I was offered a job on the spot and accepted without asking about benefits or my upcoming honeymoon

A reader writes:

I have been interviewing for jobs for a few months now and have been through several interview processes that were long and drawn out. Deadlines were consistently pushed back, multiple rounds of interviews were endured. Today, I had a job interview for a firm I’d had an initial phone interview with, and they offered me a job on the spot. I was shocked, and accepted, as I am super excited about the job. Maybe I am just comparing it too closely to the other interview processes I’ve endured recently where references were called, deliberations were undergone, etc.

So my first question is whether this is unusual, for candidates to be offered jobs on the spot? It has never happened to me, and to be honest, I was a bit too intimidated by the managing director to ask for time to think about the offer before accepting. (I felt at ease with my direct manager though who I’d met with earlier.) This has made me start second guessing the firm… are they this cavalier about other things, like firing? I feel like it’s a good fit, but I was only in their office for 40 minutes, so in hindsight, it’s a bit hard to tell.

My second question is that in the midst of all of this, there was no talk of benefits, vacation, etc. It was almost as if the managing director wanted to hire me (based on the glowing recommendation from the other manager I’d met and spoken to on the phone with) and get on with his day. They seemed confident in me, but also like they weren’t interested in a lengthy interview process. So because there was never any discussion, nor did it ever feel like the “right” time to address this in the flurry of the interview-hire, I wasn’t able to address the fact that I’ve got a pre-planned honeymoon scheduled in 2.5 months’ time. I am planning to email them to address it prior to my start date, but if they decline to grant me my time off, is this something that is reasonable to rescind my acceptance over? I did not bring it up initially so as to not have the request muddy their professional opinion of me — I am an upright, hard worker, and didn’t want them to think I’d always be taking time off. But this is my honeymoon, and it happens once in a lifetime, and as such, it’s important to me. I am planning to reassure them that I will work nights and weekends up till my departure to be sure the firm doesn’t feel my absence, and even offer to keep an eye on my emails once per day while I’m abroad. Is there a specific way you recommend this be expressed so as not to rub them the wrong way?

This is going to be a long answer because there’s a lot here.

On-the-spot job offers aren’t unheard of, but they’re potentially a red flag. A company that offers you a job on the spot after only a phone call and a single 40-minute in-person interview might be signaling to you that they’re not great at hiring. (And they’re almost certainly not checking references.) If they’re not great at hiring, you’re likely to have some not-great coworkers, or a bunch of people getting fired because the company didn’t do due diligence in the hiring stage, neither of which is a particularly appealing option.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the job, but it does mean that you should pay a of attention to the other signals you’re getting about the company. Do you see other worrisome signs — of poor decision-making, or disorganization, or lack of rigor? If everything else you’re seeing is good, this may just a weird quirk. But you want to be vigilant about gathering information and paying attention to what you see. (That’s always the case before you take a job, of course, but it’s especially important when you see something that feels red-flaggy.)

Also, while it’s too late for this now, be aware that just because you’re offered a job on the spot, you don’t need to accept on the spot. In fact, you shouldn’t. Accepting a job is a big decision, and you should at least think it over overnight and not make up your mind before you’ve even left their office. It’s perfectly reasonable to say, “Thank you so much. I’m very interested. Can I give you my decision by Thursday?”

If they balk at that, that’s a big red flag, bigger than the on-the-spot offer. Good employers want you to think through their offer and whether the job is right for you, and wouldn’t expect you to be able to do that while you’re still sitting in the interview chair. They’re not going to try to rush you into a yes, when they know it’s in your and their best interest to have some time to think it over, ask questions, etc.

And speaking of asking questions: If you’re offered a job and no one has mentioned benefits, ask! Say something like this: “Can you give me information on the benefits you offer?” And don’t make assumptions — if they tell you about their vacation days but don’t mention health insurance, don’t assume that they have it; say, “Do you offer health insurance?” (And get details on all of it. “We offer paid vacation, medical and dental, and a 401K” doesn’t tell you enough; you need actual plan details. Otherwise you could start working there and discover that you’re responsible for 100% of the insurance premiums, only get 5 vacation days, and the 401K matching you assumed they had because your last job did it doesn’t exist here.)

And last, before you accept an offer, it’s smart to discuss any planned time off that you’ll need them to accommodate. It’s very, very normal to say something like, “I have a trip scheduled from October 15-27. I’m willing to take the time unpaid since I assume I won’t have accrued enough vacation time by then, but I want to make sure up-front that that’s okay.” It’s a lot better to mention this as part of the offer discussion, so that they don’t feel like you’re springing it on them later.

Now, in your case, you’ve already accepted the job without finding out about benefits and without clearing the vacation time you need for your honeymoon. So I’d send an email right now that says this: “I realized that in my excitement about the job, I overlooked the fact that I have my honeymoon scheduled for (dates). I apologize for not getting this on your radar earlier! Will being away those dates cause any issues? (I assume I may need to take the time unpaid, which I’m of course willing to do.) This also made me realize that we haven’t discussed benefits —is there information that you can send me on what benefits Teapots Inc. offers? Thank you, and I’m so looking forward to starting work on the 12th!”

If the answers you get aren’t acceptable to you, then yes, you may need to rescind your acceptance. If it turns out, for example, that they don’t offer health insurance, it’s reasonable to say, “I’m so sorry that I didn’t ask about this earlier, but I had assumed you offered health insurance. I’m not able to take a job that doesn’t include it, so unfortunately I’ll need to decline my acceptance.” If the issue is more about something like a crappy number of vacation days, it’s a little harder; it’s tough to negotiate for more when you’ve already accepted the offer. (So that brings us back to: Always get this info before you say yes.)

