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You aced the interviews, met the team, discussed a formal job offer and the hiring process seems to be moving in the right direction. However, until you start day one as a new employee, there are circumstances that could jeopardize the job offer. Some of these are out of your control such as a budget fall-through or a sudden reorganization of the company structure. However, there are other pre-employment roadblocks you can control that could prevent losing a job offer. Make sure your new opportunity is iron-clad by avoiding these common mistakes.
Overlooking the Details
Before providing your compensation requirements, do your research! Once you receive the offer, verify the details of your benefits package before accepting. If you’re leaving a job that pays less but offers health insurance at a lower cost to you, and your new job pays more, but the health benefits also cost more, you might need to rethink your salary requirements. If the job would require you to move to an area with a higher cost of living or a longer commute, that should factor into your request. If you have any questions about benefits, reach out to their HR department for help.
Ghosting the Hiring Team
Being uncommunicative or not responding in a timely manner could concern the hiring team. There are often many moving pieces during the hiring process, so quick communication is not only a courtesy but an expectation. Ghosting a company can easily result in a lost job offer. Regardless of intent, it shows the company you aren’t as motivated or committed as they’d like. It could signal that your work ethic isn’t a good fit for their organization. From signing off on background checks to finishing onboarding paperwork, be sure to complete all new hire and onboarding tasks promptly.
Renegotiating After You’ve Accepted
Salary negotiation is important! But signing an offer letter, only to come back with a higher salary request after the fact, isn’t recommended. Negotiation during the hiring process is expected, even encouraged in some fields, but it should end after you’ve received and signed an offer letter. If you find out your responsibilities will be more extensive than you were led to believe or encompass a different scope, certainly negotiate before signing! However, your signature means you have committed to the position and the salary discussed.
Failing the Background Check
Depending on the job you’re applying for, the employer’s pre-hire background checks could include education and employment verification, criminal history, credit check, and drug screens. They can even check your driving record if the position requires transportation or travel of any kind. Once you give permission for the background check, the employer will have visibility to your consented information.
If you list your education as a finished degree when it was just coursework, or you’ve exaggerated details on a previous position, it’s likely to come out during this stage. Avoid misrepresenting how you left a previous company – be transparent about whether you left the company on your own, or if you were terminated or laid off. Any information found to be false or only partially accurate will call your credibility into question, so be truthful on your resume and during all interviews.
Something to note: Just because a drug is deemed legal in your state does not mean that a company can’t or won’t rescind your job offer if you fail a drug test. Each company may have their own policy to address this matter. Bottom line – be sure you thoroughly understand all the background screenings the company requires, and know that if you do not pass, you may lose out on the job offer.
Not Notifying Your References
Your references are a key piece of the hiring puzzle for employers. A good reference should be able to talk about your work ethic, work style, and how knowledgeable you are in your field. Make sure the people you list as references are not only aware that you’ve listed them but are prepared to talk about you when asked. Before they’re called, talk to your references about how they might answer certain questions and what strengths you’d like them to reinforce. You can send them the job description and list out the specific skills the company is looking for that you are adept in. Last, be sure to have their information listed easily on your application so it doesn’t hold up the process.
Lack of Social Media Awareness
Before your interview, you would have already audited (or privatized) your social media accounts to ensure your profiles are represented professionally. However, employers may still review your profiles at any time. In general, avoid sharing details about your job offer on social media, regardless if you’re happy with it or not. This could trigger the employer to question your judgement on discretion, misinterpret your intent, or wonder why information has been made public before you’ve officially accepted the offer. Also, wait to update LinkedIn or other profiles until you’ve actually started your job. After you’ve been working for a week or so, celebrate your new role and make the announcement!
Still stuck in the interview phase? Here are 6 ways to stand out during the hiring process.