How To Respond To A Verbal Job Offer

If we want to succeed in life, the majority of us will need to get a job. Jobs mean money and job offers should never be taken lightly. 

There are a number of potential ways an employer might provide an offer of employment. This could be via email, via telephone, via letter or face to face. If you receive a job offer over the phone or in person, perhaps post-interview – you’ll need to know the best way to respond. 

Obviously, the likely response will be to accept it! But, this isn’t always the case and the way you respond to a job offer verbally will indicate to an employer how serious you are about the job and what sort of person you are.

So, how should you respond when you get a verbal job offer? In this guide, we’re going to discuss this along with some excellent tips when it comes to job hunting. 

What Exactly Does A Verbal Job Offer Mean?

A verbal job offer is when an employer, normally the hiring manager or a member of human resources, provides an offer of employment either over the phone or in person.

The key details of the terms of the employment will normally be discussed, emailed or posted to you at a later date.

However, there are times when a verbal job offer will involve you starting immediately, sometimes that day! This isn’t exactly common, but it does happen.

The main difference between a verbal offer and a written offer is that a written offer typically follows the process of communication between you and the employer, and sometimes a verbal offer is given before the formality of a written offer. 

Written offers generally have all the details and terms of the employment and simply require you to sign as acceptance and agreement. This might be discussing the ethos of the company, the dos and don’ts or rules within your place of work. 

What Should I Do If I Receive A Verbal Job Offer?

There are some key things to do when you receive a job offer. It’s not as simple as just saying yes – you should consider following this simple guide, the next time you get a verbal offer! 

Appreciate The Offer 

Showing your appreciation that the employer has not only taken time out of their day and normal schedule to give you the opportunity, but appreciate the fact that they are agreeing to pay you for a role over several, possibly hundreds of other candidates. 

You should always have a positive attitude and show this through your body language, facial expressions and the words that you choose. The first thing to do is to thank them for the offer – if you’re at an interview or in person, consider extending your hand for a handshake. 

Not only is this good practice and good manners, it shows your gratitude for their offer and indicates that you are polite and they made the correct decision. Use phrases like: 

  • Thank you for this opportunity, I’m looking forward to working for you 
  • Thank you for selecting me 
  • I am grateful for this offer, thank you. 

Whatever you decide to say, remember to be appreciative and positive. 

It’s Time To Consider To Accept Or Decline 

There are times when you’ve had an interview or visited a company and after hearing much more about the position, you’ve decided that you’re not the right fit for it. Maybe the terms aren’t agreeable to you, perhaps it’s much further away from home than you thought.

Don’t feel that you have to accept every job offer. Although it is difficult to get a job in the modern world, the idea of working somewhere is to be a part of that place for a long time. In order to do this, you’ll need to be happy in the position. 

So, think it through thoroughly. It’s no good accepting an offer and then hating the work in a week. Moreover, an employer will massively appreciate you thinking about it and not wasting their time if you’re not going to enjoy the work. 

Typically, after a verbal offer – an employer will ask you to think it over at home for a day or two and get back in contact with them. If you have a family, you should speak with them about the job and the workplace and see what they think.

You should always research the role and see if jobs in the same field are being paid more or less than what is being offered. You should also consider if this role will be suitable for you in the long term and what the progression is in the field and in the company. 

If you’ve thought it over and decided not to accept the role, the employer might offer you an alternative position. But if not, keeping on their good side is always wise – you might need them for something at a later date. 

Always keep positive even if you’re declining the job. Say phrases like:

  • I have thought about the offer. I appreciate your time and I thank you for the opportunity and offer, but unfortunately I must decline. 

If the employer has offered you the role in person and has not said to take a day or two – simply request it by saying a phrase like “do you mind if I discuss this offer with my family?” or something to this effect. 

Employers will appreciate you considering the role, but remember – they need the position filled as quickly as possible and will have many prospective candidates applying for the job. Don’t take too much time and always stick to a promise. 

If you said you’ll get back in contact on monday, ensure that you do get back in contact on that day. If not, you may lose the offer entirely! 

Negotiating Pay 

Employers will likely expect you to negotiate your pay that is being offered. Depending on your credentials and experience, you will be able to haggle much more, or much less. 

Don’t overdo it. Do your research on similar positions in other companies and discuss with the employer that you would like them to match these offers. Also, don’t demand a pay rise. 

If you’re unhappy with the salary on offer, kindly ask if the pay is negotiable and move from there. 

Request Details 

It’s always a good idea if you’re planning to accept the offer to ask for a written offer as a follow up. The overall details of the position and the terms and conditions will be in the offer letter. You might decide later that the terms aren’t agreeable and wish to decline the offer. 

What Happens If I Decline The Offer?

The simple truth is, certain jobs don’t fit with certain people and there’s nothing wrong with that! Employers are much happier if you are truthful with them and honest with yourself. 

All this means is that you have to continue your job search – but the experience that you have gotten from doing these steps is crucial in your future job hunt. 


Jobs are an essential part of life, so knowing these tips should help you when a verbal job offer is provided to you. Remain positive and always be honest!
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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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