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I did on-site interviews for an internship. I have a strong resume, but it's a competitive position.

They told me they would know of their decision by this week. Then they told me they would know by next week but they might know sooner, in which case they will let me know. I suspect that I've been deemed a second-choice applicant, where if someone rejects their offer I'll be given it instead.

I really need a decision soon. If I don't get this internship I'll be applying to a couple of other companies with approaching deadlines that require long essays about why I want to work there and academic references, which are a big time drain and will require me to bother my professors.

How can I ask this company for a decision sooner, and not alienate them or have them reject me? I want to work for this company, but I need to make plans for what to do if I don't get the position.

  • You're not going to make someone that likely has a full load of work go any faster. You should have been applying to the other internships this entire time. You should never wait around for one place to send you an offer. When I was a Salesforce consultant I had a company pushed back the date they'd let me know by a week. They lost out on a good applicant because I was still putting apps in and another company wanted me right away. Got a phone screen at 9am. First interview at 10. 2nd interview at 1030. And had an offer letter by lunch. The next day first company sent me an offer – BirdLawExpert Jan 25 '18 at 1:58
  • I really wanted to work at the first company but they took too long and didn't show the kind of enthusiasm one would show getting someone that had my specific expertise (I was a Tier 2 support agent for the Salesforce for Outlook program so there aren't many people in the world that know as much as I do about it) I'd rather go somewhere excited to have me than someone that messes about – BirdLawExpert Jan 25 '18 at 1:59
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If I don't get this internship I'll be applying to a couple of other companies

I suggest you apply to those other companies now, and don't wait until this internship replies back to start doing that.

How can I ask this company for a decision sooner, and not alienate them or have them reject me?

Realistically, you can politely write back to them periodically reminding them about the offer, with the downfall of possibly becoming annoying if done too often. But there are few things you can do to actually speed the process. This is why I recommend you start looking for other options now so you don't waste that precious time waiting for their response.

In case you actually get this preferred internship, you can politely turn down any other offer you may get, thanking them for their offer and consideration, and perhaps discussing the chance of leaving the door open for future opportunities.

If you don't, well then you can continue with the other recruitment processes, but don't halt the job-seeking process just for one response, as you may miss other great opportunities.

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You should still be applying for other positions until you have an offer in writing, but if you want to get a definitive response from them you could always tell them that you have been made another offer and you have to respond to that in the next few days. Make sure to tell them that you would much rather accept the position with them.

I have done this myself several times after interviewing and you can tell from their response how much they want you (you can tweak this slightly to find out if they are willing to negotiate on salary as well)

  • Pretending you have other offers when you don't is never a smart move IMO. Not only is it dishonest but it could blow up in his face - if they (quite rightly) feel like they are being pressured into a quick decision they may well chose to decline the candidate rather than be rushed. – motosubatsu Jan 25 '18 at 9:13

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