I recently had a series of interviews that went really well, thank you MT interviewing series!

The next week the recruiter who lined me up for the interview called and said that they would be giving me an offer.  Note, I received no info at this time on the offer. He asked if we would move to this new state if they offered? I countered that I need to have an offer first.  A week later I found out the location of the job, no position info or compensation.  Asked again if I would take it, I insisted on seeing the full offer.  Next week told the position and associated details, no compensation.  I still requested to see the full offer.  The next week told full details and declined the following Monday of the next week

Truth be told, my wife and I were not strongly attracted to the new area, and after we knew the position we knew it was unlikely we would accept. However I stuck to my guns and insisted that I get the full offer before rendering a decision.

The recruiter called me as a follow-up after I declined and said that if I know we would decline once I knew the position, I should have said so. I replied that expecting a full offer is not unreasonable, I could not be expected to make a decision without all the factors.  Even though compensation was not a big factor for us.

I would love to hear others thoughts about this.  

asteriskrntt1's picture

If you did not know the position, location, general comp, what exactly where you interviewing for?

Generally, as per the casts (How to accept an offer), you need all the details.  If they give it to you piece by piece, your response should be along the lines of... "I really can't make a decision on an offer with out the full details.  I need the location, position, job description and compensation etc before I can discuss this further." 

Of course, that is in the ideal situation, and few of us are in the ideal situation.  Given you did not want to go there, your handling of this clumsy situation did not harm you.  You had no obligation to the recruiter to commit to something without the details or with only partial details.

However, in another situation, it might hurt you.  The recruiter might be so pissed at you that you never get a call from him again.  There is no perfect answer, just the general guideline that ideally, we should get a full offer before someone expects a decision from us.



TomW's picture
Training Badge

if you had accepted without knowing what you were accepting, we'd all be making fun of you for that right now.

I think the recruiter was pushing the lines of proper ethics, asking you hypotheticals about whether or not you would accept. Questions like "what would it take for you to accept" and "would you accept" are very different. The first one you can usually answer pretty easily (assuming you know what you want out of the position). The second one requires an offer in hand, either verbal or written.

That's why the close is "I want an offer...". It's so you get an offer from the company so you can make your decision. Without all the pieces, you can't do that.

From your description, I don't think I would trust that recruiter enough to work with him again.

jhbchina's picture

JPWillet ,
You followed the MT recommendations to the letter.

In the "How to accept an offer" cast  Mark states that an offer has 4 components.
Position, Location, Compensation, Decision Date.
By this definition they never gave you an offer till the final conversation.

You did the right thing, look at it this way, would you want to work for a company that has communication problems. I can see it now: Hi JP we have an assignment for you. What is it, we'll tell you next week. Hi JP we need to send you on a two month business trip, where, we'll tell you next month. Hi JP, we are going to give you a bonus, great how much, we'll tell you later.
Good decision to pass.

JHB "00"

RickMeasham's picture

> The recruiter called me as a follow-up after I declined and said that if I know we would decline once I knew the position, I should have said so.

For the right offer, I'd be willing to consider anything :-D

Rick Measham

Geek Herding

jhbchina's picture

Rick's Right - we all have our price. They failed to meet yours!

JHB "00"

RaisingCain's picture


Not your principles, theirs.  Whatever is at the root of the way they operate and what motivates them it isn’t people.  I think you dodged a bullet.  If they cared about your success, helping you grow, and putting you in a position with real meaning than they would have been conscious of the needs of you and your family.

It isn’t about insisting on an offer, it is about expressing your needs and getting an answer you trust.

jhack's picture

You cannot accept or reject an offer you don't yet have.  

You can, however, choose to remove yourself from consideration at any time.  If you are certain that you would turn down an offer, you should politely and respectfully remove yourself from consideration.  Yes, this happens.  

Good hiring managers know when there's a good fit, and when there's not.  If it's truly a good fit, you won't remove yourself.  If it is a good fit, you'll wait for the offer. 

Rick's point above taken, it's nearly unheard of for a company to present you with an absurdly great offer, way out of pay scale, to bring you into a job you know you don't want.  

John Hack

ken_wills's picture

 Sounds to me like you were being jerked around by a poor recruiter.  That said, there's probably some learning in this for the next time: ask more questions about what you're applying for.  But good for you for dropping out!