7 Things You MUST Consider Before Accepting That Job Offer

female professional assessing her checklist

Reply Email to a Job Offer

Dear Recruiter,

Thank you for the job offer and great career opportunity. I have yet to arrive at a decision on this job offer and would like to take some time to carefully consider this opportunity and packages offered. Honestly, I have made mistakes in the past choosing companies that do not share the culture, values and system that are important to me. I hope you can give me some time to consider this offer.

Best Wishes,

Candidate A

Naturally, one would feel excited when receiving a job offer, especially when it comes with great beneficial packages. However, such excitement could potentially cause a candidate to make impulsive decisions and without careful considerations, might even overlook the “red flags”. What candidate A wrote in the email is a powerful sign of their maturity in determining their career path. Although it is usually the recruiter who does most of the evaluating when it comes to a job application, it is worth keeping in mind that you should also do your share of due diligence because we believe that the evaluation should go both ways!

As a candidate, you have the right and duty to assess the companies you apply for. It is unfortunately common for people to join a company only to discover that the work they do is nothing like the description advertised. Therefore, to avoid this huge mistake, it is important for candidates to spot the “red flag” throughout the entire recruitment process and be selective when making your final decision.

In order for you to effectively decide on your next professional endeavour, here are 7 criteria you can use to recognise and interpret those signals that are vital for you to make a well-informed decision.


1. A Corporate Culture That Doesn’t Fit You

This is probably the criterion that will have the biggest impact on your work life within the organisation. Before applying to a company, it is advisable to attempt to reach out to their current employees to get a sense of how the company operates. More importantly, it is crucial for a candidate to identify his/her values and making sure the values of the company align with theirs.

Some companies work in a competitive environment where employees compete for commission and credits. Other companies work in a more collaborative setting where success is defined by the collective contribution of employees. If the corporate culture of the company doesn’t fit your values, it is highly likely that you will not be genuinely happy working there for too long.

The mentioned cultures are just two of the many corporate cultures available. The other cultures include Fortress Culture, Club Culture and Baseball Team Culture. For more information, we recommend you reading this article.


2. A Skewed Recognition and Promotion System

In a good company, a high performer can generally expect to be promoted within 2 years after joining. As such, as a general rule of thumb, if you are unable to find a single example of someone being promoted in less than 2 years, it is usually a sign that the criteria for promotion is length of tenure and seniority – not performance-based. If you are a high achiever and hope to grow quickly, the company’s policy regarding promotions might make or break a great career opportunity.


3. Low Glassdoor or JobStreet Ratings

Simply put, if the average rating is low, you should try to discover the main reason for the discontent. However, do keep in mind that what makes others unhappy might be something completely insignificant for you. For example, one employee rated Company X below 3 stars because of lack of vending machines. These sort of extreme and unreasonable scenarios do tend to occur.

While a little less obvious, it is also important to check the trends: have the ratings dropped in the recent weeks or months? If so, it might be an indication that a recent change in strategy that caused the working conditions to change. The data found on Glassdoor or JobStreet is very useful indeed, but you have to make sure that what you read is still relevant to the current situation within the company.


4. Inconsistencies between the Job Description and Actual Work Scope

Assuming that you read the description of what seems to be your dream position, but after talking to the recruiter, hiring manager, or others, it seems that the position doesn’t look anything like what you have read online. If that happens to you, then you must realize that there is a high probability that the company is still unsure who they are looking to hire for the position (which is not a good sign in terms of their stability and reliability), or that they are simply trying to lure you in by using an embellished description that has ultimately very little to do with the actual job.


5. Overwhelming Number of Job Vacancies within the Company

In the event the organization you are interviewing for has loads of positions open relative to its size, it can be either a decent sign (that they are scaling and putting resources for the future of the company) or an awful one (that turnover is high or that nobody needs to work for them).

In the event that the number of openings appear to be high, try to examine the internal politics of the company by reaching out to current employees. You owe it to yourself to identify what the company is up to!

Related: Want to Stand Out? Do What 90% of People Won’t (Work for Your Dreams)


6. Job Position Already Vacant for a Long Time

If the position has been open for a long time, it might mean that either offers were made before but other candidates have declined, that the company is indecisive, or that no one is interested in the company or the work. Play your cards well and make sure you know what’s your worth. More often than not, a position is vacant for a long time because a company either a) doesn’t really need someone for that particular role or b) unwilling to pay the market-rate salary for the role advertised. Some candidates who failed to identify this signal jump into accepting the offer before realising that they are paid 20-30% less than market-rate.


7. Inefficient Recruiting Process with Unreasonably Long Call-back Time

Who hasn’t had to wait several weeks to hear back from a recruiter at least once in their career? A company that doesn’t feel it is necessary to keep the candidate updated regarding the status of their application is much less likely to respect their employees, as this is typically an indication of a poor working culture.

Additionally, if you wait for 3 weeks before getting an answer, there is a good chance that you were not their first choice and only got back to you after other prioritised candidates have declined. However, this is not the actual problem. The real issue is that this is a possible sign that your profile might not be an exact match for what they were initially looking for – which indicates you might not be a perfect fit for the role.

Related: Working in Malaysia vs UK: Is There Really a Difference?


This list is in no way exhaustive but hopefully, it will shed light to some of the signals you need to pay attention throughout your job application process. There is no one size that fits everyone, but it is crucial for you to make a well-informed decision on your next career move by analysing the right information and aligning the company culture with your personal values, work ethics and job aspirations.

Remember, a little digging goes a long way!


Disclaimer: This is an Opinion Article and it only reflects the views of the author and not the company or institution that may be associated with the Author. This article also does not have any intention to undermine or attack certain individuals or parties.

Feature Image is CC0 Licensed: Free for Commercial Use, No Attribution Needed



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