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I had a second round interview with a company today. It went from asking me questions about my experience, and then all of a sudden the interviewer said "I'd like to make you a job offer for $x amount of dollars. We could get you started as early as 3 days from now".

For any important decisions, I like time to think about it. What would a good response have been? I'm afraid he saw me hesitate which has negatively affected my chances. I told him to send me the offer letter and he said he would but hasn't yet.

One big thing is the location of the office I would have to work in. It would take me close to 3 hours to commute one way. I told the interviewer I would relocate closer to work, but obviously can't do this on 3 days notice. He replied I can be flexible the first month and they will work something out.

Still, I need more time to think about it if I'm going to move homes. I need to check into the affordability of housing in the area etc.

He said he was interviewing other candidates so I'm surprised how quickly he made a verbal offer. The company is small and he said he values being quick about decisions (in the sense of not having large process to get a good idea approved).

Not completely relevant, but the wage is lower than I hoped and there's no benefits.

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For any important decisions, I like time to think about it. What would a good response have been?

You should always take some time to think about it.

A good response would be something like:

"Thanks! I like everything I've learned about the company and the job. I'd like to read the offer letter, think it over and discuss it with my spouse. I can get back to you by [date not too far in the future]. Would that be okay?"

I need to check into the affordability of housing in the area etc.

That's something you should have done beforehand. Now, you'll need to come to a quick conclusion.

Don't spend more than a few days thinking it over or the employer is likely to move on.

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Usually it's a good sign if the company makes you an offer the same day you interview. The company really want you to work for them one way or another. I usually use this opportunity to negotiate the salary package to some reasonable state and ask to think over the decision for 2-3 days. The company will either send a formal offer to you or ask that you give a verbal commit before they draft the letter.

Normally, I recommend you should do some general cost benefit analysis before you start interviewing as to how good a benefits packages needs to be for you to make the move. But you can do it after the initial offer, you just have to do it faster.

  • Good point about negotiating for salary. When you get an offer is when negotiation begins, not when it ends. – Dan Pichelman Oct 12 '18 at 13:20

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