How to Handle Multiple Job Offers and Interviews
First, let’s get this out there; this is a great “problem” to have! If you are hearing back from a number of companies you’ve applied to and interviews with, it means you must excel at your job AND your role is in high demand. However, this comes with a price. You must handle this situation very delicately in order to maintain a professional reputation – and your integrity as well!
Here are some tips to keep this positive situation in your favor:
- When coming upon more than one job offer, delay a final decision for as long as possible—but not for so long that your potential employers become impatient. Most companies allow a few days to a few weeks. Tell the company that you need some time to think about it, or ask for another meeting for further discussion about the position or to meet key employees. While not only educating your decision, this also buys you time.
- Explain to the company that you really want to work for that you have an offer from another company that you need to give them an answer quickly, but that they are your first choice. It’s possible they will move faster, knowing you are in demand.
- NEVER accept one offer with the intention of backing out of it later. That is plainly unethical. Your professional integrity might be at stake here, and because of that, taking the offer you’ve already accepted is the best thing to do. If you really want to take the second offer, make sure that the benefits outweigh the possible disadvantages in a big way. The job offer you take should be the one that best fits your career goals and job priorities. Once you’ve made a decision, it’s best to tell the employer as soon as possible.
- If you’re refusing an offer you’ve already accepted in favor of another job, politely explain that the second offer is a better fit for your skills. Be honest, and offer an apology. If you’re lucky, they will understand. But that doesn’t mean they will forget. They've already invested a lot of time and money into your hiring process. Also, keep in mind that any future career possibilities at this company are over. AVOID it happening at all - decide what you want in a job, and keep that focus in mind.
If you have multiple interviews within a short period of time, it’s all about organization. Sometimes they can even be on the same day! Here are some points to guide you through this process and keep your thoughts clear:
- Create a simple spreadsheet that lists dates, times, interviewer background and basic company information. This can keep your interviewing experiences in check and separate from one another. Review it regularly, especially when you are just about to walk in to that interview. It will refresh your mind and give you your talking points.
- Stay organized. When preparing for one interview, focus only on that interview. Otherwise, you may jumble up your speaking points! Focus solely on what you want to say to that employer. The next interview will be dealt with once you walk out of this door. Companies regularly ask if you are interviewing at other places. Be honest. If you are, it in fact shows that you are in demand.
If you are making it to interview with HR or hiring managers, but aren’t receiving an offer, there might be subtle ways you are sabotaging these opportunities. Stay tuned for part 2 in my next post.