Receiving and Evaluating a Job Offer

Updated Dec 21, 20226 min
Receiving and Evaluating a Job Offer

Receiving and Evaluating a Job Offer

Elise GelwicksUpdated Dec 21, 20226 min
Receiving and Evaluating a Job Offer

What is the first thing you'll do when you get the offer? Celebrate 🎉🎉🎉! Seriously, take some time to soak up your accomplishment. Getting a job offer is a big deal. A ton of work goes into it! Feel proud.

And after that? Take a breath 🧘🏻‍♀️. Don't panic and feel rushed to accept right away. You don't need to negotiate your compensation package right when you get the offer. It's to your advantage to slow down and craft a plan of attack.

How to Respond to an Offer on the Phone

About 25% of the time, you'll get a phone call about the offer, and they'll share the compensation information with you live over the phone.

When you get that call, assuming the offer is within your salary ballpark, be mentally prepared to give a non-answer and get off the phone so that you can think properly.

If the Offer is Pretty Good

First, take some time to express your gratitude, appreciation, and excitement for the role.

At this moment, the company will be getting a temperature check on you and looking to make sure that you're legitimately interested. Don't skimp here! Express to them:

  • Your gratitude and appreciation for the good news

  • Why you're excited about the opportunity

  • Why you see this is a great fit

Next, buy yourself some time. Let the offerer know in the nicest way possible that you're not going to say yes right away. You can just say, "Naturally, I'll want to take some time to digest the good news. While we're on the phone together, let me see what questions I have."

Then, take the rest of your call with them to ask any questions just to understand what they're offering. Sometimes, when they tell you all the numbers on the call, they won't tell you all the details right off the bat. 

To properly evaluate the offer, you'll need to know:

  • Is there a bonus? How is it calculated?

  • Are there shares or equity as part of the package?

  • What health benefits do you offer?

  • Do you sponsor 401K?

  • Are there other benefits I should be aware of?

So if you're on the phone with them, make sure you get the answers to these questions before you hang up. You'll need them to evaluate the offer properly.

If You Feel Lowballed

If the offer is more than 20% lower than you'd accept, you might feel hurt and lowballed. When that's the case, you'll need to indicate that during the phone call without conveying that the deal is off the table for you.

Your talking points in that situation will be:

  • Thank you so much. I'm honored to be selected

  • I feel the role, and the team is such a great fit

  • Let me be upfront with you. The offer is decidedly lower than I was expecting based on all of the information that I have

  • I am still really excited about this opportunity and would love to make this work with you

The only meaningful way to salvage this situation is to talk to the company at your level within the organization. Speaking to the company takes some finesse, but it is possible!

How to Respond to an Offer Email

This one is much easier! You'll celebrate, text your people, and let it feel good!

When this happens, you'll want to respond quickly to make sure that you express interest. Remember, the company representatives may feel a bit nervous, too -- especially if you're negotiating with a hiring manager who's excited to get you on their team and working. 

Evaluating the Offer 🧐

Once you've celebrated your huge accomplishment and then relaxed enough such that you can reason, it's time to evaluate the offer.

First, let's determine what your compensation package is worth. We recommend plugging all your inputs into this calculator to determine your package's actual value across all the components of your package. It also accounts for taxes, which can be important because bonuses are taxed higher than the base salary. You'll also want to compare it to your current compensation (which might be higher than you think!). 

Once you calculate the offer's actual value, you can adequately compare the proposal to the numbers you came up with earlier in your expectation setting.

Should I Negotiate via Phone or Email?

The next decision to make is whether you will make your first #askformore in a live call or over email.

How should you pick?

It depends on the situation, including:

  • How much the other party seems to want to negotiate live vs. on the phone. Read the tea leaves!

  • How much more are you hoping to get vs. their initial offer. No one will say yes to 30% more in an email. 😉

Nine times out of 10, we recommend getting on the phone to negotiate - even doing it face-to-face if you can. People are biologically wired to be more giving when they think of you as a living, breathing human being!

Yes, it would be far less intimidating to negotiate over email, but it's also far less effective. Do this over the phone (or video!) whenever possible. 

Remember to learn from the best and role-play to prepare. There is no substitute for role-playing to win in a high-pressure situation. Executives, presidents, and the best people in the world all do it, and you should, too!

Wait, I'm Actually Not Done Evaluating 🖐️

Are you sure you have the full details of the package? If not, you won't be done evaluating the offer yet. In that case, you'll need to start with some initial clarifying questions to help you consider it, like this:

I Have Clarifying Questions

Hi Clay,

Thank you so much for the offer to join {Company Name}! I'm excited by the opportunity to lead {a project you will lead} and work alongside you and your excellent team. I've enjoyed every interaction with your organization thus far.

It's a lot to digest and carefully think over! I just have a couple of initial follow-up questions as I wrap my mind around the opportunity: 

  • Is there an opportunity to earn equity in the company?

  • Can you share with me the details about healthcare benefits?

  • Are there any other benefits or perks offered that I should be aware of?

 To set expectations, I'd love to take the next 48 hours to consider. Just let me know if that might pose any issues for you.

 Thanks again for extending the official offer to become part of your team. And thank you also for the investment into the process with me thus far. I appreciate it.



Sometimes, you might have fundamental questions about the company or the opportunity you want to start with. Or, you might need an excellent way to stall while you wait to hear back from other companies. (Don't say you heard it from us 😉)

In that scenario, say:

I Have Business Questions (That I Might Be Using to Stall While I Leverage this Offer with Other Companies)

Hi Zein,

Thank you so much for putting together the offer. I look forward to exploring it in detail as I am genuinely excited about the possibility of joining such an {adjective} team. 

I do have some additional questions that I'd love to talk about with you:

  • How did the leadership determine the metrics for this position?

  • Can you help me understand what a successful week typically looks like?

  • Who do you believe are the strongest competitors for the role?

  • Can you share with me a bit more context about the equity position offered?

  • How attainable is the quota in year one to be eligible for a bonus?

I am happy to jump on the phone if you would like to talk through this live!

All the best, 


If you already have all the information needed, skip these two steps and go into actual negotiations.

The negotiation starts with our first move—most often, an email where you set up a call to negotiate.

Elise Gelwicks
Elise is a communications and emotional intelligence training consultant for companies and law firms

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