I'm expecting to hear from my school of choice soon and I'm hoping against hope that it will be news of an offer. If it does turn out to be an offer what have people found to be the essential questions to ask/not to ask during this phone call? Thanks!
Date: 20 Jan 2012 18:58
Number of posts: 20
RSS: New posts
From my experience, you won't be expected to ask too many questions at all during this phone call. Hopefully the person making the offer will give you a breakdown of the terms and will email you these terms soon afterwards. Make sure you get everything in an email - I was so giddy to have received an offer that I didn't actually listen too closely during the phone call!
You should (modestly) express your interest and then say that you will get back to him/her with questions and/or your response by the expected deadline. Of course, if the caller doesn't give you a deadline, you should ask by when they would like to hear from you.
I think it's to your advantage to say as little as possible during the initial call, but it is considered appropriate to at least let the school know that you are keen on discussing the offer further. (Especially since this is your school of choice, the caller shouldn't walk away with the impression that you are snubbing the school. Then again, you also don't want to sound too excited.) Take some time to collect your thoughts and consult with your advisers before contacting the school again. Make a list of questions that you need answered before launching into negotiations.
great advice. I would add to it that if it's your top choice, definitely play DOWN your enthusiasm so that you can play a little hard to get with the negotiations. If it is NOT your top choice and you are hoping to get more time from them while you wait on a higher choice, play UP your enthusiasm during this call. The first thing to negotiate is how long you have until the offer explodes. For some schools, they might give you a week or less…! But if you act enthusiastic they might be more relaxed about extending that time (i.e. if you have personal/family reasons, etc.)
Thanks very much for the advice. I know that if they call I'll be pinching myself so as not to shout "Yes! Of course yes, yes!"
Can I ask for funding for a spousal visit during this call or is this another detail to hold for negotiation?
I think there is some great advice posted above, and I wonder about this too as I hope to have the problem in the near future.
Regarding asking for funding for a spousal visit - I don't think the phone call is the time to do that. In fact, I know little about this, but my guess is that you shouldn't do that. If they are offering you a job and perhaps even job placement assistance for a spouse, it seems tacky to me to ask them to cough up $ for your spouse to fly out and see the campus. Just my $.02, and I have never been in such a negotiation, so I apologize if my reaction goes against a standard practice.
I complete agree with curious. Negotiating money for your spouse to fly out is super tacky. Even if they give you the money (which is unlikely), you will probably become "that person" in the department before you even arrive. Negotiate for things that will make you better at doing your job and getting promotion - not a vacation for your spouse to house hunt.
Thanks again. I definitely don't want to appear tacky, and so I probably won't be asking for a spousal visit, but I have to say it doesn't seem like such a crazy thing to ask. My spouse wants to participate in decisions about the city where we will move with our family, not take a vacation or see the campus. So sure, why not cough up the money and go? Could I be the only one living off of a limited budget? Flights, hotels etc. are expensive. A new hire is living off of a grad student or post doc salary (add kids/daycare costs and potentially only another grad student/post doc salary for spouse in the mix) and that doesn't leave a lot of extra cash. And, to be sure, knowing that my family has no regrets about where we live will also make me better at doing my job.
Of course budgeting is a major issue, particularly with a spouse and kids in the mix. But make such a request at your own risk.
Just about every new hire is in the same boat as far as grad student/postdoc salaries. I have never once heard of someone making such a request. If the offer is on the table, go ahead and ask. I doubt it will make them take the offer away. Personally, having a spouse and plenty of financial concerns myself, I would not make this request.
Every time I receive a call with a job offer, I try to steer the conversation towards Josef Stalin. One popular quote that you may try out (and reference appropriately) is "I trust no one, not even myself.".
Good luck with the call! Hope you get your offer.
don't ask for money for spouse to travel. it's weird unless she/he is interviewing for a position at the university. Finding out if the spouse likes the city isn't the responsibility of the workplace.
Make sure to have your excel/word document with your list of research requests and justification prepared and ready to go. Explain why you need each thing in order to be productive.