What to Say When Offered a Job over the Phone

Modern recruitment processes are vigorous, tedious, and stressful. They can leave you feeling like you have no chance even if you felt you were the best candidate for the position. When that call comes in, it’s truly a breath of fresh air. You come alive again, especially if this is your dream job and the package is appealing. It can also be a daunting call if you changed your mind about the offer and won’t be accepting it.

When offered a job over the phone, you can either accept, decline, or hold the offer. The hiring manager will mostly begin by congratulating you on being their choice candidate. Wait for the caller to give you the chance to respond. Begin with appreciating the consideration regardless of your response. Take time and clarify on core terms such as salary, working hours, vacation, start date, and probation period. Most importantly, end the call with an appreciation for the offer.

Statistics imply that one corporate job advert attracts up to 250 resumes, out of those, at most six people are called for an interview while only one person gets the job. With this in mind, you don’t want to leave bad footprints anywhere whether you are accepting the job offer or not.

Accepting the Job Offer over the Phone

You just went through a thorough interview process. You faced the panel, did the entire write-ups and you have emerged successful. This is your opportunity to scream ‘hooray’ but you can’t do that over this conversation. Spare it for later. For now, remain calm but enthusiastic. Listen first to the caller’s message. They will most probably explain how the process was like, what type of candidate they were looking for and why they chose you.

After expressing how excited you are for the consideration. Take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the offer. Get the finer details on the compensation package and the company’s expectations.

At this point, accept the offer and express gratitude for the opportunity. Find out how and when you are expected to formally sign the offer if you are not sure. Here are a few samples of what you can say.

“I am elated to accept this offer that gives me an opportunity to make an impact at XYZ Company. I look forward to a great time working with you and the rest of the team. Is there any documentation I need to sign or bring along as I report?”

“As I accept this offer, I am appreciative of the opportunity to grow and impact your company. I am glad you found me a perfect fit for the position. I look forward to joining the team on (Monday 5th).

What to Say When Putting the Job Offer on Hold over the Phone

There are several reasons for holding the job offer. It could be that you don’t agree on the terms, or there are details missing about the job, or, you have unresolved personal issues. Holding an offer is risky as the company may assume you were not a serious candidate and move on to the next but you can do it if you really need to.

Upon receiving the job offer call, the caller will share the terms and conditions for the offer, be keen and take note of the details. Let the caller finish and give you a time to respond. Begin by appreciating the consideration and the company’s confidence in your ability to handle the tasks ahead. Follow up with any questions you may be having concerning the offer.

As you close, request to hold the offer. You need to give a condition for this, for instance, until we agree on the compensation package or a given period; a week, two weeks and so on and give your reason behind it. The caller may accept or decline your request and you should be ready for either.

They may also request to get back to you. All this while, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. Conclude by expressing your appreciation for the offer and the consideration to put the offer on hold.

What to Say When Declining the Job Offer over the Phone

In some instances, the offer may not meet your expectations. Probably the working hours are not friendly or the compensation package isn’t appealing. Worse still, you may have discovered some aspect of the company that you don’t accredit to. For instance, the company deals with bribes and extortions.  Even when you desperately need a job opening, you can decline an offer if it isn’t a good fit.

If you brought up some of the issues in prior conversations, it might be easier since you can refer to those discussions. If you hadn’t, you need to find a polite way of introducing the issues. Alternatively, you can decline the offer without disclosing the reasons behind your decision or by mentioning briefly.

Most importantly, the decline should be started and ended with an appreciation. Let it leave a friendly trail. You never know when your paths will cross next. Here are a few samples of what you can say.

“Thank you so much for the offer; I’m however not in a position to take it as I have just accepted another offer from my current company. I’m grateful for your consideration and I hope you get the perfect talent for the position.”

“I’m very thankful for your offer and also getting the opportunity to negotiate the package. Regrettably, I can’t accept the offer with the current package. I wish we could renegotiate but all the best as you find a suitable person.”

“I feel honored to have been considered for the opportunity, it’s unfortunate I am not in a position to accept the offer due to personal reasons. Thank you for your consideration.


Whether you accept the job offer, decline or hold, you must maintain a positive attitude during the call. Express appreciation for being recognized as the right person for the vacancy, for the process, and the opportunity to interact and negotiate. If declining, avoid commenting on the company’s negative qualities. Always leave the hiring manager on a friendly note.

For more information, Check out more on What to say…


Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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