By Kathleen Furore
You or someone you know likely has been in this situation at one time or another during a job search: You get a job offer almost immediately after an interview, but have interviews lined up with other companies. How long can you wait before giving an answer? And should you mention you’re also interviewing for other positions?
That depends on how interested you are in the offer on the table, career experts say.
“First and foremost, weigh the value and importance of the offer,” advises Adrienne Tom, an executive resume writer and interview coach with Career Impressions. “If the offer is for a role you really want and it seems like a good fit, with appropriate compensation, then you may not need to attend additional interviews.”
That doesn’t mean accepting the offer right away, even if it’s your top choice, according to Keirsten Greggs, the founder of TRAP Recruiter, LLC, who recommends job seekers take the following steps:
- Express your excitement and desire to make an informed decision but don’t accept on the spot.
- Ask for the offer in writing.
- Review the offer thoroughly, taking into account not just the salary but total compensation including benefits and perks, location and growth potential.
As for those other interviews you’ve scheduled, consider how appealing they are.
“If you don’t have a strong interest in the roles for which you’ve yet to interview, cancel them,” Greggs says.
“Reach out to companies you are scheduled to meet with to express appreciation for the opportunity, letting them know you’ve accepted a position and need to cancel any upcoming interviews,” she says. “Be gracious and courteous in all communications, as you never know if you will find yourself applying to these organizations again in the future.”
However, if you’re interested in learning more about those other opportunities, there are acceptable ways to buy some time.
“Ask the offering company for time; yes, simply ask,” says Tom. “There is no need to mention your other interviews. Keep the conversation focused on the company/role at hand, expressing interest and enthusiasm for the role while making a polite request for additional time to carefully consider the offer.
“Requesting up to an additional week to review is usually within reason, but be prepared that the company may not accommodate,” she says. “If the company returns with a firm deadline, you will need to respect their requirements and make a decision.”
And should you let those companies know you’re entertaining another offer?
“When it comes to the upcoming interviews that are real contenders, you should absolutely mention that you’re interviewing/have interviewed for other positions and that you’ve received a verbal offer and/or are waiting for an offer in writing,” Greggs says. “Many recruiters will inquire outright during the pre-interview phase of the recruiting process about which stage you’re in of your job search. Providing them and/or the interviewer with the information that you’re fully engaged, interviewing and/or entertaining offers can motivate them not to drag their feet on making a hiring decision if you’re their top choice.”
Kathleen Furore is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has covered personal finance and other business-related topics for a variety of trade and consumer publications. You can email her your career questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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