...when you need more time or information to decide
Some organizations will send you every last detail you could possibly need to make a decision right off the bat. But many don’t—and you’ll need to ask for more information (e.g., about health insurance coverage) before making your final decision. Sometimes you just need a bit more time to digest it all or you want to pore over the details of the bonus structure, for example. Maybe an interview with another company went really well and you’re hoping to get an offer from them soon as well. Regardless, you’ll need to communicate what you need.
When you’re asking for more information, make sure your question is clear and framed in a way that indicates that not having this information is preventing you from making a decision about the offer. If you’re looking for more time, most recruiters will happily accommodate a week from the verbal offer. If you’re waiting on another offer, inform the other company immediately that you have an offer on the table to try and speed up the process. It’s up to them to rush a competing offer out to you. If it’s not a priority for them—then unfortunately, the offer may not have been in the cards to begin with.
Here’s an example:
I was very excited to get your call and receive the job offer for the sales trainer position. I’d like to make a well-informed and thoughtful decision about this and would appreciate the opportunity to chat with a couple more team members to get a better sense of the culture of the company. Would this be possible to arrange?
To give me time to learn more about the role, could I get back to you on the offer by the 15th? Thank you in advance for your help with this.
...when you want to negotiate
Nothing shakes up a job seeker quite like negotiating salary, PTO, benefits, remote work options, or pretty much anything else—but it’s fairly common and employers won’t be shocked or offended.
Most of the negotiating should happen over the phone with details confirmed via email, but to initiate this whole process you’ll need to send a note to set up the call. Start by saying thank you and expressing your excitement and fit for the role. Then ask for a phone call to go over some details and ask a few questions about the offer. Usually something like, “I have a question about the salary,” is enough to get across that you’re planning on negotiating.
You might write:
Thank you so much for offering me the people operations role. I had a great time meeting everyone and am excited about the prospect of joining the team!
After reviewing the offer, I had a few questions I wanted to run by you—particularly about the base salary and relocation process. Would you have time this week to discuss? I’m free most afternoons around 1pm.
Wrap up this whole process now and put a bow on it—or ask for whatever it is you need to make your choice. No more procrastinating. Go and send that email—it’s basically written for you already!