I'm to meet with a company's HR representative to give me an offer for a job I applied. The HR person insisted on having this offer presented to me in a meeting.

I asked for an email with the offer and I was going to give them my decision once I thought about it. But no... they will present the offer in a meeting.

So now I'm going to yet another meeting.

What are the reasons to have the offer in a meeting and not sent over in an email? Is this just a way to twist your hand in accepting or are there pertinent reasons?

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    I would point out that from their point of view that using a face-to-face to put a little pressure on the candidate to accept is a perfectly pertinent and legitmate reason to do this. I'm not saying that is why they did it, just that if it was, then that is a legitimate thing for a company to do. – HLGEM Mar 14 '14 at 21:23
  • @JoeStrazzere IME it's always been because they want to be able to push for an immediate decision. Basically it's escalating the "you have 24 hours to accept " self-destructing offers. – Móż Mar 15 '14 at 3:13
  • Maybe it is to check whether you can think on your feet or whether you are the sort who ponders over things. They've possibly been watching the Tom Cruise movie "The Firm" where a similar sort of thing was done on a job offer. – cup Mar 15 '14 at 7:47
  • There are numerous reasons, as explained in the answers. Sounds like you are just tired of meetings. If you want the job, keep all your reservations to yourself and go to the meeting, wearing your best working demeanor. – Vector Mar 16 '14 at 0:37

They may wish to discuss the terms of the offer with you because some aspects of it are complex. They may be expecting to negotiate an offer with you, which is faster face to face than it is via email. It may also be that back when email was less common (or even didn't really exist outside of education and very large corps at all) someone wrote down in the HR manual that This Is How Things Were To Be Done and the reasons have been lost in the mists of time.

It sounds like you're rather resentful of this. I'm not sure why but it should be a good thing to talk over an offer with a potential new employer. It's a chance to make sure you're absolutely clear on the terms of the offer and that any queries or questions you have will be answered. "Arm twisting" also goes both ways, remember, though if you see the relationship in those terms before even signing up to it then you may wish to continue your search for employment elsewhere.

You don't have to accept terms you dislike simply because they're offered verbally. You don't have to accept anything until its agreed on and handed to you as a written contract. The last few job offers I had were handled by telephone. Not quite face to face but still very immediate, and this wasn't a problem. I made my points, they made theirs and then we met somewhere in the middle.

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    And of course, you don't need to accept or refuse in the meeting. You can ask them to give you the offer in writing and tell them you will think about it and come back to them. So: go to the meeting and enjoy a cup of coffee on their dime! – Stephan Kolassa Mar 14 '14 at 21:15
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    @StephanKolassa except that they will almost certainly not pay for your time. So it's "take time off work, travel to their workplace at your own expense, get a printout of the job offer, go home to think about it". – Móż Mar 15 '14 at 3:11
  • You seem to assume the author currently has a job, might not be the case – Donald Mar 16 '14 at 8:08
  • @Ramhound I do? – Rob Moir Mar 16 '14 at 8:13
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    No; Moz but was to lazy to attempt to type three high ASCII characters on a phone – Donald Mar 16 '14 at 8:28

There are several reason to talk face to face vs over email:

  1. Stock options may be involved, and that's really hard to judge over email. So the offer might really be about the current price of the stock, or things going on internally.

  2. It's easier to gauge how much they really have to pay you.

  3. They get an answer on by a known date. This may coincide with board meetings. When I had to do my last final offer, I still had to wait on a board meeting.

  4. They want you to say how much you want first "he who speaks first loses"

  5. They are afraid that you may use their offer with your current company to get a raise and not take their offer.

As far as twisting your hand, most likely not.

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If you really want the job go and have the interview. If just looking around what do you whinge? Some companies have 3 to 5 IRL job interviews. Different participants, different questions, different aspects. Not even a video call can replace an IRL interview, body language is very important and doesn't go through emails, phone calls and videos.

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