Navigating job offer timelines?
April 26, 2011 7:11 AM   Subscribe

I interviewed for a seasonal job and an internship. I was offered the job, and haven't heard about the internship. I would prefer the internship. They told me they would get back to me this week.... is it okay to contact them and ask if they've made a decision?

I interviewed for an internship that I really want a few weeks ago they told me they would make a decision by the end of last week and let people know by the end of this week.

I also interviewed for a seasonal job-- they called me on Friday a couple days after interviewing, offered me the job, and told me I could either accept then or take some time to think about it. I asked how much time because I was waiting to hear back about something else (are you supposed to admit something like that?) and she said to let her know by the end of the week (so this Friday).

Is it okay to contact the internship? According to the timeline they gave me, they've already made the decision but may take another few days to contact me, and I'd like to get back to the job asap.

If I contact them, should I do it today? tomorrow? by phone? by email? what exactly should I say?

The job is with a tiny grassroots nonprofit, and I want to give them as little trouble as possible. The internship is with a medium-sized museum, and I would much much prefer the internship, although I think the job would also be good.
posted by geegollygosh to Work & Money (4 answers total)
I think the general consensus for these things is to call the more desirable prospect, and tell them that you "Have another offer but would prefer this opportunity". See what they say.
posted by Think_Long at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

In this situation, there is nothing the least bit wrong with being totally straightforward and up-front with everybody. Call the museum, tell them you've been offered a job that you need to decide on by Friday but that you would prefer the internship with them, and ask if you've been accepted. And as soon as you have the museum's decision, call the non-profit and let them know which way you're going to jump.
posted by flabdablet at 7:23 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, call them and tell them you situation, that you would prefer their internship and that you will need to hear from them soon. Giving them a deadline for your decision is not unreasonable at all.

A good employer will understand the pressures students face. They should not think badly of you, or even think it unusual, if you make this request.
posted by bonehead at 8:24 AM on April 26, 2011

What everyone else said, by email. If you don't hear back, call / leave a voice mail around 10 AM Thursday. (Not everyone works Friday, but you want them to have all day on Thursday to get back to you.) Be slightly apologetic about contacting them repeatedly, "I know you're probably really busy," but if they're busy, it might take two attempts to get them to really notice. Emails can easily get missed when people get a hundred or more per day.
posted by salvia at 9:17 AM on April 26, 2011

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