Criteria for Evaluating a Job Offer

Steve called his brother to discuss his new job offer. He was enthusiastic about the position and the company, and he saw plenty of room for career growth in the department. The job seemed interesting and challenging, but the company’s location was the best part of all. The firm was literally three miles from his home, and he would be able to work from home on occasion. The only downside to the offer was the salary. It wasn’t quite what Steve had in mind, even though he was assured that he would get a salary review after the first year.

As you can tell from each scenario, job offers often have both positive and negative aspects. This is fairly typical. Some job offers bring out different, sometimes conflicting, emotions in a candidate. Serious thought is necessary to make the right decision.

No matter whether you are looking for your first full-time career position or are making a career change, you may need to evaluate more than one job offer. What’s the best way to do this? As you read this section, you will learn that the criteri1a for evaluating a job are fairly straightforward. What makes evaluating job offers difficult is that you are often comparing two or more offers that are never completely alike. As in the previous scenarios, there can be internal conflict about an offer. When comparing offers, use your head or your ability to reason or logic as much as possible; however, ultimately, you may have to use your heart or gut, your emotions, to make that final decision.


Here are a few common-sense, but sometimes overlooked, work realities.

  • We are all individuals who have our own values and preferences when it comes to work. What’s right for one person may not be right for another.
  • The position you accept will to some extent affect your lifestyle, psychological well-being, and quality of life.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect job. Most jobs have less-than-perfect aspects.
  • Most positions today require 40 or more hours of work a week. In many cases, the 9-to-5 workday model is a thing of the past.
  • A large number of your waking hours per week are spent either at work or commuting to and from work.

With these realities in mind, let’s examine some typical criteria for evaluating job offers. When you really think about it, there are really four basic areas that should be examined when evaluating a job offer.


The following factors should be considered when you evaluate a job offer: the organization and its personnel; the scope of the job; salary and benefits; and the match between the job and your goals.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can apply these criteria to your evaluation. To apply each criterion, several questions must be asked about the position.

The Organization and Its Personnel

  • Is the company a reasonable distance from home?
  • Are the physical facilities acceptable?
  • Will I have the physical space and tools necessary for the job?
  • Is the work environment formal or relaxed? What’s my preference?
  • Does the organization have a good reputation?
  • Am I comfortable with the size of this organization?
  • Am I in agreement with most company policies?
  • Do people seem to remain with this company for a while?
  • Will this position allow me to work as part of a team or individually? Which is more important to me?
  • Do I see myself making friends with people in this company?

The Scope of the Job

  • Does the position offer a variety of duties, or are there set duties that don’t change? What is my preference?
  • Will this position be challenging?
  • What would a typical day, week, month be like?
  • Will I use most of my skills and education?
  • Does this position require travel? If so, what type and how much?
  • What are the normal working hours? Is there flextime? Is there the possibility of telecommuting?
  • Would I be happy getting up in the morning and coming to this job?

Page 139 Salary and Benefits

  • What is the salary for the job, and how does that compare with my needs and my analysis of the market?
  • 138
  • What size pay increase is typical?
  • What intangibles should be considered along with salary?
  • Does the firm offer competitive medical, dental, life, and other benefits?
  • What are the company’s profit sharing, pension or retirement plan, and stock offerings?
  • What type of miscellaneous benefits come with this package (e.g., tuition reimbursement, day care, bonuses, recreational programs, credit union)?

The Match Between the Job and Your Goals

  • Is there an opportunity for me to meet my long-term goals?
  • What is the potential for job growth? Lateral movement?
  • What is the schedule and criteria for my performance evaluation?
  • Will I have the opportunity to learn new job skills?
  • Does the company encourage continued education?
  • Will this position provide an opportunity to meet other professionals in my field?
  • Does this company support professional association membership?

Using the questions from these categories will help you make a well-informed decision about which job offer to accept. Compare each company using the four criteria and focus on the questions under each criterion that are the most important to you. This systematic approach can help with your decision making, but you may still have to consult with something else—your heart. After all is said and done, how do you feel about the opportunity? What is that little voice inside saying? What does your gut tell you? If you apply the typical evaluation criteria to a job (or two) and you still feel a bit of uncertainty, ask your heart, or tune into what your gut is telling you.


Review the “Criteria for Evaluating a Job Offer” on pages 138–139 in the textbook. What are your top two criteria out of each of the four basic areas? Why did you choose these criteria?


In my eyes, the top two criteria for evaluation of a job offer will be:

  1. The organization and its personnel: To me, this is the most important precedent to make my judgment for a job offer. I shall like to join an organization which has been established for a while and can offer a good working environment equipped with most of the required facilities like decent workstations, ample working space, hang around places. I shall gauge on the age group working for the company because if there are not enough experienced people at senior positions in the company, there can probably be a bad reason behind this. Company’s inclination for employee retention scores high for me. To maintain a healthier work life balance, I shall prefer to work a company with its premises within one hour of travel from my residence. The company must possess good culture, high market reputation, employee training, well-defined personnel policies and provide me with good financial stability and flexibility.
  2. The match between the job and your goals: It’s crucial to evaluate the extent to which a job offer aligns with my priorities and career goals. The proposed job must satisfy both my short-time and long-term goals. My work profile must elevate professionalism in me in all ways and must pay me back based on my performance in terms of salary hikes, promotions, senior responsibilities and more.

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