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I have two follow-up interviews scheduled for next week, and had originally planned on accepting one of the two positions if they were offered (which I think both would make an offer).

I went to a 3rd interview yesterday with the intention of just getting interview experience, and came away with a job offer from them instead, and an unexpected excitement for working for that company.

I'm going to accept the offer from the 3rd company (even if the first two come up in salary to match the 3rd company's offer, the experience I'd gain and work environment from the them doesn't compare to the 3rd opportunity), and I am trying to figure out if I should cancel my follow-up interviews or not.

I don't want to be inconsiderate in wasting either company's time, but it also seems rude to just abruptly cancel on them when the meetings have been scheduled for almost a week now, and I feel that both companies are making special plans just to meet with me.

The first company is going through an extremely busy time in their development cycle. They had a hard time finding a break for their software lead to interview me the first time, and the follow-up interview would be meeting with the entire development team. The first interview was Monday and their follow-up was scheduled for next Tuesday. Today is Saturday.

The second company I would be meeting with the CEO and COO the day after they return from vacation, late next week. The first interview was last Friday, and their follow-up was scheduled for next Thursday (it's so much later because of the CEO/COO vacation).

It seems inconsiderate to waste both company's time when I have already decided to accept a different job offer, however both follow-ups were scheduled almost a week ago, and I'm not sure if canceling would be worse, or bad for networking. The practical side of me realizes that the 3rd job is a contract role, with only a potential for full-time employment, and there is a very real possibility that I would be looking for a job again in a year.

Is it preferable to cancel follow-up interviews when you've decided to take a different job, and why or why not? Are there factors that would affect the response?

The question What should you say when you don't want to go back for a 2nd interview with an Employer? seems very similar, however in this case the 2nd interviews have been scheduled for almost a week by now, and I had originally intended to take one of those jobs. Would the answer be the same?

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    Yes, I would say the answer would be the same -- just cancel and explain why. It happens to me all the time (and I've done it myself). – jcmeloni Jun 22 '13 at 14:45
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    @Rachel - I disagree with some of the other advice. Until you have actualled signed a formal job offer, the third company, could decided they don't actually want you. Of course your instincts are correct it would be rude to go to an interview at a comapny you have no desire to work for – Donald Jun 24 '13 at 19:44
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    Rachel -- out of curiosity, what did you end up doing? How did it turn out? – Jon Aug 27 '14 at 21:55
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    @Jon I cancelled the two 2nd interviews, even though they said they wanted to talk with me anyways after I told them I had accepted a different job offer. In retrospect, I wish I had gone to them - never know what might happen in the future. I'm still at the first job though, and really enjoying the benefits there :) – Rachel Aug 29 '14 at 20:01
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I was exactly in your position a month ago. Initially I also wanted to attend the followup interviews of the companies (my least interest). However, I learnt that if you are sure that you like your current offer and 100% decided to join the company then it is nothing but wasting their time to attend the followup interviews.

That being said, some companies respect their offers for 1 to 2 years. My advise is to talk with the HRs of those companies and explain that you have received an offer from your dream company, however, you would like to attend the followup interviews and learn about those companies further. In my case, their HRs encouraged me to attend the interviews even though they know that I wouldn't join their companies "immediately". You don't know you might change your mind once you join your dream company.

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I'm going to take a different approach to the other answers here and say No.

Sure you have an offer from another company and you're planning on accepting it. But until you have that job signed off you are still not guaranteed that position.

I'm going to focus on two potential things that could happen.

1. Something goes awry

There is still no guarantee you have that job yet. You have an offer. Something can still prevent that from going through. Be it a sudden cut in budget that closes the position. A bad review or audit that closes the company. Bad sales causing that location to be shut down.

Any number of things could stop that position from still being there. Perhaps the people who interviewed you reported back up to their superior who disagrees with their choice.

Alternately you could go in ready to sign over and see / hear / learn something that turns you right away from wanting that job. I'm sure you would rather still have those other options if you go in to sign and learn that it wasn't all that it first appeared to be.

