Manage a job offer if you’re applying elsewhere


When you apply for a job, it’s hard to know what to do when you have an offer in hand, but hope that another company will make you an offer too. You want to keep the offer you have on the table, but you also want to see how the recruitment process is going at the other company. The author presents several ways to deal with this uncomfortable situation. Try to save some time for yourself, turn down all the companies you are not interested in and see if your favorite company can speed up their hiring process. Whatever your decision, always be respectful of the recruiters you interact with. Ultimately, you want to find the right fit for you and companies want to find the right fit for them. Being as authentic and professional as possible through proactive communication is critical to your success, not only feeling good about the job you take, but also the companies you leave behind.

After months of interviews for new jobs, you finally have an offer in your hands. You’re excited, but it’s not your first choice. You are still applying for your dream job and some others you don’t know enough about. You don’t want to lose the current offer, but at the same time you want to see how the recruitment processes of other companies are going. What should you do? Here are five ways to manage an offer when you don’t know if and when another will come.

Ask for time to decide

The most important thing to do is express excitement. Without setting a positive tone, you run the risk of the offer being withdrawn. Letting a recruiter know that you’re excited about the job and the company and grateful for the offer shows that you’re invested in a potential entry into their company.

Then you can request a maximum of one week to consider the offer. Measure the response of the recruiter. Some companies won’t want to wait that long because the market is so competitive, and the company will want to know whether to switch to a backup candidate or start the search all over again. If the recruiter’s response is cold, ask them what a reasonable time to respond — without giving more details. You don’t want to tell them you’re still applying because it gives the impression that your excitement about the role is not authentic.

Meet more people or take a tour

If you cannot determine how much time you have to consider the offer, you can try extending the timeline by asking to meet someone you have not yet met or to take a tour of the office (if applicable). application) before making an appointment. a decision. Taking a tour, even through an empty office, will give you a sense of the culture and collaborative spaces. Try to schedule the meeting or tour for a week so you have a chance to wrap up interviews with other companies.

Reject companies you are not interested in

During that time, if you’ve been interviewing at companies you’re not that interested in, call or email the recruiters to let them know you have an offer and intend to accept it. While most candidates have been ghosted by a recruiter at some point in their job search, don’t mimic bad behavior. You’ve built a relationship with them, and you may need it in a few years. Treat recruiters with respect as you would like to be treated, even if you have had previous bad experiences.

Determine if you are a viable candidate elsewhere

Contact the recruiter or hiring manager of your first choice company to reiterate your enthusiasm for their job and let them know that they are your first choice, but you have an offer from your second choice company. Indicate that you don’t want to lose the offer if you’re not a suitable candidate for the first-choice job, ask if you’re really in the running, and listen carefully to the energy in the response. If they say you’re not a viable candidate, you can move on. When they say they’re just starting the hiring process, it means that no matter how great you are, they’re willing to lose you as a candidate.

If they say you’re a viable candidate, there’s a lot of enthusiasm, and you’re well into the application process, ask if there’s anything else you can answer so they can make an offer. If it’s early in the interview process, you can ask them to speed up the rest of the process to determine if you’re the best candidate for the job. If they can speed things up, great! If they can’t, then you need to decide if you want to take the risk of turning down the offer you already have.

Take the job and ask for a delayed start

The average new hire starts between two and four weeks after accepting a new job offer. If you can sustain it financially, accept and ask for a start date in a month. This will give you time to complete the interview process with other companies to determine if they are a better fit for you. There are pros and cons to doing this:


If you accept, a job will be waiting for you, so you won’t feel as much pressure to make another offer. Asking for four weeks will also give you time to either successfully receive an offer from your first choice company or exhaust your other options, allowing you to fully invest in the job you have taken on.


If you wait a month and are currently unemployed, you could be without a salary for longer, which could lead to financial problems. Even if that’s not a problem, changing your mind after accepting an offer can have a negative effect on your character, especially if you don’t handle awkward conversations well.

If you want to accept an offer from another company after you’ve already accepted one elsewhere, it’s best to call the recruiter of the company you’re planning to come to as soon as possible and let them know that you’ve changed your mind. You may think an email is fine, but a phone call with an apology is better, no matter how inconvenient it may be. I remember a new employee who didn’t show up on his first day of work and went unanswered for phone calls and texts. Knowing he would have to drive a long distance for his first day, the recruiter sent the police to his house for a wellness check-up – and the new hire opened the door. He sent a nasty email to the recruiter, saying they “went too far to send the police to my house”. He had just changed his mind and didn’t feel the need to tell anyone.

It will take the rejected company another 60+ days to hire a new employee, so don’t haunt the company and don’t delay informing them. Even if you handle this interview perfectly, you may never work at the rejected company again, or at other companies that the recruiter and hiring manager will go to later.

Ultimately, you want to find the right fit for you and companies want to find the right fit for them. If you think the company that offered you a job isn’t the perfect match based on your career aspirations, culture, or any other reason, it’s best to decline the offer and keep looking if you can suppress your fear and survive financially . Being as authentic and professional as possible through proactive communication is critical to your success, not only feeling good about the job you take, but also the companies you leave behind.

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