Job offer and how to keep the ball in your court

So after a good few months of hard work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears I’ve finally had a great offer come my way for a development engineer job at a very reputable, worldwide consumer products team. However, at the same time as finishing my 2nd interview with company A, I was offered an interview at another, equally well known manufacturer (company B), who are a competitor with company A.

Tomorrow I’m due to speak to company A about the offer, and probably get asked if I will accept. My main concern is how should I play this? Is it worth discussing company B with company A in an attempt to get a better offer? Should I just say I need some time to think about the offer? Is it acceptable to state that I have another interview lined up and I would like to see how that goes before making my decision?

My worry is that if I mention I’m looking elsewhere as well, then company A may well turn around and say they’ll give the job to someone else.

Don’t say anything to company A about company B. Whether they give your offer to someone else or not it makes you look bad. When you are done discussing the offer and they ask you if you will be accepting it you can ask them if they’ll give you a bit more time because you are considering a few other offers. Be sure to let them know that you’re extremely interested but you want to consider all of the options at hand and give everyone a fair shake.

You may not have an offer from company B yet, but telling a little white lie can buy you time if you’re really interested in interviewing with company B.

If you do buy more time and speak with company B, it isn’t at all wrong to let them know you have another offer on the table… don’t tell them from who (you could probably say the industry or job type). This will let company B know that you’re very interested in them despite this other offer and it may help them accelerate your interview process if they are interested in hiring you.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

Here is what I did when I was in the exact same situation

I was completely honest and transparent to company A.

I told them I was very interested in the opportunity and their offer (which had a deadline to accept or decline), but I needed another week or two to finalize and decide between some other offers on my table. I spoke with company A’s design director about 2-3 times per week during this period, for multiple reasons, asking more questions about the company, the city, etc.

I told company A I was leaning toward their offer. When all the dust settled, I had time to interview with company B, extending the offer deadline from company A, and then ended up calling company A and accepting.

This is quite the opposite of what makes sense initially… it almost feels natural to keep it a big secret, and be sly, etc.

My method was also admittedly more difficult. You have to be clear, concise, transparent, honest, have a good relationship established already, trust them, and earn their trust in you.

I’m happy I ended up going about it in this manner, but it is not easy (either way you cut it). I think this way shows character, but you don’t want it to come off like you’re bragging “yeah yeah, I have your offer, but I got this other one TOO!”. Just be honest to them and yourself, and be humble.

Great advice Taylor.

I had the exact same exchange about 2 months ago. I was upfront with Company A as well, and they were more than happy to oblige me. They wanted me there, but they also said “There’s no law saying you can’t work anywhere you want.”

I kept them informed of where things were going, when I expected to be getting back to them and that the other company had made me an offer. I ended up going with company A because they provided the best opportunity. But I enjoyed having 2 offers and having a real choice rather than either taking the first thing that came along and not considering company B, or turning it down and hoping Company B gives me an offer.

I say be honest, and upfront. But, as Taylor recommends, don’t come of as egotistical or brash.

Best of luck with the opportunities.

I’ve done the same thing as Taylor a few times. It is good to be honest and to check out all your options so you make uninformed decision.

You should have time to review any job offer. A response timeframe of 48hrs or up to 1 week is typical, depending on whether relocation and/or family are involved.

If it does come up in conversation with Company A you can say you have upcoming interviews for other positions, but this is typically best used to help accelerate candidate decision. There will likely be sensitivity as Company B is competitor of Company B, so you may not want to (or need to ) identify who with.

You should be able to use pending offer from Company A to accelerate interview process and decision process with Company B. My only caution is that different companies have different review processes, so if Company B is at the start of their candidate evaluation process a decision could be weeks away. Company B can clarify this for you.

So remember bird-in-hand with Company A, and Good Luck!