If they won’t grant you the time off for your honeymoon, you could indeed say, “I’m so sorry, but the dates aren’t flexible since it’s right after my wedding. I apologize for not raising this earlier, but if this is prohibitive for you, does it make sense to part ways?” Whether or not that makes sense to do depends on how much you want this job, what other job options you have, and how flexible the trip is.

One last thing: You said that you didn’t bring up the honeymoon initially because you didn’t want to “muddy their professional opinion” of you or make them think you’d always be taking time off. No reasonable employer would think that about a honeymoon, and one that did would be one you wouldn’t want to work for (because that’s an employer who wouldn’t support you having a life outside work in all kinds of other ways too). And this isn’t just limited to honeymoons — you’re allowed to have pre-planned trips that you arranged before accepting a job, and it’s normal to mention that as part of the offer negotiation. No sane employer will think, “My god! She planned a vacation later this year, so she’s clearly not a hard worker.”

{ 128 comments… read them below }

  1. Katie the Fed*

    OP – you should definitely get answers on all of your questions, but I would urge you to be flexible on your honeymoon. It’s really not once-in-lifetime. At least, it doesn’t have to be at this particular time. We waited a couple months before our honeymoon and it was really nice because the stress of the wedding was over and we could relax.

    A one-week vacation might be palatable to a new employer, but two might be too much. You might want to consider postponing if they balk and it’s longer than a few days. You can still have a wonderful honeymoon, but it doesn’t have to be right now.

    1. The IT Manager*

      I actually assumed, based on limited info, that a scheduled honeymoon without mention of a wedding and time off for the wedding is already a delayed honeymoon and that the couple has already sunk money into the trip and picked those dates for some reason so it may be non-negotiable. But you do have a point.

      1. J*

        Hi! I actually am the OP, and you’re correct. We were married last year, and this is our belated honeymoon. The reason it isn’t flexible is because it is all being paid for as a gift by a family member, and the flights and some of the hotel arrangements are nonrefundable.

        I ultimately did end up making the decision to accept another offer based on this and other red flags, and made sure to address the need for the time off in the immediate stages of the offer. My new boss has approved it, and said we’ll work to make arrangements for my projects during my time off once I start.

    2. Blurgle*

      If it’s in six weeks, it’s likely that the hotel and airfare has already been paid and those (likely) thousands of dollars are completely and totally non-refundable. I wouldn’t consider that much money flushed down the toilet a fair trade for any job unless i was desperate (and then I wouldn’t have a honeymoon).

      1. Katie the Fed*

        it’s 2.5 months away. Hotels are almost always refundable until a few days out. Airlines you can usually get a voucher.

        I’m not saying it won’t be a hit – but I do think it’s reasonable for an employer to balk at someone taking 2 weeks of leave within a few months, and that’s why it would have been worth negotiating from the get-go.

        1. MAB*

          If its international travel you often can’t reschedule unless you buy trip insurance before hand. I actually think it is completely unreasonable if an employer balks at a vacation that is paid for and planned. In my mind it is set. Would it be any different if the OP knew they were taking 2 weeks for a military training or if the OP is pregnant and will be giving birth in 3 months? Really 2 weeks 2.5 months into employment isn’t a crazy request.

          My husband had this very thing happen (he got hired to start December 1st and we went out of the country the second week of Jan for our honeymoon). He was just upfront to his employer and was willing to take the 10 days as unpaid leave. It was a non-issue as he was willing to take the 10 days as unpaid leave and we had a grand time.

        2. cbackson*

          I don’t know if you’ve tried to change a flight lately, but with change fees, you can lose the entire ticket pretty easily (particularly if the travel is international – change fees can be $250 domestically, and I’ve been hit with a $400 change fee on an international flight, and then you have to pay any difference in the ticket price). And it’s common these days to get a discount for pre-paying for hotel rooms, in which case you’ll lose the entire cost of the rooms if you cancel.

      2. Retail Lifer*

        Agreed, and even if it’s refundable, you have to worry about the spouse having to change their vacation dates as well. Getting two weeks off in a row at some places takes a whole lot of finagling and might not be doable at other times of the year.

    3. Elizabeth the Ginger*

      I would consider it a potential red flag if the employer wasn’t willing to be flexible about this, though. If the honeymoon is planned for November, OP may already have flights, hotels, etc. booked and her spouse-to-be has already scheduled time off. It wouldn’t be impossible to reschedule, but it would be a hassle.

      How big a red flag the employer balking would depend on other factors – is November their busiest time of year? Or are their reasons just “we don’t want you gone for so long”? If the latter, I feel like that communicates that this is an employer that doesn’t do life-work balance very well.

      I do agree with you that the honeymoon doesn’t have to go with the wedding! I got married last summer but we took our honeymoon this summer. It meant we had the energy to plan a much more exciting trip than if we’d been trying to arrange it while wedding planning.

    4. Erin*

      I have to very respectfully disagree with this. We have no idea what plans and deposits are refundable or not, as someone else mentioned her fiance has likely already cleared this with his work, etc. I think a reasonable employer would recognize this, particularly with two and a half months advanced notice. It would depend on the industry and particulars of course, but I’d think there’s plenty of time to adjust the work load, have her work extra hours beforehand, etc.

