Six tips for candidates to follow after receiving their official offer

Sometimes in the world of executive search, we see candidates reach the end of a long and arduous interview process only to receive an offer and ask: “Now what?”

This moment is crucial, because even though you’ve already received the offer, it’s important to remember that you are, for all intents and purposes, still interviewing. If you intend to accept the offer, the way in which you choose to proceed could have an impact on the negotiations, onboarding and even the newly budding relationships you’re forming with your soon-to-be-colleagues. Conversely, if you’re going to decline, you want to do it in a way that leaves all bridges intact, as you never know where your paths may cross in the future.

To help you manage this decision, we’ve compiled six tips to ensure your next steps go smoothly:

  1. When you receive the offer, be sure to show your appreciation and enthusiasm (if it’s genuine) and let them know when you plan to follow up with your response.
  2. Sleep on it! Don’t feel like you need to react to the offer or make a decision at that moment. Eschew emotional decisions in favor of rational, informed decisions.
  3. Review your offer letter with a mentor, trusted colleague or anyone who can help you evaluate the opportunity in an objective manner.
  4. Once you’ve reached your decision, inform the hiring authority directly. Whether the news is good or bad, they will appreciate hearing directly from you and in-person (as opposed to email).
  5. Negotiate in good faith. If you’ve decided you want the job but would like to negotiate, bundle your requests into one ask. If your requests are met, you should be prepared to accept on the spot.
  6. Regardless of your decision, if the offer has an expiration date, don’t wait until the last minute to respond. If you’re declining, spare everyone the hand wringing and remove that Band-Aid swiftly. The same logic applies if you’re accepting.

Following these six simple guidelines will help ensure that you make a positive impression on everyone involved, whether you accept or decline the offer.