A common complaint among jobseekers is that companies hire at a snail’s pace. There are numerous interviews, edit tests, and background checks, and it can take weeks, if not months, to get an offer.
But sometimes, the opposite is true, and that can be just as stressful. In a great U.S. News & World Report piece titled “3 Tips for Handing an On-the-Spot Job Offer,” Laura McMullen examines those times when a company offers you a position right after the interview. On the one hand, it’s terrific news, but if they want to know within 24 hours, you’ve got some deep thinking and soul-searching to do — and fast!
McMullen’s first tip is to prepare yourself beforehand and figure out what kind of job you’re looking for. If you’ve taken self-assessments like the Myers-Briggs, spoken to trusted friends and colleagues, and taken the time to really think about what’s missing in your career, you’ll have a better chance of knowing the right opportunity when you see it.
But you shouldn’t focus only on yourself. McMullen’s second tip is to really read up on the company and do your research. This doesn’t just mean pouring over news articles and getting a sense of where the firm is headed, business-wise. Use LinkedIn and college alumni groups to connect with people who work there and try to suss out what the culture is like. “It’s almost like you’re checking references on the company proactively,” says Ryan Sutton of the staffing firm Robert Half.
Finally, if 24 hours seems like too little time to make a major life decision, feel free to ask for more time. Just as you should respect their timeline, they should respect yours. That being said, McMullen cautions against taking too much time. For whatever reason, the company obviously wants to move fast, and as Sutton says, if you’ve truly done your homework and figured out what you want out of your next gig — and whether this company is liable to provide it — the decision shouldn’t take more than 72 hours.