Receiving multiple offers can throw most job seekers into a tailspin. Don’t let this happen to you. You can avoid much of the stress with a little planning.
In the current job market it is not unusual to be courted by more than one company at a time. Let’s suppose for example you receive an offer from Company X, which is not your first choice. Company X wants an immediate response to their offer. Company Y, the place you would rather work for and where you have had first round interviews, hasn’t made you an offer yet. What should you do?
Sit down and prioritize what is most important to you.
Ideally, you would do this before receiving any offers. Nevertheless, at some point you need to take a deep breath, sit down, turn off all distractions and thoughtfully evaluate what is most important to you in your next job and career.
First, ask why Company Y is your first choice? This should bring up a list of your top priorities… things like salary, opportunity for professional development, fit with people and your future boss, company culture, location, travel, etc.
Next, weigh your list of criteria. This will make it easier for you to rank your offers and determine where you will be happiest. Your list of ‘must haves’ will become your litmus test for all offers you receive.
If Company Y is still on top after this exercise, it’s time to let them know of your interest. At this point you don’t know if you are the top candidate at Company Y. And that is a risk you will need to take. The worst that will happen is you learn you are not number one. The good news is, you now know what is most important to you going forward as you evaluate future offers.
Walk the offer tight rope and go for it.
Call Company Y and let them know you just received an offer.
You can say, “ I am very interested in your opportunity after our interviews last week. I wanted to let you know that I have received an offer from another company. I was hoping to find out how I stand with your firm and if I might expect an offer as you are my first choice.”
I guarantee you they will appreciate knowing your situation. And, if you are their top candidate they will do everything they can to escalate the interview process. You really have nothing to lose.
Cover all your bases.
Don’t forget Company X. They may not be your first choice but you still have an offer and it’s best to let them know you need more time to make your decision. It is not uncommon to ask for an extension. Tell them you are very interested in their offer and you have one more opportunity to consider before making your final decision.
Companies rarely demand an immediate response. If they do and they really want you, they will allow you the extra time. After all, they know it is an important decision and it will be in their best interest, knowing you explored all of your options before accepting their offer. If they refuse and force you to make a decision on the spot, this is probably not a company you want to go to work for.
Don’t forget to say thank you.
Congratulations! You got the job with Company Y. Now you must close the loop with Company X who went out of their way to accommodate you even though you chose not to accept their offer. Graciously call them up and thank them for the opportunity to interview with them. It’s a small world and you never know when your paths may cross again. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.