2. The others become better

On the flip side of the above there is the possibility that those second interviews will allow you to learn more about those companies, perhaps benefits or perks or job / training opportunities that you didn't know about before. Something that will make you rethink your choice of company completely.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, i think that until you actually have a job, signed onto a contract and begin working then you are still on the market, and should still be wary of other opportunities.

  • These are some great things to consider, however in my case I have made up my mind which offer I am going to accept largely based on the type of work and learning potential of the position, which is not really something the other companies are likely to change just for me. In addition, the official offer has already been made, and they are just waiting for my response (they have others lined up for the position if I turn it down). It's for a newly created department in an well-established company, and the offer was from the person who is in charge of hiring, so is unlikely to be cancelled. – Rachel Jun 24 '13 at 14:55
  • No worries @Rachel , i figured your mind would be made up but future people searching for it may not be, my answer is provided as an alternative for the "Yes's" mainly for their benefit – Rhys Jun 24 '13 at 15:01
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    I agree with RhysW. Until you actually start, you don't really have the job. Have seen several instances where a person was scheduled to start and over the weekend the offer was rescinded (for a variety of reasons). I respect you're not wanting to waste time and be respectful of the other companies' time, but I would stay in job seeker mode until I walk in on Monday. – John Oglesby Jul 16 '13 at 0:28
  • Are you sure you're not confusing the offer and the first day of work? At least in my experience, the two are different: once you accept the written offer (in writing), it's a contract. They could get bad news the next day and then fire you, but they can't rescind their offer once you've accepted. So I'd say, "until you've accepted a written offer, in writing, you don't have a job" but once that happens you notify other companies you're no longer able to consider their offers or interviews. – Wayne Mar 14 '14 at 20:40
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How could it be rude to NOT waste one's time? While the opposite is definitely an offense.

In recruitment it's the most natural thing that good candidates get plenty of offers and might withdraw from the interview process at a particular company at any point. It is to be expected and no one should hold it against you. To ensure you handle things fairly, you'll want to announce your withdrawal at your earliest opportunity.

The really rude thing is when someone is scheduled and %#$@#%s turning up, or dropping a note. We blacklist such people immediately and if anyone asks we suggest not bothering to deal with them.

So just send a polite note or phone call telling that you're out.

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Don't worry about their time, worry about yours.

Your experience is itself a demonstration that you never know in advance what you will feel like after an interview. You went to an interview, expecting it to be nothing more than a learning experience and now you want to work there even if you could make just as much (or possibly even more?) elsewhere.

Now, that said, if you're happy with the offer, you don't have to keep looking, there's nothing wrong with just picking the 3rd company. But don't just not show up for the other interviews. You should either notify them that you will not be attending, or, if you are willing to do so, ask them if they would like you to attend even though you have accepted a position elsewhere.

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Consider the interview with the software lead. You may learn more about the projects and his/her management style to help you have the most information to make a final decision. The one with the CEO/COO are just a formality and will give you little insight about the specific job.

You can always tell them you're taking another offer, but would be open-minded if they wanted to interview you anyway. I'm guessing most managers would see this as a ploy to get a counteer-offer. If you were working with a recuriter, they'll want you to take the interview to fill their quota.

The offer you're taking just seems like the best fit for you, either take the one interview (software lead) or cancel all of them.

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I have been in this situation and broken both ways. If I'm getting face time with a CEO/COO, I will generally take the interview even if I'm going to pass. I have done this and ended up liking the other job better and then gone back and told the other company I got a better offer. I have also been able to negotiate more money (be careful trying this).

telling someone you have another offer is sometimes important because companies sometimes drag their feet.

on the other hand, I have cancelled them because I don't want to be bothered interviewing again. its not worth the hassle. This is business and in business you have to look out for yourself. I have seen employers interview people when they have candidates in hand because HR requires that they interview a certain number of people. They don't care about wasting people's time. It breaks both ways. You need to be selfish and look out for yourself.

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