THE BLOG

Keeping an Employer Warm While Awaiting Another Offer

07/06/2010 03:47 pm 15:47:28 | Updated May 25, 2011

Dear Liz,

I have been fortunate enough to be asked back for second round interviews with 2 separate companies. One of these is happening early next week and the other is still in "we will be contacting you very soon to schedule" mode. The company that has yet to schedule would be my first choice if offered positions at both places. Where my conern comes in is that the company I am interviewing with next week has given very clear signs that they are interested and want to move quickly to fill this role. I suspect they may come forward with an offer faster than the second company will schedule their interview with me. To ask this bluntly, if this arises, how do I tactfully stall the one process and speed up the other to give myself more time
to make an informed decision?

Thank you in advance,

Carmen

Dear Carmen,

This is the ideal situation! Congratulations to you on setting things up so
artfully.

If the first employer extends a job offer by phone or email,
you'll say "Thanks for the offer! I'm excited to be at this point. I'll need to
get the offer in writing, because there are so many moving parts for me to
consider. Once I have that, I can let you know my decision within a few business
days."

Be wary if your two very reasonable requests (for a written offer and
three or four days to review it) aren't granted right away. You could also ask
to see the employee handbook - that's a prudent step for every job-seeker to
take.

At the first interview for the second job, you'll wait to see whether they show
signs of being interested in you, and if they do, you'll say "The job sounds
like a great fit. I'm very excited to continue the conversation. There is one
complication - I'm holding a job offer for another position. I was eager to come
today and learn more about this assignment, and now that I'm here I can say for
sure that this opportunity is my first choice. In order to come on board here,
if you were interested in me for the job, we'd need to get to brass tacks very
quickly - within a day or two."

That tells Employer Number Two where you stand.
They have the opportunity to fish or cut bait at that moment.

If you want to slow down the action with Employer Number One before or after the
offer is extended, you can ask for one more face-to-face (or ear-to-mouth, by
telephone) conversation with your hiring manager. If that takes a day or two to
schedule, you'll be giving Employer Number Two time to get their offer-letter
ducks in a row.

Of course, if the hiring manager doesn't see the need to chat
with you as you're contemplating joining his or her team, run away as fast as
your Skechers will carry you. (Adidas, Vans, Converses, Tretorns, you get the
idea.)

Best,

Liz

Our online courses "Put a Human Voice in Your Resume" and "Build Your Personal Brand" are underway!