    5. shorty*

      I respectfully disagree with this idea that 2 weeks vacation for an immediate honeymoon is too much to expect or ask for. first, it’s totally normal to go on an immediate honeymoon and there is no reason to imply that what worked for you (a delayed honeymoon) is the best or right decision for anyone or everyone else.

      second, the length of “acceptable” vacations varies by company culture – taking 1 week off in one company may seem like taking 6 weeks off at another company, or vice versa.

      lastly, i guess it’s up to each person how much they are willing to adjust their lives to make their employer happy… but my perspective is, the company is probably not going to go out of it’s way to adjust itself for me like giving me extra vacation days i haven’t accrued – so why should i postpone my paid-for and/or pre-planned vacation, especially if it was planned before i was even hired there?

    6. Chorizo*

      At one of my summer jobs in college, I mentioned a planned/paid-for vacation during the interview process and to my manager after I was hired. “No problem” they said. But when the schedule came out, I was assigned to work that week. I went to my manager to say I would be out that week and she said “I’m taking vacation then and nobody else can be off.” WTF?! I asked about my options and they were (1) I work or (2) I’m terminated. So I put in my notice right there on the spot. I was only 18 then, and it didn’t occur to me to escalate to HR or my manager’s supervisor.

      1. Development professional*

        A summer job is a completely different thing, though. They shouldn’t have told you in the first place you could have off, but denying vacation would have been reasonable when you’re only going to work like 12 weeks at most.

        1. Chriama*

          It depends on the job. I remember a summer job in high school (so summer was only like 8 weeks) where I had one of those enrichment summer programs right in the middle of August. I was still hired for the job and my boss was good enough not to schedule me.

          1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

            Also depends on how much time you’re asking for. If you’re asking for a day off to have a long weekend, that’s different from asking for an entire week.

  2. Darcy*

    I wanted to quickly comment on one other item the OP raised:
    “I am planning to reassure them that I will work nights and weekends up till my departure to be sure the firm doesn’t feel my absence, and even offer to keep an eye on my emails once per day while I’m abroad.”

    I don’t think this is necessary. If they bring it up I’d offer to make some accommodations, but this seems a bit extreme to be the first response. People are allowed to take vacation, and while you may need to work a little extra leading up to it to make sure that everything is in order for your absence and be available for emergencies, you shouldn’t have to work extensive extra hours prior to going on vacation.

    1. GigglyPuff*

      This, plus I also wouldn’t offer to check your e-mail once per day on your honeymoon either. Would you really want to get into that assumption/habit and be stuck with that behavior for the rest of the time you work there? And never have a vacation where you didn’t. It feels like if you do it once, especially on such…a more important vacation, your honeymoon, the assumption might be you should do it for other vacations.

      1. Elizabeth the Ginger*

        Yeah, unless the position is something like a member of the President’s cabinet, a reasonable employer would let you be on your honeymoon 100% while you’re on your honeymoon – not 95% on your honeymoon and 5% at work.

      2. neverjaunty*

        Also, it’s better for your marriage if you don’t spend your honeymoon dealing with work stuff (excepting absolute true-blue emergencies).

        1. AnotherAlison*

          Hmm, maybe not. Maybe it’s best to set the precedent that you are a workaholic early on. People hate the bait and switch, the old “he/she is not the person I married anymore argument.” ; )

          My own “honeymoon” was 2 years after I got married, the week before I started my first job, and before cell phones were ubiquitous, so I’m glad this was not something I had to worry about! (We did own cell phones, but we weren’t sitting on the beach in Hawaii with them.)

        2. the gold digger*

          My husband spent until 4 a.m. the first night of our honeymoon working in the lobby of the Madrid hotel, working until 4 a.m.

          Although I admire his desire not to have his co-workers be stuck with more work during his absence, I felt that it was his manager’s problem to deal with, not his.

          (We have not had a vacation since where he did not work.)

          (Until he quit his job for a year off.)

          (And that has turned into a year of dealing with his parents’ health issues. With his dad continuing to threaten to disinherit him if Primo does not “get [me] in line.”)

          1. Erin*

            Ohhh boy, haha.

            My husband has already warned me that he’ll be working every day of our Florida vacation in February – but he did at least take the honeymoon off!

    2. The IT Manager*

      +1. I was going to say this too.

      I know you mean this as a way to minimize the effect of your absence so early in your tenure with them and assure them you’re a hard worker, but this sets a terrible precedent. You should be able to take time off (truly off without checking email every day) without killing yourself the days before and after your vacation. A little extra preparations before you depart to get everything in order and a little extra catch-up after is to be expected, but you’re offering an unreasonable amount. If the company can’t handle you taking a vacation, that’s a red flag.

    3. Erin*

      Working extra hours and weekends beforehand? Sure. Maybe.

      Checking email on your honeymoon? No. Please, please don’t do that. That is your time! You deserve that time!

    4. Anonathon*

      Agree! I had a fairly workaholic boss when I went on my honeymoon and he still told everyone not to email or call me during that time. (That said, I’d been at my job for more than a year by then.)

      Basically, it definitely makes sense to work evenings/weekends before a two-week absence if you are legitimately on a deadline or you must get a jump on things that will happen when you’re gone. But it doesn’t make sense to put in lots of extra hours for its own sake — I think it makes you seem guiltier than you actually need to feel. You’re not jumping ship — just going on a pre-schedule honeymoon. No need to overcompensate!

    5. LizNYC*

      I agree. OP, don’t do this!

      First, you’re going to be new, so there may not be that kind of volume of work to keep you busy during nights and weekends. Secondly, if it’s unpaid time off, I wouldn’t feel beholden to making up that time otherwise (if they give it to you paid, maybe. Still, I wouldn’t go overboard with the unpaid overtime.) And lastly, don’t offer to check email unless that’s the office norm! And even if it is, many bosses wouldn’t hold you to it for your honeymoon, especially.

