Signs a Job Offer May Not Be the Right Fit
You did your research, wrote an outstanding resume and cover letter, went through the interview process—video and in-person—and met with your potential team. And now you have gotten an offer. You have spent a lot of time and effort to get this far, and a big part of you is over the moon with excitement. But something you cannot quite put your finger on feels off. How can you tell an offer might not be the right fit?
1. The process has been completely disorganized
This one is not about the offer itself; it is about how the hiring process played out before the offer was made, but it is something you need to keep in mind. Was your interview rescheduled or moved multiple times? Did you sit on the video call for 10 minutes before anyone joined? When you asked questions about process and responsibilities, were the answers vague? If the interview and vetting process felt a bit chaotic, you can probably safely assume that day-to-day operations are…exactly the same. If you know you do not mind this kind of environment, go for it. But if the interview process, has you feeling a bit leery, listen to your gut.
2. The salary is not what you discussed/expected
By the time you get an offer, salary expectations should have come up multiple times. The employer needs to know you are both on the same page before you go through the rest of the interview process. Whether the hiring manager gave you a range, you were asked specifically what you are looking for, or a combination of both, the offer letter should not have any surprises in it regarding salary. If the offer letter is a surprise, it is fine to remind them of the salary expectations and ask if the offer amount was made in error. It very well could be. But if it is not, this potential employer has wasted everyone’s time going through a process where they knew they were not going to be giving you an offer you would be happy accepting. This is not a great sign for how transparent and communicative your company will be with you.
3. It looks like it might be a dead end
There will be various kinds of positions you look for at various times in your life depending on what your needs are. And it’s important to remember, a job can lead to an amazing career, and sometimes, you find you want to leave a settled career path for something entirely new. There are a variety of opportunities that will work perfectly for what you need and want at those various times of your life, so even if a specific role might not make sense to your friends or family, if you know it is going to work with your goals, go for it. But if you’re looking at your offer and job description and realize it won’t give you the opportunities or benefits you’re looking for, whether that’s a clear path to promotion or a better work/life balance, you may want to pass.
4. A provisional/probationary/trial period
The length of a probationary period can vary—some even last up to a year. There are some potential pluses, such as getting a feel for the company and deciding whether the culture is a good fit for you, but the negatives could outweigh the positives for you. You might not get the same benefits as full-time employees, and it can be difficult to not know whether you can really commit to the role (it would be wise if you are in this position, to keep actively job-hunting). If you do not see yourself being able to thrive in this type of uncertainty, this is probably not the right fit.
5. It just does not feel right
The very reason you are hesitating is that something just does not feel right, and you should listen to your gut. It is easy to say that, and we know sometimes it is hard to tell if that feeling is right. Change can be scary, so is it that? Are you feeling like an imposter who does not deserve this opportunity? Is it fear that is causing you to hesitate? Or even though everything looks ok on paper, is your intuition screaming at you that something is off? It may sound magical, but, when you combine intuition with analytical thinking, you make better decisions. So, trust yourself—your past experiences and knowledge and understanding of the world are working together right now and telling you something is wrong.
You have been through a lengthy process to get to this point, and while it is hard to start over at the beginning, it is better to start over than accept an offer that does not give you what you need. Keep trying, and you will find the right fit at the right company.