 PM on December 4, 2012

Have you already interviewed with Topchoices 1 and 2? If not, and you're just hoping they'll call you for an interview, take the job. It already seems like it'll be a good fit for you.

If you've interviewed with them and are waiting to hear back, then do like other posters have suggested, call them and let them know you've already received an offer but would prefer to work for them.

Congratulations already!
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 2:10 PM on December 4, 2012

Response by poster: If anyone sees this and is wondering, I said yes!
posted by nickhb at 7:44 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Now? Do we buy the tickets now?!   |   What are the ways you've used to combat irrational... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.