    6. kristinyc*

      Also – I don’t know that it’s realistic if your wedding is happening right before the wedding. As a somewhat recent (in the last 3 years..) bride, I remember that I was completely swamped with the final details of wedding stuff in the week before. I ended up taking off starting the Tuesday before my (out of state) Saturday wedding, and I can’t imagine trying to work extra during that time on top of wedding stuff. And yeah, don’t check your email on your honeymoon – this is one of the few vacations where you can fully justify not checking in at work. :)

      Congrats on the job offer and the marriage! Exciting year for you! :)

  3. NutellaNutterson*

    And PLEASE don’t offer to work extra for the pto. Don’t leave projects dangling, but it sounds… off to build in lots of expectations this soon.

    1. T3k*

      Not to mention if she tells them she’ll check her job email while she’s on her honeymoon it could unintentionally lay the groundwork for coworkers to bug her when she’s out of the office in the future.

  4. Tiffy the Fed... Contractor*

    Sympathies to the OP. I’ve been there, and learned from my mistakes… after a few years of being underpaid. My own fault for accepting right on the spot without a thought to negotiating.

    However, during my last job hunt, I had received an offer, and I countered asking them to cover relocation expenses. A current coworker of mine basically said that was very assertive of me (but in a negative way), and he wouldn’t have asked without first accepting the offer to “how the employer treated their employees.”

    I politely told him that he was being ridiculous. And received a generous relocation package.

    1. T3k*

      I had a similar situation, except when I tried to negotiate, they couldn’t afford to pay me that amount, instead offering $2 less per hour (which is a big deal in my position). Stupid me took it anyways because I was desperate to have a job, not realizing those in my field in the area get paid over twice as much as I do currently. But now I know what to look out for when job hunting and how to calculate how much it’d need to be if it’s contract.

  5. Sparkle*

    I was laid off last month and have an interview tomorrow for a two-month temporary position that has a very slight chance of turning into something permanent (like 25%). My husband and I have a weeklong trip planned for next month that we have already made non-refundable purchases for. I’m worried about how this is going to come across to the employer. On one hand, I don’t want to lose a shot at a permanent job just for a vacation, but on the other hand, I don’t want to lose a thousand dollars on a wasted vacation if the job really is only two months. I’ll have made just a little over that amount of money in that time anyway. Advice?

      1. Viva L*

        Interview for it, and if and when they offer the temp position, negotiate the time off along with all the other benefits. Just tell them that you hope it wont be an issue, but it’s non-refundable, you’re willing to take it unpaid with a “What can we do to work this out?” vs. “Can I do this?” attitude.

    1. CMT*

      To be honest, if it’s a two month position, they’re probably not going to hire you if you’re going to be gone for 1/8 of it.

      1. Sparkle*

        That’s what I’m worried about. If I knew for sure it was only two months, I probably wouldn’t have bothered looking into it. But if it has potential to become permanent, well….

        1. A*

          You’re gonna need to decide if it’s more important to you to maybe, potentially, but probably not have a permanent position and eat the cost or go on vacation, then.

  6. Smelly Pirate Hooker*

    Remember that a honeymoon is a fairly traditional part of getting married, so while an employer might frown on you having plans to run off to Paris for funsies right after starting a new job, they may have some respect for the fact that it’s a honeymoon.

    (inb4 “honeymoons are just vacations after you have a silly party for tax benefits and new toasters” comments)

    1. Delyssia*

      Really? I’ve never been married, but I’ve absolutely started jobs with vacations already planned. Any employer that would “frown on” those plans is absolutely not anyone I would want to work for. Granted, it’s a slightly different situation because I’ve always told employers before accepting and made sure it wouldn’t be a problem, but the argument that a honeymoon is more valid than a vacation “for funsies” irritates me to no end.

      1. afiendishthingy*

        “The argument that a honeymoon is more valid than a vacation “for funsies” irritates me to no end.”

        Yeah, it’s a dumb argument, but not one that I think SPH was supporting – just that, because it’s Tradition, her employer may be more likely to be flexible regarding a Sex Holiday than a regular Spring (Fall) Break Whooooo. They may not be, but it’s possible.

        1. Smelly Pirate Hooker*

          Yes, that’s what I meant, and should have been more clear that I wasn’t so much stating my own opinion as I was bringing up a point that a honeymoon is, in general, more respected than a typical vacation. Not that I personally think that honeymoons are sacred and all other vacations are frivolous.

          1. LawBee*

            “a honeymoon is, in general, more respected than a typical vacation”

            I just don’t know how – maybe people are more excited for others for them, because it’s tied to a wedding, but I don’t see how there’s any level of “respect” for anyone’s vacation. Maybe it’s a word choice thing? idk, I’ve just never seen any differentiation between how my managers treated honeymoons versus how they treated any other request for time off.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              I think a lot of people defer to honeymoon plans more than they would other vacations — not contacting people “because she’s on her honeymoon,” accepting that it might happen at an inconvenient time, etc.

              1. Cath in Canada*

                Yeah, I think people do see a one-off, once-in-a-lifetime thing differently to something that happens every year. Same as how getting time off to go to, say, your out-of-town graduation ceremony at a busy time of year would be easier to swing than just going to visit friends in that town.

    2. LawBee*

      I’ve had pre-planned vacations – and they were VACATIONS, not honeymoons – for every job I’ve started, and it’s never once been an issue. Vacations are a fairly traditional part of life, regardless whether or not there’s a wedding attached to it. It would be a very bad manager who valued a honeymoon trip over a standard vacation .

    3. the_scientist*

      At my company, you’re granted all your vacation up-front (pro-rated depending on when you start), so there’s no issue with accruing vacation, but it’s spelled out in your letter of offer that you shouldn’t be using it before you’ve passed the 90-day mark.

