I have been looking for a job for the past several months and it is getting close to the time when I believe companies could be making offers.

I have had (fortunately) over 5 face-to-face interviews in the past two weeks, some code exams (I'm a developer), and phone interviews, and it has occurred to me that I may be in the situation in which I receive multiple offers in the coming weeks.

What is a way to gracefully handle this? I don't wish to sound greedy but due to my financial situation I would like to hold off on accepting an offer until I know I can take the offer that pays the highest salary.

I'm thinking right now that it would be a good idea to mention to companies when they make an offer that I will carefully consider their offer and respond promptly with a response. Offers are valuable; no job is guaranteed. However, it seems foolish to accept the first offer I get because I'm scared there will be no others.


A few tips:

  • Keep up to date on the interview processes with any company you are interviewing with. It's totally fair to ask "if I seem like a viable candidate, what would rest of the vetting process look like and what would that timeline be?" That gives you a mini-project-plan on any company you are serious with.

  • Keep the interviewing companies vaguely informed of your state in other processes. More like "Just so you know, I am also interviewing elsewhere, and it's very likely I will have to consider some offers next week... what does your process look like?" - this vagueness works to push the process along, and also makes you look desirable.

  • When presented with an offer - get as much info as possible, and set a deadline with the company for when you'll give them an answer. It can be in your favor to ask "how soon do you need my answer?", but also - 1 week is not insane. I often push offers to a Monday, so I have a weekend to think with my head clear. It's also OK to drag it out a little by asking to have time to speak with the hiring manager on a few questions (make up some good questions!!) - after all, it's fair to take particular care with feeling comfortable with your boss and making sure you'll have a productive working relationship.

Overall - owning the process is your responsibility and there is only so much you can do to control the company's timelines. You won't be able to keep an offer waiting forever, but you can nudge each process a long a bit to make the timing more in your favor. Companies will, sometimes, do a certain amount of bidding if they are in competition for a candidate, but also expect that the bidding war will not go infinitely high, as almost no one is so special that the role can't be filled by an alternate candidate.

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