The Ethics of Acceptance

When a job offer is extended, the three honest answers to the offer are:

  1. When you actually want the job, simply say, "I accept." This means that you have sincerely accepted, and are not entertaining any other offers of employment, nor are you planning to use this offer to generate and accept a counteroffer from your current employer. You are telling the manager that it is OK for them to go through all the paces of getting you hired.
  2. If you are excited about the offer, but are still interviewing, be honest. "Thank you for your offer, it appears to be fair and acceptable. I am waiting on another offer, though. This does not mean that I want the other offer. But, in fairness to me, I feel that I need to explore all of my options. Can I get back to you within seventy-two hours with my answer?" Believe me, the manager will appreciate your honesty, and will likely give you the seventy-two hours. Be fair with this request, and do not take more than seventy-two hours. Each day that you hold onto the offer, another day goes by that the manager cannot take action with any other candidates.
  3. If it is not the offer you want, respectfully decline the position so that the hiring manager can move to the back-up candidate.

More on The Ethics of Acceptance!

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