I went through interviewing series with two companies, X and Y, at the same period of time.

I reached and passed the final round with company X, and they issued me an offer with a 48 hours signing due date (10 days ago). I also reached the final round with company Y, but interview with them was scheduled for 10 days after I received the offer from company X. Company Y offered 150% compensation as of company X's compensation so it took my attention.

I explained the situation to company X, and I nicely asked to extend the signing due date. They refused and I ended up rejecting politely with a follow up request.

I did not end up passing the final round with company Y. I would like to follow up with company X in hopes that they re-issue the offer.

What should I say in my email to them to appropriately explain the situation indicating that I would accept their offer if they resend it?

Bonus Q: Is it ok to signal that it is in our both interest that the re-issued offer is to be after the corona crisis?

  • 3
    What's wrong with being honest and saying that the other offer feel, so if they are still interested, you are available?
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:48
  • @TymoteuszPaul I don't want to be neutral. I want to show interest. Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 17:23
  • "I explained the situation to company X" You mean you told them you were waiting on another company's response? I think that was an unnecessary level of candor. And I'm curious about your putting the % before the 150. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 2:33
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    @LambaDawet The fact that they were trying to play hard ball with the deadline and the significantly lower offer are big red flags. I would think twice before accepting their offer.
    – ventsyv
    Commented Mar 28, 2020 at 0:16

7 Answers 7


Everyone will know exactly why you went back to them, and that's because the greener grass didn't work out. This is something you need to accept and understand before making any move, that no matter how you will spin it, you will be negotiating from a much weaker position than you were before.

As for how to format it, just have to be honest. Reach out and ask them if they are still interested, as company Y did not work out. Don't go into details of why, even though everyone will know exactly why some things are best left unsaid. Keep the email as simple as that and be prepared to hear "no, the position has been filled" (likely cause why they've put a timer on the offer is other candidates).

Bonus Q: Is it ok to signal that it is in our both interest that the re-issued offer is to be after the corona crisis?

How does that help them? You tried to delay this once, and now you want to have an offer that will wait for you the unknown amount of months for when all this ongoing pandemic blows over?

  • Great answer! I feel the need to point out that you meant to say "company Y did not work out". Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 15:02
  • @MiniRagnarok Oh, true. I got my variables crossed, editing.
    – Aida Paul
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 15:03
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    Maybe not point out that you didn’t get a job at company Y? Just say that you’ve previously declined their offer but your circumstances have changed and you’d now be interested?
    – Michael
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 18:09
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    @Michael They would have already assumed that and won't (can't?) ask anyways. There's nothing the OP can do to convincingly improve their position.
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 4:01
  • Right, but stating it explicitly breeds awkwardness. It doesn't need to be stated. Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 16:46

Other answers focus on telling you there is no way back.

Actually, it could be possible to get X's offer. I was in a similar situation before and managed to convince the company to re-offer me the job.

And it was a horrible decision for me to accept it.

If your first instinct was to turn the job down because of the money, the money is probably awful. Yes, the current situation with corona virus makes finding a job difficult, but you followed your instinct and taking a job just because you're panicky you won't get another chance is not a good motivation. Accept X wasn't a job for you and keep searching.

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    How do you know company X isn't paying a competitive salary while company Y is paying far above what one can get elsewhere? What makes you say OP is "panicky"? Since they've gone through multiple interview stages, it seems reasonable to assume they've had plenty of time to consider working at company X, and for how much, and would've accepted the offer from company X had company Y not been a possibility. What about all the other factors that go into evaluating an offer? OP only mentions money, but there are plenty of other factors that make a good job. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 9:15
  • Would you still give the same advice if the alternative to accepting an offer from company X is being unemployed, or staying in a much worse role, potentially for quite a few months or years (which could be true even without the current situation)? Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 9:39
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    @Dukeling, I don't think the comment section is for long discussions. If you feel my answer is not satisfactory, please write yours. And yes, predicting is difficult especially about the future. That's why I use the word "probably" in my answer.
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 10:18
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    My intention with commenting wasn't to have a long discussion, but rather to request clarification and leave constructive criticism to guide you to improve the post. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 11:00
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    Question: "How do you know company X isn't paying a competitive salary while company Y is paying far above what one can get elsewhere? What makes you say OP is "panicky"? Answer: it's hard to predict the future. o_O
    – Rob Grant
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 13:14

I would agree with other posters that chances may be poor, but the cost of trying is practically zero. It's totally worth trying. Dash off the letter and don't get your hopes up.

