Interview questions and structured interviewing
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Accepting an Offer

Univ. of Waterloo

Before you accept an offer for employment, take the time necessary to evaluate the offer. Don't jump at the first job offer you get. If you make a mistake, you might end up stuck in an unsuitable position. With the negative feelings that would likely arise, you will find it difficult to talk about that job in interviews for other positions in the future. However, weigh the fear of being unemployed with the reality of the job market. You may decide that taking a job for now is not a choice. When deciding on a part-time, summer, co-op or internship job offer, evaluate benefits in terms of your longer-term goals. Employers often use this type of short-term employment as a method to determine if they would like to offer you a more permanent type of work or more challenging work in the future. Ultimately, only you can analyze the fit. Weigh your feelings carefully and listen to your intuition.

Elements to Consider in Your Decision

Type of industry (e.g., government/private sector)

Size, growth rate, market potential

Facilities and working conditions

Dress code

Desire to work there for a period of time


Stable management

Interest in employee well being (e.g., E.A.P., pay, training, layoff/restructuring support)


Duties and responsibilities

Initial opportunities offered

Potential utilization of your abilities

Training programs, inside/outside of company

Broadening of experience for future jobs

Amount of travel, overtime

Compatibility with your goals

How and by whom performance is judged; whether a salary review is included

Length of probation period

Number of realistic opportunities for promotion, and to what level


Starting salary; long-term outlook

Other benefits (e.g., insurance, profit sharing, tuition assistance, car allowances)


How are decisions made?

What are the core values of the organization?

Is there a compatible approach on policies?


Geographic area; environment

Desirable amenities in the area

Cost of living; distance from work

People working only for money tend to become unhappy once the newness of the position is gone. Being able to learn and get experience, liking your work and the people, and supporting the philosophy and goals of the organization are also critical factors. Nonetheless, salary is an important consideration. Base your expectations on your research of the typical salary for that type of position in that job market. Negotiate to get the best salary and benefits offer you can. Respond to the offer by the date requested. If you need additional time to consider the offer, ask, but be reasonable in your request. Once you have accepted the job offer, you are legally obligated to go to that organization. Confirm your agreement in writing.