      Anyway, my manager was commenting recently that almost every single person she’s ever hired had a vacation planned and booked (i.e. at least partially paid for) during that 90-day period. She still hired them, so it wasn’t a dealbreaker, and taking a trip that they’d already planned didn’t harm their professional reputation at all- and not all (in fact, possibly none?) of these trips were honeymoons! It doesn’t have to be that big of a deal to take time off when you’re new, and unless I really needed the job, I probably wouldn’t want to work for a company that did make it a big deal unless it was like, during a travel blackout period or something.

  7. literateliz*

    Something very similar happened to me during my last job search… they called me to offer me the job about an hour after I left the interview, and I very awkwardly asked for more time to consider because I was still interviewing for other positions. Ack. (I almost posted about it in the “job search sins” thread, but it wasn’t really outrageous enough to be funny, just awkward.)

    Anyway, it was a temp-to-perm position, and (I guess to entice me) the hiring manager emailed me to say that they would hire me as a permanent employee. Once I had gathered my wits, I responded and asked about benefits.

    His response: “Yes we offer benefits”

    Uh… great. Thanks.

    So yes, get details. I didn’t push it because it was my last choice of the jobs I was interviewing for, and luckily my first choice came through with a job offer and full details on benefits, but that was definitely a red flag.

    1. Creag an Tuire*


      I assume the rest of the conversation went like this:
      “Also, can I clarify my starting salary?”
      “Dollars. Your salary will be paid in dollars.”

        1. Smelly Pirate Hooker*

          “you can have holidays off” sounds like “I suppose we’ll let you have Christmas off, if it’s really that important to you . . .”

          1. Annoying Girl*

            Probably should be in the one of those salary negotiations threads. Via email ” Are you authorized to share with me the salary range for this position?” One word response…”yes”. Every email I received was a one word response. This was from someone that reached out to me. I wasn’t looking and did not apply there but the HR manager messaged me via LinkedIn. I finally gave up.

            1. Smelly Pirate Hooker*

              I’ve worked in recruiting for a few companies by now, one company let me disclose salary pretty liberally but the other two didn’t – as much as I wanted to tell people how much the job paid, I was literally not allowed to do so. So I do appreciate people who ask “are you authorized to disclose salary” rather than just ask how much the job pays, then go dark on me when I (apologetically) explain that I’m not allowed to disclose it. I’m really not trying to pull a bait and switch on anyone or trick people into agreeing to an interview, I swear! I’m just following company policy.

              1. JessaB*

                I get this, but it’s a really silly policy. Why go through rounds of interviews when if the salary had been discussed, the candidates wouldn’t waste their time with it?

        2. Retail Lifer*

          Unless you work in retail. Then you just get Christmas and Easter, and I think Easter’s a goner within the next few years.

          1. Toonces*

            When I worked retail from 2004-2008, the only two days the store was closed were Thanksgiving and Christmas. And we opened early on Black Friday and December 26.

    2. Bend & Snap*

      One of my first jobs sold me travel as a benefit. Ah, to be 22 and think business travel was glamorous again…

      1. Kairi*

        My old job was a toxic environment that promised business travel. When I decided to leave, I had to remind myself how un-glamorous business travel was so I didn’t stay in a job that made me crazy for the possibility of going to Europe.

      2. AnonAnalyst*

        I was reading a Glassdoor review for a company today where the person listed “no travel” in the Cons section. All I can think is that that person is very, very young.

  8. Aim Away From Face*

    “…this is my honeymoon, and it happens once in a lifetime.”

    Yeahhhhh … not so much.

      1. fposte*

        And also incorrect. 55% of people over 15 have been married once; 15% have been married more than once.

        1. Ad Astra*

          And I would guess the percentage of people who take a honeymoon after their second wedding is rather low.

    1. Gene*

      I admit to being a bit of a male member sometimes, but this was beyond the pale.

      Just to be clear, I’ve had two honeymoons – being widowed at 39 will do that.

      1. AnotherAlison*

        Are you my sister-in-law? My MIL is 7x divorced, and if a potential favorable arrangement is available, she’s game for #8, too.

  9. Aideekay*

    Just wanted to put in a plug for instant job offers working out!

    I had done an HR phone screen and a 1 hour phone interview with the manager before my on-site. My on-site was at 3pm on a Friday, and lasted 2.5 hours (much longer than they usually run). At the end of it, it’s 5:30, I’m hungry, it’s really warm in the interview room, and I was sitting there, alone, for 10 minutes after this marathon of people.

    Then the manager comes in and says, “We’d like to offer you this job, and at $5k above what you asked for.” And at this point I’m thinking the heat and the delirium from hunger have scrambled my brains because that is something you hear in a 14-year-old’s self-insert short story, not in real life.

    I eloquently said, “Uh, wow, thanks! Can I think about it?” and he said, “Of course, I’m available by cell all weekend if you have any questions,” and I walked out the door with a job offer packet in hand.

    I read it, and it was totally legit, and after a long weekend considering the offer and the job, I took it. It was a great team with a fun company, and I swear to God that manager was the best one I’ve ever worked for.

    So, yeah, not all bad! In this case, they were just keen to get the opening filled since it had sat there for months looking for the right person.

    1. J*

      With my current job the offer was very quick, as in I got an emailed offer and phone call about 15 minutes after I got home from the second interview. Also, the whole process took about a week from the time I submitted my resume. Like in your case, they knew what they wanted and had already interviewed several people who just didn’t fit. My boss and coworker “loved me” so it was an in! And the offer was on point with pay and benefits.