You may not want or need to mention other employers' turning you down. Perhaps, approach along the lines of: as you looked around at other positions you realized what an especially good match the first company would be, for both parties, and that you'd like to put your name forward again for a long term commitment.

I'd figure out some way to hint that you're not just going to work there for 3 6 or 12 months until you find something better, but that you've already done a bit of due diligence and realized there basically is no better.

While on the subject, backing up to the point where they gave you an offer and you wanted an extension. It's usually trivial to get them on the phone at this point. I ask them in a non-rhetorical way whether they're considering other candidates. Answer is usually, "of course." I'll mention, of course you are. It's a long-term decision and you really want to make sure you've got the best possible fit. To be honest I've got the same concern. Frankly I think our fit would be excellent, but I've committed to finishing an interview process at one other firm. I don't understand them as well as I do your firm and I'd like to understand them just a bit better before making a long-term commitment. Sometimes I'd ask them, what do you advise me to do at this point? The answer's quite obvious--to put off the decision until interviews finish at the other firm--and if you can get them to tell you to do that, you don't have to sell it to them...

One other tangential point: try to schedule the interview processes as close together as possible. When you get your first lead, try to figure out how late you start the process. When you get the third or so, try to figure out how early you can start.

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    Just the answer I wanted to give. The company has already expended resources to interview and extended an offer once. We'd usually re-interview, but it ends up being more of a sales pitch if the candidate was a strong hire. People pass for all kinds of reasons (in fact, I did the first time with my company), and sometimes other options don't work out for whatever reason. I've re-interviewed candidates who just realized they'd made a mistake taking the other offer and had been impressed with us the first time around.
    – Bloodgain
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 3:46

Company Y offered %150 compensation as of company X's compensation so it took my attention. I explained the situation to company X, and I nicely asked to extend the signing due date. They refused and I ended up rejecting politely with a follow up request.

You were honest with company X and 150% is a huge salary increase. Unfortunately, I feel there is no email that will be able to achieve to re-issue the offer. I suggest to not invest any more time in company X.

I am part of the hiring process, we are open to negotiation but I advocate to shutdown any candidate that ask for an extension at some exception like visa.

We usually behave like company X, a candidate that is asking for an extension is usually means we are is back-up plan. We prefer to have a candidate where we are the first candidate pick even if the candidate is less skillful because we believe he will be more motivated, be able to ramp up his skills and he will join us for a longer period of time.

Showing a desire to join the business during the hiring process is also an important part for some enterprises: know a little bit of the organization, find the mission and the values, know already the stack of the project, etc. Asking an extension related for another company offer kill that vibe and often cause them to dissolve their offer.

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    The shutdown of a good candidate because they asked for an extension doesn't make any sense. You have prioritied above all else a candidate simply not having ambition. What is the reason? Pride? Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:27
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    I updated my answer to add more about our perspective. I feel the premise "we go to work everyday because of the money" is not true for everybody: project goals, stack, schedule, commute time, stress, etc. are also other reasons that money may not buy.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:49
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    Also, my goal of my answer is to avoid you to not invest too much time in company X. I feel that your profile do not match what they are seeking finally.
    – Tom Sawyer
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 16:50
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    @SebastienDErrico Every company is different. Some need dedicated journeymen that will do the 9-5 for 20 years. Others would love to have that engineer that will do amazing work for a couple of years before leaving for Google. But if your company needs the former, that makes sense, that isn't a bad thing, it's just not the same for every company. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 1:55
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    I received an offer from company X while I was still interviewing. My gut instinct told me company X was the right fit, but I hadn't yet interviewed with the other companies. I asked company X for an extension, which they granted. A week later I could take their offer, satisfied that the other companies really were not as good a fit. Had company X decided not to extend the offer, I don't know whether I would have liked that, and I don't know whether I would have taken their offer, because that in itself would have been a red flag for me.
    – Alexander
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 13:12

There is no good email that will result in another offer from company X.

When I used to hire; if a candidate acted this way I would have thought f**k off (thought, not said). We made you an offer - that is the time to negotiate. Asking us to wait because you're a finalist for a position that pays a lot more would have removed you from consideration with my company.

Take this as a lesson learned. Evaluate each offer on it's own. If one is not acceptable then by all means negotiate something better or walk away. Don't expect someone to wait because you might get a better offer.

