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Should You Accept a Job Offer On the Spot?

Welcome, originally uploaded to Flickr by alborzshawnShould she accept a job offer on the spot? How else can she prepare for an exit interview for her summer gig? Reader J wonders…

The summer is coming to a close and soon to be 3L’s who happened to land a summer job are waiting anxiously and eagerly for the famous “exit interview.” I, too, am one of those 3L’s. Most likely the firm I’m interning at will offer me a job or tell me that I wasn’t a perfect fit. I want to be prepared as much as possible for how to handle both situations. I feel the summer has gone well, so I especially want to know how to react if I’m given a job offer. Personally, I would like at least a little bit of time to think about all the nitty gritty’s and frankly just some time to step away and evaluate the summer. At the same time, I looked at the list of OCI’s this year and there are literally only 5 firms coming to interview us 3L’s; all of which I’m sure I have, at the most, a 1 out of 10 chance of landing. Yes, the market is still quite awful. That begs the question of whether I should accept on the spot. Further, if I do decide to accept should I attempt to negotiate a salary, figure out expectations that they have of me, express my interests, etc.? I’m totally at a loss, and any help would be fabulous.

Great question. I think the best case scenario is the easiest to prepare for, but maybe that’s me. I’m really curious to hear what the readers say here. (Pictured: Welcome, originally uploaded to Flickr by alborzshawn.)

In the event that you’re offered a job:
The summer has gone well! They like you! Do you like them? The ball is in your court now. Reader J notes that she wants time to consider the “nitty gritty” details and evaluate the summer — but in this economy I’d advise caution, because I think a lot of prospective employers would be surprised (and WILL remember) if you don’t accept on the spot. What “nitty gritty” details do you want to consider? If they are questions that you haven’t asked yet — salary/bonus information, benefits information, information about the company or practice itself — those are all valid questions, and I urge you to ask them IN the exit interview. If the details you want “time to evaluate” are things like the general experience and the people… well, I’m not sure what further information you’re going to gain after leaving the interview. [Read more…]

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