Signs You Should Not Accept A Job Offer

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

Accepting a job offer for a new position should be an exciting time in your career. It’s expected to come with some anxiety as you begin to navigate your new role and find your fit within the company.

It’s natural to question whether you’re making the right decision for your career when accepting a new offer. To ensure you’re not second guessing your choice a few months into a new job, consider the warning signs to be aware of before you sign on the dotted line.

They Badmouth Past Employees

The interview can be a telling tool for both the interviewer and the interviewee. As you’re given opportunities to ask questions, it’s important to take advantage of them.

It’s not uncommon to ask potential employers about:

If the answers you receive discuss past or current employees negatively in any way, that is your first warning sign.

An employer that is willing to provide negative opinions about former or current employees with a total stranger will be even more willing to share personal opinions once you’re in the job. It’s also likely that the company culture tolerates this gossip-like behavior. No matter how a past employee left, the managers and leadership should remain professional. This means refraining from oversharing information during the interview process.

They Don’t Give You Enough Details

If you ask questions about the specifics of the job, the company, or benefits packages and don’t receive the information you need, be wary. It’s possible the person you’re asking might not have all the information you need. In that case, they should be able to provide a company contact that can.

You need to ensure you have all the information you’re asking for before making a decision about a job offer. Receiving a salary offer is only part of the total compensation package you need to consider. The benefits associated with the position should also be clearly stated so you’re able to make a well informed decision or engage in further salary negotiations.

A company needs to be clear about the benefits offered such as:

If they aren't, then you’re not able to make sure it’s the right career move for you.

They Provide An Inconsistent Job Offer

Once an offer is extended, the terms should be clear and should not deviate. Most companies provide written job offers. These job offers should outline the details discussed during any negotiations. Carefully read through any written offer provided to ensure it aligns with what you were verbally told.

For example, if the direct supervisor told you that vacation time isn’t limited at any point during employment, you should expect to receive that same information in the offer. If that information deviates in any way, it’s a possible sign that the offer you understood won’t be honored.

If a company fails to provide a written offer, it’s an even bigger warning sign. Without a written document that outlines the basics like job title, schedule, benefits, salary, etc., it’s impossible to hold a company accountable to their promises. You may find yourself feeling cheated once you’re in your new role.

They Rush You

Once you receive a job offer, you should be able to take time to make sure that accepting the offer is the right decision for you and your future. Once your current employer finds out you’re fielding other offers, they may be interested in counter offering to keep you.

Most companies should be able to provide you with at least a week to accept or decline a job offer. If the organization is insisting on an answer on the spot, you should be concerned. If they become irritated with the idea you need time to consider the formal offer, walk away. It’s likely this type of behavior is typical with the organization and will cause issues during your employment.

You Have a Bad Feeling

When it comes down to it, you have to trust your gut instinct. If you get bad vibes from anyone on your interview team or at any point during the process, don’t ignore it.

You’ve done your due diligence by researching the company during the process. If any negative information or press comes up about the company, don’t write it off. You don’t owe anything to your potential employer and should politely decline and walk away if it doesn’t feel like the right move for you.

In the end, where your career goes and who you work for is entirely up to you. Take the time to make the right decision to avoid any regrets down the line.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees. Robin aims to empower the employees and managers she works with by providing coaching and counseling services.

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