Two jobs, one offer: but how do I get a job?

Monday, August 18th, 2008 - Job Interview, job offers, salary negotiation


Jim, a salesman asks: I received a good offer for a company (job A) I interviewed with 6 weeks ago, but I have a 2nd interview with a company (job B) I’d really want to work for next week. Any advice on how to handle this situation? It seems foolish to turn down A, when I don’t have job B yet, but B is a job I’d love with a great company. The two companies are unrelated and located far apart. Can I tactfully ask job A for more time to consider their offer while waiting on B? I got the offer from job A today, and they want to know soon. HELP!

In answer:
Congratulations Jim: well done!

Your PRIMARY objective is to preserve the offer you already have, so you need to diplomatically negotiate for more time with job A. Most organizations expect you to take a few days to consider an offer, and there’s likely something that could be better in the package/contract so find a point to haggle over a bit: never accept the 1st offer because it’s usually not their best – just a rule in negotiation.

I suggest that you call company B and explain your situation. Explain that you’re not trying to pressure them, but you need to know how quickly they will be able to make a decision if you wait and interview with them. Stress that you’re very interested in their position. … You need to be pretty diplomatic. Don’t make them feel that you’re trying to pressure them to make a decision before they’re ready to.

Then, call company A. Tell them that you’re very appreciative of their offer and remain very interested in the position but that – as you explained at the interview – you have been interviewing for other positions. Tell them that you owe it to yourself and your family to see how it plays out, and that you’ll let them know but need a one week extension over the date the offer letter states.

It’s not unusual for employers to be told this by candidates. While it’s possible, it’s unlikely that they will have a second candidate waiting in the wings that they’ll extend an offer to if you turn them down. Also, if they really want you, then they’ll be a little patient, in the hopes that you’ll eventually accept their position. … There’s a slight risk that they could tell you they have to know right away or the offer is withdrawn, but if they go that route, then that tells you something about the kind of people they are, doesn’t it?

Good Luck!

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