Anyone who has ever looked for a new job knows that negotiations can be a delicate matter. Most people know that first impressions are extremely important, but did you know that maintaining your professionalism and manners are just as critical in the end stages of negotiation as they are at the outset?
What are the most common missteps job seekers make that cost them the job offer of their dreams? These blunders, often made during the end stages of the interview and negotiation process, can cause a perfect opportunity to slip out of the job seeker’s grasp. This can happen even if the job seeker appears to be a shoo-in for the position and the employer is eager to hire them.
Former Fortune 500 HR SVP Liz Ryan outlines the five most common tragic missteps job seekers make in the late stages of their job search. By being aware of these common slipups, you can be sure to avoid them in the future and reduce the risk of losing that dream job offer.
- Surprising the employer with an unexpected demand that was not discussed during the interview process. Whether making a sudden and drastic change in your start date or availability, declaring you are suddenly unwilling to commute and wish to work from home full time, or abruptly needing to take a large amount of time off early into employment, these unexpected and unpleasant surprises are not something you want to spring on your hiring manager during the final stages of negotiations. Special requirements and requests should be put on the table well before you receive the job offer.
- Failing the background or reference check. Be sure to give your references a heads up that an employer may be calling about you, and ensure you’re providing the employer with correct contact information.
- Being unresponsive when the employer tries to reach out to you. Radio silence late in the game is one sure way to find yourself no longer under consideration for that job you wanted.
- Trying to re-negotiate an already agreed-upon salary.
While trying to negotiate a better salary by countering with what someone else is willing to offer you is a valid business tactic, save it for early on in the process (and be prepared for the possibility that the employer won’t be interested in participating in a bidding war or that they may even withdraw their offer). If you’ve said you’d be on board at a specific salary and the employer has offered you that salary, do not try to employ this tactic or you’ll likely find yourself out of the running entirely.
- Failing a drug-test. (Yes, really. This shocked us too!) While not all employers use drug testing as part of their recruiting process, it is critical to be ready to pass the drug screening when required or risk losing the job offer.