Handling Offers or Rejection

Once an employer is ready to make you a job offer, you’ll normally receive a phone call followed by an official letter offering you the job in writing. It’s always wise to wait until you’ve received written confirmation of the offer before you hand in your notice at your current place of employment.

A typical written offer of employment will contain information on:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the job
  • Annual salary and associated benefits
  • Expected working hours and holiday entitlement/arrangement s for sick pay
  • Your expected starting date
  • How much notice you need to give your new employer if you choose to leave the job

It’s very important to spend some time thinking about the consequences of your decision. Here are some of the questions that you might want to ask yourself.

  • Is this a job that you are motivated by?
  • If the job entails relocating, are you happy to do this?
  • What is the culture of the organisation that has offered you the job?
  • What are the expectations of the employer?
  • Did you have a positive feeling about the organisation when you had your interview?

It is always best to let the employer know your decision as quickly as you can. If you are choosing between two offers or anticipating another offer, then it is normally fine to ask for some time to think, but keep the employer in the loop and agree on a date by which you’ll have made your decision.  

Make sure you stay on good terms with your previous employer. In such a changing world, you might well have dealings with former colleagues and perhaps even end up working again for your former employer at some point.

The job market is highly competitive at the moment and it may take some time to find the job that you want. If you feel as if you are going round in circles when it comes to finding work, there are things you can do to help you gain confidence and make positive progress in the job market.

If you are being invited for interviews but not being offered a job, this means that you are not far away from getting the jobs you are applying for, which is positive. Normally, only a small proportion of applicants are invited for interview, so you have already done well to come this far.

It may be, though, that there are ways in which you could be more effective when it comes to the interview process, either through what you say or the way you present yourself non-verbally, such as

  • How you prepare for the interview
  • How you structure your answers
  • Your body language
  • How you control your nerves

If you are not getting interviews, it may be that you need to consider changing the way you are approaching the job search process, and rethinking aspects such as

  • How you write your CV or application form 
  • Your level of motivation for the jobs you are applying for
  • How your skills match the requirements of the role
  • Whether you have the necessary experience 
  • Asking for employer feedback – this is normally available at the interview stage.

It is easier to show your enthusiasm for a role when it is natural and genuine and if this is not the case, then this lack of enthusiasm will tend to convey itself in your application. If you can’t feel a sense of motivation when applying for a role, then you need to ask yourself what it is that motivates you and focus on jobs that will allow you to find an element of this in your work.

The Careers and Employability Service leaflet on Staying Motivated explains all this in more detail.

At the Careers and Employability Service, we offer a mock interview service. All you need to do is to contact us with your CV/application form and job description, giving us a week’s notice of your interview and one of our advisers will tailor a mock interview for you, offering you constructive feedback on your performance.

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