Go with current local job offer, or wait for possible second in other state?
June 14, 2012 7:00 PM   Subscribe

I just got a good local job offer here in the midwestern US, but there's also the possibility of an offer from a company out on the west coast. While I have been pining to move out west for a while, I feel it more likely than not I'd end up accepting the first company's offer. Should I drop out of the second company's search?

For a while, I've been considering moving from the midwest US to the west coast region, partly because of the weather and geography, partly because I have a lot of extended family out there, and partly because I kind of want to be more involved in the 'mainstream' of my industry, which is software development. The other force motivating me is wanting to have better compensation; the company where I work now is a fairly interesting and unique place to work, but consistently underpays everyone substantially, even by fairly modest local standards.

The local office of a well-known tech company A has made me a very good offer, which they're waiting on me to accept or decline. I'd take it right now, but I'm also discussing a position with company B, which would involve relocating to Seattle. I passed the phone screen a couple days ago, but I haven't been on-site yet, and they haven't scheduled an on-site interview yet, even though I've told them I have a pending offer from A.

I'd suppose that after seeing company B on-site, and assuming they would extend an offer, there's still a ~80% chance I'd take the local offer. Mostly because recently, I've made a lot of friends here, and as an introvert it would take a while to rebuild connections elsewhere. And because relocating is a pain. And because, at least based on whats posted on glassdoor.com, company B wouldn't make an offer that could beat company A's significantly, adjusted for cost of living. And I figure I could gain skills and connections at company A for a few years, build up savings, and then go for something even more awesome on the west coast than B.

Should I decline company B's offer before they go to the trouble of having me on-site? Would they hold it against me if I dropped out at this point, and how could I tell them without coming across as a flake? While I am genuinely very interested in their potential offer, it would make things more convenient for me to drop out, particularly because my lease here ends July 31st, and if I'm staying, its starting to get a bit late to find a good place to live.
posted by Hither to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Don't "drop out." If B calls, they will ask you if you are still interested in interviewing. At that point you say, "I've accepted an offer with A" (if that's what you've done) and they say "Oh ok, congratulations," and call the next candidate.

If you want to work for B in the future, all they will know about you is that you passed their phone screen but another company got you first. Eg, you're desirable. If you "drop out" it might affect your chances should you ever wish to work with them in the future.
posted by newg at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess by 'drop out', I mean send the recruiter an e-mail thanking them for all they've done, but declining their offer in favor of the one I've got. (Most of my contact with the recruiter has been by email, and I won't have phone reception for most of tomorrow, which is when I'd expect them to call me if they're on top of things.)
posted by Hither at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2012

Same answer as what newg gave. Keep your options open. It doesn't hurt to get offers you refuse.

Even if you take a job and then another better comes along you can bail and be out nothing other than maybe a bit of goodwill.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:00 PM on June 14, 2012

Yeah, they will not be cranky at you at all for letting them know that you've accepted another offer. The best way is probably to write them an email saying "thank you so much for your time and attention so far; while I am interested in what I've seen of company B, I would like to be withdrawn from consideration at this time, as I have accepted another offer."
posted by KathrynT at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Accept the local offer and wait to hear from Seattle. If they call back and want to pursue it, make that decision at that time.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:15 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

No need to turn down an interview you haven't had yet. IF they offer you an interview, thank them, but politely decline, indicating you accepted A. But as someone who's done a fair share of hiring I'd think it would be a little weird if someone called me to tell me they didn't want to be included in the next round of interviews before I'd even decided I wanted to interview them, much less hire them.
posted by OrangeDrink at 8:23 PM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

Do not do anything until you have a signed offer from company A. Once you have all your paperwork in order, you can decline if/when they offer you an interview, saying you have accepted a different offer.
posted by jeather at 8:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Should I decline company B's offer ...

What offer is that? You don't have an offer. Nothing to decline.

If you really are inclined to accept the offer from Company A, do so immediately and with as much excitement as you can muster. You will never enjoy a deeper reservoir of goodwill with that employer than if you deliver a resounding "YES".
posted by John Borrowman at 8:48 AM on June 15, 2012

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