      I was like “OK so should I sign and scan it and then email the PDF?” and the recruiter was like “Oh, so you accept then?” “Umm…let me sleep on it and I will respond via email tomorrow.”

      A little awkward but no problem.

    2. Jessica (tc)*

      I would have been in the same boat as you. “Excuse me, but I thought you said you’d like to offer me the position at a higher-than-requested salary…?” Or maybe just, “Um, seriously? Are you kidding?”

      It does sound like the sort of thing people will tell you never happens. “Geez, you act like they should come in and offer you a job immediately with a few extra thousand on top of your requested salary just because you’re so awesome! It doesn’t happen that way!” Except apparently YOU are that awesome, so it worked out. ;)

      1. Aideekay*

        Haha, exactly!

        I have an embarrassment of riches in my employment story. I don’t talk about it offline very much, not even with family, because… well, it’s a bit like the Harvard conundrum, right? You went to Harvard, got a degree, and it’s awesome. But if you say “I went to Harvard,” it almost doesn’t matter the context, you’re always going to sound like you’re bragging.

        My previous job accelerated my raises and title promotions incredibly far past the norm, all happening within 3 years, and then the above interview happened. That job also had an accelerated raise and title promotion schedule. The job I have now ended with a job offer at the end of the day I had the in person interview with the team.

        I think the job itself, now, is my case of reality breaking in. Definitely no accelerated raise or title promotions here! I am glad to be normal again, honestly, because it sucks not being able to complain about your job. :)

    3. I'm a Little Teapot*

      For my last contract job (a year and a half) I sent in my resume one day, got a surprise phone screen the next, was offered the job at the end of the phone screen (without even meeting the hiring manager in person), and started work the next day. And it was great and the best-paid job I’ve ever had. No, really.

      1. Aideekay*

        It’s amazing, isn’t it?

        It has such potential to go horribly wrong. But if it’s a stable company, it can be the absolute best sign: they know what they want and they know they don’t want to lose it when they find it.

    4. Soharaz*

      I also had an instant job offer (after a phone screen and a second interview style in person interview where I needed to give a presentation). While they made me the offer on the spot, I negotiated salary and asked them to send me an offer letter so I could have a few days to make my decision.
      While I did end up accepting it and it wasn’t terrible, I still think the instant offer was a red flag. The place was very disorganised with weird management structures and I’m now leaving after a little over a year there. (because of a move, but also for greener pastures)
      Good luck OP!

      1. Soharaz*

        Ooh also, they offered my replacement a job on the spot as well! They really are just desperate for people. They even cancelled another interview for the next day because ‘we found the one’ (on their first interview).
        She is supposed to start in 2 weeks so we will see how that works out. (hopefully well!)

    5. Shan*

      Same here! My favorite job was one that I got an offer on the spot. I was in college and was just looking for an entry-level, minimum-wage job, but they ended up paying me commission on top of that. After a year of working there, they gave me a 401K with a 5% match and bumped me up to the highest position you could have without a college degree. It was an awesome job for that time in my life!

  10. Annoying Girl*

    Probably should be in the one of those salary negotiations threads. Via email ” Are you authorized to share with me the salary range for this position?” One word response…”yes”. Every email I received was a one word response. This was from someone that reached out to me. I wasn’t looking and did not apply there but the HR manager messaged me via LinkedIn. I finally gave up.

  11. Liz in a Library*

    If it makes you feel any better, I’ve both accepted a job without finding out the salary and accepted a job forgetting to mention the time I needed off to be in my sister’s wedding. Thankfully, these were two separate jobs…

    In the first case, their reaction to my asking about it was so weird and aggressive that I regret going forward with it. Keep an eye out for red flags. In the latter case, my boss was totally awesome about it, which reflected the overall awesomeness of that job.

    1. SherryD*

      They were weird and aggressive when you asked about salary? Wow. That’s kind of an important detail!

  12. MegEB*

    I think Alison’s advice is perfect. Some people are just impulsive, hiring managers included. Maybe you blew them so far out of the water that they couldn’t even think of hiring anyone except you. As long as they’re reasonable and level-headed about taking vacation and offering benefits, this could just be a great opportunity. And congratulations on your wedding and honeymoon!

  13. Not the Droid You are Looking For*

    I’ve had to ask candidates, “are you sure you don’t want time to think about it?” or “Do you want to see the benefits package before you say yes?”

    I had a candidate freakout after a verbal yes, call me back and ask for “time to think and if there was room to negotiate.” It made me laugh because I’m guessing they called a parent/mentor and who chastised them for agreeing right away. I said yes to both and told them to take the weekend .

  14. Juli G.*

    How far along are you in your career? We often jump very quick on solid, fresh out of school hires or those with just one job – especially if they have a special skill we struggle to attract. There’s often not much to go on from a professional references perspective – even checking references it’s often just feedback from a 12 week internship.

    1. Retail Lifer*

      Good point. I hire a lot of younger people and I agree that it’s often kind of pointless to check their references. Retail doesn’t require any kind of unique skillset except for a certain personality type, and when I see that in an interview, that might be all I need.

  15. Retail Lifer*

    I lost out on probably the only reasonable paying job I had a shot at all year because of a pre-paid family vacation. Most of the pre-paying was on their end, but I had a fair amount of nonrefundable airfare that I paid for. I disclosed it up front and was knocked out of the running soon after, but it wasn’t negotiable for me so I had to make sure it was OK. Definitely mention it ASAP, as it may not be a huge problem for them if they can start working on a game plan now.

