Direct Line Group

What to do before accepting a job offer

Posted by Direct Line Group at 03:44 PM

What to do before accepting a job offer

You might think that the firm offer of a job following an interview or assessment process is the end of the tale, but you’d be wise to consider a few more things before you leap into accepting a job offer.
First consider whether it really is the job you are after. It’s common when looking for jobs to apply for several. If you’ve got your heart set on the outcome of another interview, but you have accepted a second-choice role, then you could end up in a tricky situation. Recruiting staff is an expensive and time-consuming business so it would be unethical to accept and then renege on a job offer, but it’s equally difficult to turn a job down with no guarantee of being offered the other option. It’s far better to ask to get back to the employer offering you the job once you’ve had a little time to think or follow up with your preferred prospective employer. Don’t keep them waiting too long though!
Let’s assume that your situation is more straightforward: you’ve been successful at interview and have been offered a position. Usually what will happen is that your prospective employer will phone you to offer you the role.
Hot on the heels of a verbal job offer – assuming you accept – will usually be an offer of employment letter. You can respond to this formally by writing a job offer acceptance letter, or you may be asked to complete particular paperwork and sign a job contract.
Be wary of accepting a job offer that’s sent or emailed to you without first having heard from someone. This hints that the employer is desperate to fill the position but not so concerned about whether you are interested in filling it. It’s far better to have a conversation first before taking action on a job offer that’s emailed or posted to you without any prior discussion.
Questions to ask before accepting a job offer

There are certain questions you’ll want to avoid asking at interview because it sounds presumptuous. During your interview your emphasis is mainly on demonstrating to your prospective employer your ability to do the job well and on evidencing how you will be an asset to the company. If you are offered the job then naturally there will be more information you’ll want to know in order to make an informed choice.
Questions to ask before accepting a job might relate to your holiday entitlement, staff benefits and maybe even relocation costs. Without sounding too mercenary it’s legitimate to ask about salary or the options to progress within the company. Asking these questions is a bit of a balancing act as it’s important not to sound like you are more motivated by the benefits than doing the job itself. Naturally, asking the right questions before accepting a job offer will save you difficulty later on if you do find the job doesn’t adequately meet your basic expectations, or you discover it is incompatible with your commute, childcare arrangements, and so on.
Checking your employment contract

It pays to familiarise yourself with the details of your employment contract so there are no surprises later on. Look out for points like the length of a notice period. If you hope to evolve in your career eventually and you have to give a lot of notice to your would-be employer then you might wonder whether this will inhibit your chances of being taken on by a new employer who wants you to begin work quickly. On the other hand this arrangement might suit you.
If you have any questions about your contract be sure to ask the HR department of your prospective employer to clarify these before signing on the dotted line. You can find examples of standard employment contracts for various industries online, but it’s always a sensible move to scrutinise your contract of employment carefully before committing to anything. Of course, employment contracts vary according to the nature of the role or industry you are entering so be sure to first familiarise yourself the expectations of your industry or field.

Creating your job offer acceptance letter

So, you’ve had the happy conversation with your future employer, they’ve sent you a job offer letter and you are writing to them to accept the position. Every kind of communication with your employer should be an opportunity to demonstrate your competence, professionalism and commitment, so it’s worth spending some time checking it is articulate and error-free. If nothing else a well-written job offer acceptance letter serves as positive reinforcement that the person hiring you made the right choice.
Be sure to address your letter to the right person and use their appropriate name and title where relevant. Keep your punctuation, tone and sign off restrained and formal - even if you are brimming with enthusiasm. You can find good examples of job acceptance letters through a quick online search if you’re looking for a starting point.
Direct Line Group makes it as easy as possible for our new employees to become part of the team. Take a look at our call centre & automotive jobs  or our more specialist roles and consider starting your new career with us.

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