Until a job offer is signed and the background check comes back clear, you are at risk of having your job offer rescinded. Although this isn’t common, we do see sales professionals lose an opportunity through their own actions. Based on 20 years in sales recruiting I give you my list of 3 dumb ways to get a job offer rescinded.

1. Poorly Handled Negotiations.  

I’m not sure why but it’s not uncommon to see a candidate act out of character during salary negotiations. Admittedly, negotiating your own income can be an uncomfortable process. It’s important to consider your potential boss’ position and come to the table with a tactful and well thought out approach. Having watched negotiations from the sidelines I see this step as the biggest risk point where an opportunity can go sideways. You can read my blog on How to Negotiate a Job Offer for more insights on how to handle the process well.

2. Failure to Commit.

On several occasions, we’ve had Sales Managers rescind or fail to present a job offer when a candidate’s response was lukewarm during the offer presentation meeting. It is understandable and acceptable to want to see the offer in writing or take the evening to sleep on it. What’s not acceptable is showing anything less than genuine enthusiasm at receiving an offer. If you do have reservations about an opportunity, address them before you get to this stage.

3. Exaggerate or Lie.

Most job offers are extended “pending a background check”. On occasion we see a job offer rescinded after the background check for a very preventable reason. The candidate claimed that they had graduated college when they hadn’t. What’s head scratching is that the employer didn’t require one. The employer pulled the offer due to the lie and I don’t blame them.

We do have positive examples of candidates getting ahead of background issues that could have easily derailed a job offer. These candidates were forthright about their issues and showed a high degree of integrity and humility when discussing them. This approach is particularly effective when the issues are well behind you and you can speak to the lesson learned.

One Tip to Prevent Having a Job Offer Rescinded.

Juggling your current position while interviewing can be a taxing process. The root of many of the mis-steps above is stress and/or a lack of focus. Everyone knows the importance of preparing for interviews and dressing sharp. It’s just as important to prepare for and take care of your mental state. Block off time to think and develop a strategy. This will help you anticipate potential issues and put you in a position of strength during salary negotiations. Should you land the job, remember that the most important part of your career with a company is the 1st and last 30 days. How you leave is how they remember you. You can read more about the right way to resign in my post The Classy Resignation.