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    If you react so emotionally to candidates' decision against your company it really only shows your lack of maturity and makes me question how good a manager you are. It's all business. You want the best candidate your budget can buy. The candidate wants the best job they are capable of getting. The salary is one of the most important factors while judging how good a job is. If you don't get that, you really shouldn't be involved in hiring.
    – BigMadAndy
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 20:58
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    Just echoing @BigMadAndy. I don't think you're being that emotional though. But it still doesn't make sense. The take-it-or-leave-it mentality only really works if jobs are scarce. Otherwise, surely it's expected that candidates will look around. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 4:40
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    And this is exactly why unions are so important: the vast majority of the time, the vast majority of employers have a massive advantage over labor when it comes to employment negotiations.
    – eps
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 12:06
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    @BigMadAndy 100% agree. There is almost no one that is in a position to turn down that kind of pay bump. Unless you are under some kind of huge time crunch, allowing a candidate that you really like a few extra days, even a couple of weeks, to check into other offers is the right thing to do.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 18:07

Simply put, you pissed off company X.

To put it another way. Imagine that the companies were women you wanted to date - Ximena and Yasmin. And that you told Ximena that you wanted to wait to see if you got a date with Yasmin before committing to her. Ximena replies, "Nah, we're good" and promptly forgets you exist. But then Yasmin didn't want you, so you go crawling back to Ximena saying "Baby, Yasmin means nothing to me, it's really you I want! Honest!".

Do you really think any self respecting woman would want you, given that you are obviously an average guy, and nothing special?

So unless Ximena is a self loathing company there is nothing really you can say her. You have burned your bridges with her (potentially forever as well), so the only thing to do now is to chalk it up to experience and move on.

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    @TymoteuszPaul Perhaps "pissed off" is too strong a term, but from within company X it could be seen that the OP was negotiating in bad faith by continuing the interview process with them, and as such wasting their resources. That would certainly raise a red flag as to what sort of employee he might be. On the other hand if he had a reason that indicated he was "all in" with company X, then yes, I would expect a more reasonable response by X
    – Peter M
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 20:23
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    That's not a good analogy. There's a reason there's the saying "It's just business, it's not personal". By you logic, if I send in an application for a job, and the company wants to look at other applicants before deciding whether to hire me, I should say "Fuck you!" and move on to another company. Is the company exhibiting "bad faith" by interviewing multiple candidates? You didn't answer BigMadAndy when they asked this question, just responded with the pointless and question-begging "The key term is 'in bad faith'". Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 2:31
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    I think this uses a good analogy that's defended in a very bad way. Why would Ximena no longer want anything to do with you? Because she knows that she's just something you're currently settling for - that it's not where you want to be. And she's going to worry that something similar to Yasmin's going to come around, and you're going to dump her in a heartbeat. Same thing with Company X. They now know that they're not where you actually want to be. They've now got an additional worry if they hire you: how long is it going to be before you find another Company Y?
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 3:16
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    Well, let's carry on the analogy. I don't know about you guys, but if Alison Brie said to me, "I would prefer Dave Franco but he dumped me. Do you want to grab a coffee?" you better believe that I'm grabbing that coffee. Some candidates would do an amazing job in the short term, even if they have ambition to go elsewhere. It depends what the business needs. It's part of an assessment, it's not always the most important part. Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 4:30
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    @Acccumulation And you're assuming that all companies hire based only on logic. If they did, this sort of question wouldn't be asked. The fact of the matter is that at some stage of the hiring process, someone relatively senior at a company is going to have input into the decision whether to hire a person or not, and more likely than not that person is going to have some form of loyalty to their employer, which will influence their judgement on hiring. Nothing happens in a vacuum, nothing happens without humans, and humans are emotionally-driven beings.
    – Ian Kemp
    Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 14:21

You are going to have to be extremely humble and extremely accommodating. Previously the balance of power was more on your side, but now company X has all the power because they know that you actually need the job. If they are in fact willing to re-issue the offer you rejected, you need to prepare for the possibility that they will want to "renegotiate" said offer - especially since you already seem to want to renegotiate to start at a later date.

In your shoes, though, I wouldn't try your luck. X already knows that you are motivated by money and most companies won't appreciate that (it's weird how "just business" doesn't work the other way around). And even if you do get the offer you want from X and join them, you can bet that there will be a note in your HR file that mentions this little piece of history, and you can bet that said note will be a factor in future negotiations regarding salary and career promotions. Basically, you've already poisoned the well with X.

Personally, I'd take this as a lesson in not being shortsighted, and find a different employer, where you won't have a bad start to your history together.

And in future, don't ever tell a prospective employer the specifics of why you aren't willing to accept their offer. They simply don't need to know the actual reason, and telling them is almost certainly going to achieve nothing more than pissing them off. Full openness and honesty are unfortunately not yet something that should be used in job-hunting.

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