    Many places that will offer jobs on the spot are places with high turnover – retail, call centers, those scammy “marketing” companies that are actually door-to-door sales, etc. They need a lot of people, and FAST, so they might hire on the spot. Places with good benefits usually love to mention them, so not bringing that up at all sounds fishy.

    I don’t want to scare you, though. There are a whole lot of managers out there that just aren’t good at interviewing or just want to get the process over with. I can’t offer on-the-spot positions currently because we have to do a background check before extending an offer, but I admit I don’t always check references. That’s not necessarily a red flag.

  16. Ad Astra*

    So much wisdom in this answer.

    “We offer paid vacation, medical and dental, and a 401K” doesn’t tell you enough; you need actual plan details.

    That is something every applicant needs to understand, and I wish employers were a little more forthcoming with details when they describe their “competitive” or “generous” benefits.

    Even though I sort of understood that my current company only offered 5 days of vacation per year, I accepted my offer without trying to negotiate the vacation package, and I really regret that. (On the other hand, I have since learned that my manager seems to take offense to negotiation attempts, so… hmm.) It will be one of my top concerns next time I’m job searching.

    Many (maybe even most?) jobs will work around a new hire’s pre-scheduled Really Big Event That Cannot Be Rescheduled. I had one job work let me go back for my college graduation (my school only does the big she-bang in the spring but I graduated in winter). Another job gave me time off for my wedding even after my immediate supervisor (the only other person in that department) quit and we had virtually no coverage. In my current job, I’ve managed to take off three days in my first six months of work to attend weddings and bachelorette parties that I had previously committed to.

    In all three situations, I was only asking for 1-3 days off, so I know this is a little different. It’s also much easier to get coverage at my current position than at my first two, so the OP’s situation may depend on the nature of the job. Managers who value their employees will do everything possible to accommodate a request like that because nobody wants to be the reason their direct report had to cancel her honeymoon.

    But definitely ask before you show up for your first day.

    1. Nea*

      “I wish employers were a little more forthcoming with details when they describe their “competitive” or “generous” benefits”

      Yes, but then they would not (as in the case of a previous employer of mine) claim to have a vision plan and then hand new employees a single-use coupon for Hour Eyes on their first day. Which they then pointed out wasn’t as good a deal as glasses at Costco anyway, so if you wanted to give the coupon back…

      I learned a lot at that company. Mostly the virtues of asking a great many questions and getting all details in writing.

  17. AnnieNonymous*

    “A company that offers you a job on the spot after only a phone call and a single 40-minute in-person interview might be signaling to you that they’re not great at hiring.”

    This is the kind of thing that…makes me wonder. What are the actual norms for things like this? (Which isn’t the same thing as wondering about the norms among people who read this blog). How typical is it to go through multiple interview rounds? I’ve never had to go through that, and most people I know haven’t either, unless they’re teachers or government employees.

    I realize that people here tend to be in somewhat plush industries (and Alison has addressed this line of thought with me before), but I don’t necessarily think it’s helpful to tell people that a business is questionable if they don’t do multiple employee interviews. It may be the high-powered way to do things, but it simply isn’t widespread. The majority of people do not apply to and end up working for this type of company.

    1. Gwen*

      I don’t think it’s necessarily about the rounds of interviews, but about offering the job on the spot. I’ve only ever had a phone screen + one interview for a position, but after that they presumably talked about the other candidates they’d interviewed, compared our qualifications for the job, and THEN called to offer me the job. Making the decision on the spot seems kind of hasty/like maybe they haven’t thought this all the way through.

    2. Devil's Avocado*

      I don’t think it is specifically the lack of more rounds of interviews that people are reacting to here; I think it is the fact that the hiring manager hired the OP on the spot with limited information and no reference check.

      I used to hire maids (small company, poorly run, HUGE turnover) for minimum wage, and even then I would never hire people on the spot after their (single) interview. I disagree that this is a “high-powered” job issue that isn’t widespread. I think hiring someone on the spot is unusual enough across industries that when it does happen it sticks out as a potential red flag.

    3. Wakeen's Teapots Ltd.*

      I think they are two different things, “on the spot” vs “multiple interviews”.

      One interview with an on the spot job offer is an outlier, isn’t it? At least for a job that isn’t retail or food? It’s odd because usually there are multiple candidates under consideration or multiple decision makers who have to be consulted.

      BTW, we’re not plush, although maybe “somewhat plush” (that would be great in job ads! :) ) and we always do multiple interviews. We’ve occasionally made an offer on the spot after the 2nd.

    4. PEBCAK*

      I was once offered a job on the spot, but someone I had previously worked for worked in a different division. They had a LOT of information going in.

    5. _ism_*

      I’ve had and accepted a number of jobs offers the day after or same day of the interview. I’ve actually never had multiple interviews, it’s not the norm for me at all. But they weren’t good jobs. They were clearly the ones who didn’t check my references very well.

    6. Three Thousand*

      The only jobs I’ve ever been offered on the spot after one interview were for retail and hourly positions. Every position I’ve had since then waited a minimum of a couple of days before getting back to me.

  18. Sanity?*

    No sane employer will think, “My god! She planned a vacation later this year, so she’s clearly not a hard worker.”

    Omg I’m dealing with this right now, my boss is not happy that after seven months I’m taking an extended Labor Day (off Friday thru Tuesday) and giving me insane deadlines for no reason :( even though I’ve been checking weeks in advance to get these projects taken care of… if I were just taking a few days off I’d cancel them but I have international travel booked… I got the time off approved in July.

