Juggling job offers and timelines - help!
January 8, 2015 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Juggling job offers and timelines - help!

Juggling job offers and timelines - help!

Like a lot of previous AskMe's with multiple interviews and job offers, I'm conflicted about my current situation and could sure use some advice. I don't want to screw it up and end up with nothing - I don't like negotiating or playing potential jobs off of one another, but am scared to pass up a huge opportunity.

Job A: Dream job doing work I love for a great client at a much higher position. I applied about a month ago, and finally heard back just before New Years and had an in-person interview with one person (not HR - team member I'd be working with) that went well. The end was positive - 'when we have you come in and interview with rest of team'. Scheduling is tough for them because of international travel, and know they tend to have a long process. It's been a week since I heard from them; the next day after the interview I sent a short follow up thanking them for the interview and giving them some examples they requested but haven't heard back. (Yes, it's only been a week - normally I wouldn't mind waiting, but there is Job B...)

Job B: Process started 1.5 months ago, had interviews but long delays because of holidays and team member availability for interviews. No offer yet, but something is apparently 'in the works' and could start 'soon'.

My question is how I let Job A know I really want them, and sort of want them to expedite the process? I normally don't try to rush things, but I don't want to miss out on Job A by starting Job B. I've read that you can send a message letting one company know there's an offer from another company - this page on US News says you can say something like 'I wanted check on a timeline. I'm in the process of interviewing at another company and I've received an offer and I will need to respond by x date. It's a good position with a great team, but I'm much more interested in your company and would rather continue in the process with you'.

Is contacting Job A letting them know I have another offer something that has ever worked for anyone? I don't want to seem too forward or egotistical ('look at me, I'm a hot commodity') and don't want to rush them. But I at least want to know if A is a possibility. I don't think it will sound too forward, since I WILL have to let Job B kknow by a certain date and would say that in the email ('normally not trying to rush you and know scheduling is difficult, but I need to let x company know'). I'm worried that me contacting them and asking about the process and timelines is going to push me out of being considered.

I've also thought about sending a short presentation (like 5 slides, with lots of images) with some ideas that pick up on what we discussed during the interview Another document I created about how I match their requirements with my skills was well received. I want to do anything I can to impress them but amdon't want to look too eager and scare them off. I can do the presentation deck and if that second interview happens, then share it with them them, I suppose. It's a balance - you want to look enthusiastic, knowledgeable and memorable, but not too eager, and that's difficult when it's a job that really, really excites you.

Should I contact Job A, and if so, do I send them the small presentation deck?
posted by rmm to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any company that you want to work for (a company that is not overwhelmed with bureaucracy and has sane processes) can accelerate a hiring process to ludicrous speed if there is a chance of losing a valued candidate. I've seen a job offer made the same day as the interview when necessary. However, they are only going to do that once you get an offer from Job A. It's reasonable to note to both companies that you have other interviews. That will have the tendency to speed things up a tiny bit, but most recruiters will not do much because interviews are much easier to get than job offers. The gears really only start moving once an offer is made. This has nothing to do with being forward or egotistical. Hiring is not a one-sided benefit just for you; the company has an interest in hiring useful and competent employees. To directly answer your first question (should you contact Job A), I would say you can right now (although there likely won't be much change), and you definitely should immediately after the offer is made from Job B.

As for the second part of your question, I've pretty much universally found that any contact from an interviewee made between interview and offer is ignored. This is not positive or negative. From an employer perspective, entertaining your slides has very few positive benefits (if they are actually going to hire you, they can get those ideas when you're employed), and possible drawbacks (in particular, if they didn't hire you and took your ideas, you could conceivably sue them; in addition, it could lead to questions of bias between possible candidates if one candidate gets "extra face time" that other candidates don't). I don't think you'll look too eager. I do think you'll be ignored most likely and possibly viewed as a little bit less professional.

Unsolicited comment: Whenever you think you might be doing something that would scare off an employer, you should think, "do I even want to work for an employer that would be scared off by doing this?" Although there are many things potential employees do that don't influence me at all in hiring, there aren't many things potential employees do that would actually scare me off. Those actions include actions like insulting interviewees (yes, it happened), not sending emails.
posted by saeculorum at 8:52 AM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

rmm: "I'm worried that me contacting them and asking about the process and timelines is going to push me out of being considered."

It might. I think the best advice in these situations is: If someone offers you a job you want, take it. If someone else offers you a job you want two weeks later, you can cross that bridge when you come to it. If you need to leave the job after two weeks it's not pleasant, but if they found out two weeks after hiring you that they couldn't afford to pay you after all, they wouldn't stress too much about cutting you.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:53 AM on January 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Don't send Job A a presentation. Take it with you to your next interview and present it in person. If this sort of thing isn't seen as corny in your industry.

Until something else happens with Job B, let things happen as they will. I myself have been waiting for an offer for over a month now. It is what it is. I'm still interviewing and applying for other jobs, because nothing is for sure until you have a written offer.

Once you have a verbal offer, THEN call Job A. You'll realistically have about a week to 10 days between drug testing, background check, reviewing the offer and negotiations. If Job A doesn't seem concerned, accept Job B.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:54 AM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

If someone offers you a job you want, take it.

Although I don't have much more to offer the thread, I feel compelled to mention to the OP that one of the items that would scare me away from a potential employee is if they came to interview with me two weeks after accepting another job.
posted by saeculorum at 9:42 AM on January 8, 2015

If I am reading correctly you have no offers yet from either place, right? Until that is the case, just sit tight. If either place gives you a for-real offer, then you have the decision to make about just taking it or using it to try and negotiate at the other place. It's possible to sit in "we'll get back to you soon" limbo for a long time, though -- remember, hiring usually happens on top of everyone's day jobs, rather than being a primary priority.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2015

I feel compelled to mention to the OP that one of the items that would scare me away from a potential employee is if they came to interview with me two weeks after accepting another job.

This is why you don't tell A about B.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Right now
Let both Job A & Job B know that you are well into the interview process with another company. You can say something like..."I'm enjoying getting to know your company and looking forward to the next step in the interview process. I want to let you know that I am also currently in the 2nd/3rd interview step with another company. I won't make any decisions hastily and will keep you in the loop if I get another offer. I just want to make sure you know what my situation is. Thank you."

When you get an actual offer from Job B
Let Job A know that you've received a formal offer from B and say something like. "I'm very interested in working for Company A and that would be my top choice. I do not want to rush your decision making process, but I will need to give an answer by X date. Please let me know if what other next steps are needed in the interview process and if there is additional information you need from me. Thank you."

Let Job B know that you need to time to check with some other people and consider their offer. Ask for a few days or a week. Make sure you negotiate your salary and don't accept the first offer they give you.

Now if Job A won't speed up the process (and if they really want you, they will) or Job B won't give you time to consider (which wouldn't be great of them), then that's another problem to solve.
posted by brookeb at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone - I'd mark each of these as a 'best answer' if I could (or should?). This has given me a lot to think about, and going to wait until next week to contact them both. Just good to get outside of my own head and get other people's opinions.
posted by rmm at 9:46 AM on January 9, 2015

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