Bob had a job interview at company A. At the end Bob was asked whether he is applying elsewhere so that if this is the case, if necessary, they could try to speed up the decision process. Bob answered truthfully that he is expecting the answer of another company (company B) the next days. One day later company B sent a rejection.

Now Bob has several possibilities:

  1. He could just wait for the decision of company A. However, company A might then assume, that maybe company B rejected Bob's application and being wondering why.

  2. Bob could ask for a fast decision nevertheless (without explicitly mentioning company B and of course without lying).

Do you see a better solution? If no, is option 1 or 2 preferable?

To clarify: From Bob's perspective, there is no need for a speed-up anymore. But he wants to avoid that company A concludes that company B rejected Bob if he does not ask for a speed-up. If company A thinks company B rejected Bob, they may wonder why this is the case and possibly think something like "If company B does not want to hire him, they will have their reasons. Let us be careful and also not hire him."

Edit: A possibly important point that I forgot to mention: When Bob informed company A during the interview that he is expecting the final response from company B within the next days, company A stated that in case a speed-up of the process will be needed, Bob should let them know.

  • 2
    The interview is already over and Bob already told them about company B. Does he still need to ask for a speed-up process or is it already clear? In other words, if company B was already mentioned, why is another action necessary now after B has rejected?
    – puck
    Sep 29, 2019 at 11:28
  • @puck There is no need for a speed-up anymore, but Bob wants to avoid that company A thinks company B rejected Bob. I will add this to the question.
    – simplemind
    Sep 29, 2019 at 11:39
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    @PhilipKendall Thanks for your feedback! But I don't see the relevance of my relation to Bob to the question. If there is a rule on this site that requests such formulations, would you mind providing me with a link? Sometimes I have questions about situations I face, sometimes I have questions someone else faces, sometimes I have hypothetical questions nobody that I know faced but in which I am interested nevertheless. I do not yet see the benefits of having different formulations for the three variants.
    – simplemind
    Sep 29, 2019 at 11:45
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    @ downvoters: Would you care to explain? From the answers and comments so far I get that Bob should not contact company A on that matter and that he probably was overthinking things. But I don't see how this makes the question per se a bad one. Don't get me wrong, I am open to criticism, but I would like to learn something from it and currently I don't see what exactly the problem with the question is.
    – simplemind
    Sep 29, 2019 at 14:21
  • Asking for a friend?
    – amelvin
    Sep 30, 2019 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


Bob should keep his mouth shut.

Bob told the truth when he answered the question that Company A asked. That was the right thing to do. Bob is under no obligation whatsoever to provide any additional information to Company A.

Company A will contact Bob soon with an offer or more information. Or they won't. Bob shouldn't contact them about Company B, because nobody at Company A really cares about Company B's personnel decisions. Talking about this more will not help Bob or Company A, and is simply unnecessary.

  • Thanks for your reply. I tend to agree. The only point of your answer I am not quite sure of is the part "nobody at Company A really cares about Company B's personnel decisions". Why do you think that this is the case? Isn't it possible that they think "If company B does not want to hire him, they will have their reasons. Let us be careful and also not hire him."?
    – simplemind
    Sep 29, 2019 at 12:37
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    Keeping quiet is absolutely the right thing. It's easy to feel like we have to do something when we're in a situation we don't control. Oct 1, 2019 at 15:44
  • @simplemind That's possible, but it's also possible that they might think "Company B's budget was finalized, and they can't hire another FTE." Company A has the same information about Bob as does Company B-- that B decided not to hire Bob doesn't change whether or not he'd be valuable to Company A.
    – Upper_Case
    Oct 2, 2019 at 15:25

First of all Bob never should have told them he was waiting for company B to make an offer. We have all heard of or experienced companies that say you will hear in X days, and then 3x days later you realize they have gone silent. Only tell them about B if B has sent you an offer, and you want A to make a decision quickly.

Now if A hurries and makes an offer they will want you to make a decision quickly. Don't contact them to make them go faster. Don't contact them at all because they may think they have to go faster. You would like somebody else to be in the running when that offer comes it, because you don't know how good or bad the offer will be.

Because B has rejected you, you can assume that the odds of an offer from B are near zero. (You can't say zero because sometimes they surprise you.) You now have to work on C, D & E. Those should already been in the pipeline, meaning you have applied and are waiting for an interview, or it is even better if the interviews are scheduled and you are just counting down the days.

Don't worry about perception. You thought B was going to pick you, but they didn't. You were someplace between the 2nd best and the 42nd best candidate for their job. That doesn't mean that somebody else would not have picked you, or that you aren't the best candidate for a slightly different job.

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