    I can work Thursday until midnight but not sure what I’m going to do if I don’t get everything done :(

    Any way sorry getting off track, op you don’t want to work somewhere where they never let you take off is what I was trying to get at

    1. Elizabeth West*

      You’ll go on your trip and forget you even have a boss for the entire time you’re gone. Do not check your email and have a wonderful time. Your boss will survive, even though he/she seems to not think so.

  19. H*

    Can I just say that I accepted my current job pretty much on the spot and am very happy! I think companies that do a very long dragged out interview process are very frustrating to me as I already probably went on to the next opportunity. In fact a few weeks after I got my current job I got a few offers from companies I had interviewed months ago. And although checking references is a good idea, I don’t see what is so bad with a company who doesn’t. In fact I sometimes feel reference checking is pointless.

  20. Development professional*

    I’ve started more than one job with a vacation pre-planned within the first couple of months, and I’ve always found that to be the easiest time off to negotiate and schedule, not the hardest. On some level, when you’re new you’re not missed as much when you’re out because you’re still getting up to speed.

  21. Nobody*

    Another reason an on-the-spot job offer could be a red flag is that it might mean they don’t have any other good candidates. Recently, my department had four openings. The manager did phone screens and found that there were only four candidates even worth considering. She brought them all in for on-site interviews. She didn’t make offers on the spot, but the next day, because, well, she didn’t have much to consider since there were no other candidates. One of them turned it down, so she ended up only hiring three.

    If you get a job offer on the spot, you should probably ask yourself why they don’t need to finish interviewing the other candidates. If you’re the only decent candidate, why aren’t other people at your level and in your field applying for the job? Is the salary not competitive with the rest of the industry? Does it have a reputation for being a bad place to work? If they want you so badly that they don’t even need time to think about it, you probably have room to negotiate.

    Of course, there are some situations where this might not be the case (e.g., a company that hires on a rolling basis, a very in-demand field where employers have to act quickly when a good candidate comes on the market, or a company that has some kind of pipeline program), but it’s probably worth looking at why they are so eager to offer a job.

    1. SherryD*

      Other reasons they may not be getting quality candidates: the job ad is poorly written, or isn’t advertised in the right places.

  22. quika*

    Don’t offer to check email on vacation if you can avoid it. You may not be able to connect. I spent hours of my last vacation chasing the elusive cell or wifi signal (even though the place advertised they had wifi…it did not really work and cell reception was nonexistent unless you left the area) .

    I did accept an offer on the spot after 2 interviews …started work about 1/2 hour later and still here more than 15 years so I guess it can work…

  23. Anonymousterical*

    The most relieved/elated I’ve ever felt at a job? Was when I e-mailed my then-soon-to-be-boss about having the Friday of my first week off for a friend’s out-of-town wedding, and the answer was something like, “Making time for friends and family is incredibly important, and I would certainly hope you would go to that wedding.” This is also the boss that will pretty much roll me and my chair out of the office at 5:00p (not literally) and tell me to go home; pushes comp time like none other; and is an incredible joy to work with/for. Ask for the time off, because the answer will tell you exactly who you’ll be working for and exactly what it will be like, and you want to know that now.

    Because I also worked for the attorney who willingly scheduled a trial for one of my cases FOR THE WEEK OF MY HONEYMOON and then told me, “If it goes to trial, you’re not going on that honeymoon. Don’t make travel arrangements.” I was young and dumb enough to say, “Oh, of course, Boss! Anything you say, Boss!” I didn’t have honeymoon plans until three weeks before my wedding, and we ended up staying in a crap hotel in a crap part of a crap town, instead of on the beach in a nice little rental in a nice little coastal town with a nice little space museum, as we had originally been planning. Seriously. I wish I could go back and smack the my dumb 25 year old self, because no job is worth sacrificing your life like that.

  24. Dusty*

    I was was offered the job on the spot with only an online test and a 40 minute 1 on 1 with the CEO (it’s a start up). Best decision I ever made. Great company, pretty good co workers and great pay.

  25. Johr*

    I was sort-of offered my current job on the spot – I’d been in for two in-person interviews and they asked me in for a third, at which point I already knew I’d accept if they’d offered it. They had apparently decided after the second interview that they wanted me and the third was just a formality to get the CFO to approve me. At the end, my manager brought me in an offer letter and I signed it on the spot. That was four years ago and I absolutely love my workplace and don’t regret signing on that line for a second! I agree that in this situation it seems fast but sometimes they just know who they want.

  26. Chocolate Teapot*

    I have just started a new job and I have to discuss taking a pre-arranged holiday, as it will depend on whether my new boss (and rest of the team) are ok with me travelling then. Thankfully if they say no, I can transfer the booking, but there is always the hassel factor of re-organising.

  27. SH*

    I took my current job (which is also my first real job outta college) after a two month temp period. They didn’t give me many details about the benefits until after I started. I was wondering how inexperienced workers should navigate these discussions or if I did the right thing by simply accepting the offer.

  28. Shan*

    Re: “Accepting a job is a big decision, and you should at least think it over overnight and not make up your mind before you’ve even left their office. It’s perfectly reasonable to say, “Thank you so much. I’m very interested. Can I give you my decision by Thursday?” If they balk at that, that’s a big red flag, bigger than the on-the-spot offer.

    Soooo true! I posted about it in another thread recently, but I had an employer give me an offer after a 20-minute interview. When I asked to think about it, the hiring manager commented that she’d thought I’d be more excited about the offer. This made me really mad, because I interviewed for a hotel sales manager position, and she offered me a hotel front desk position barely making more than minimum wage and it was in another city…of course I had to think about it! I didn’t take the job, but I had a friend who ended up working for them and had similar things happen, and she quit within 6 months, saying turnover was high and management as a disaster.

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