I have an upcoming phone interview with a company. I received an offer from this other company. The company I'm going to have the phone interview with, is a lot larger, and a lot more desirable option to me.

I am aware that with large companies, the hiring process tends to be slow moving. I wanted to ask, what would be a good way to inform the interviewer of this other offer, in a way that is hinting that I would be more inclined to choose them if I was given an offer. Also, it is important to note that I have to decide about my offer by a particular date, so accelerating the hiring process, would also be in my favor.

I appreciate any advice on how to accomplish this. I don't want it to sound like I'm trying to negotiate with them, at such an early stage and before I was even given an offer.

Many thanks in advance!


3 Answers 3


Assuming the phone interview goes well, I would probably just ask at the end.

"Do you have an idea on the timeline for the next steps? I'm in the process of interviewing at another company and (I'm expecting an offer / I've received an offer) and I (will need / need) to respond by <date>."

If they're still very interested, they'll take that into account and realize they'll need to accelerate their timeline to accommodate you. If either they're not interested, or they're unwilling/unable to modify the timeline, then you'll either have to risk losing the other offer and continue through the process, or you'll have to let them know that you're accepting the other offer and dropping out of the process.

(You can also add in a note about why company B is more desirable to you:

"Your opportunity is more interesting to me because <reason>, so I'd rather continue in the process with you, but I can't delay the other company too long."

If you've got a reason like "I'm much more interested in the work you're doing" or "I really look up to your company as a leader in <field>", then your positive feelings may give them added incentive to try to push you along.)


The only reason to tell someone you have another offer is to speed up the process. Companies generally will not wait that long for you to make a decision. In most cases I would tell them 'the other place needs me to make a decision, but it sounds like you guys have a better job'. Generally you won't be able to tell from a phone screen if the other job is better, but it makes them feel good about themselves.

That being said, you can 'accept the position', then tell them your current company really needs 3 weeks notice (or 4 weeks if you think you can get away with it), is that ok? Then you can use this period to go through an interview and see if you like the other job better. Then pass on the new offer.

As a general rule I never decline an offer because I'm hoping to get a better one from another company, but I can and have strung people along. Companies will do it to you, so don't feel bad.


I would expect a candidate (in this case, OP) to take the first job that sends an actual, written offer.

Speaking as a hiring manager myself, I am motivated to bring the right candidate on as quickly as possible (we need the work done!), but I'm constrained by the snail's pace of our HR department.

As has been my experience in many other companies, HR often sticks their noses in places where they don't belong. If a candidate passes my screening process and I am assured they can do the job (and independently learn whatever they need to) and are culturally a good fit, I'm ready to hire. However HR insists upon "interviewing" the candidates so they can ask them random questions from the BBoIQ, thus providing no value whatsoever—their time would be better spent doing a background check and making sure the person's I-9 is good, etc.

This slows down the hiring process to a crawl and means we lose out on many skilled people.

  • I don't see how this answers the OP's question of what the candidate should do? Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 11:42
  • @jpatokal - Thank you; I moved and bolded my recommendation.
    – BryanH
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 18:18

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