How would you react if I were to offer you this job on the spot?

  | James Innes

How would you react if I were to offer you this job on the spot?

Alternative and related questions:

What would you say if I were to offer you this job immediately?
What would be your answer if I were to offer you this job now?

The meaning behind the question:

This is an interesting question which interviewers can use to test your decision-making and deal-brokering skills.  The interview is a potential business transaction.  You're discussing the possibility of a long-term deal.  It just happens that you're the product.  The way you answer this question will give the interviewer some insight into how you might handle future such negotiations when you are, for example, dealing with a potential supplier.

Your answer:

No, you're not going to jump up and kiss them!  They're not saying that they are going to offer you this job on the spot; they're just asking how you would react if they did.

There are two main possible answers to this question.  You may say that you'd accept their offer immediately or you may say that you'd need a little more information first and would need a little time to consider their offer.  I would vouch for the latter.  I'm not saying you shouldn't reiterate your interest in the post but, unless they've already outlined the precise details of their offer, including the important question of salary, then it's only reasonable and sensible that you will want to have that information first and require some time to consider your options.  They should respect you for this.

There is of course a third possibility.  You may have decided by now that this job isn't the right one for you and now that, hopefully with a little help from me, you have mastered interview technique, there are other, better options out there for you!  But I'd avoid saying that you'd turn down their offer; at least wait to see if you actually get an offer.  At the very least, you can then use this offer to help you when negotiating any other offers you may receive.


I'd naturally be very pleased.  I am definitely very interested in this role and in your organisation.  However, before formally accepting, I would of course need to see the precise terms of your offer so as to see how it compares to other offers I have received and I'd subsequently need a little time to think over my various options and decide which one I should be pursuing.  It's an important decision and obviously not something I should be in a rush to make.  But, if you'd like to make me an offer, then I'll obviously give it my serious consideration.

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