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I applied for internship in several companies by the start of the month. I had a tricky deadline in another thing so by the end of the month I need to have definitive answers for internships.

I was first answered by one company (big corporation) and they interviewed me twice. They asked me more in the beginning if there were another companies that were in contact with me, to which I truthfully replied no, since no companies had yet contacted me (I made it very clear to them that I had applied for other jobs, but also that they were the first to answer). In the final interview they were still the only company that had spoke with me, so when they asked for the second time I again said they were the only company that I was in contact with.

Now, right after my last interview, another company (small Start up) called me and scheduled an interview for the next day, where they presented an internship offer that was really interesting. We didn't spoke salary nor working hours so I still cannot say which internship I prefer since these two topics will obviously be taken into consideration.

Today, I have received an e-mail from the first company (big corporation) saying that they were happy to tell me I was approved for the internship, and told me to write back whether or not I wanted it. I obviously want to do an internship this year so this might be my only chance, however I would like to wait for the other company's answer (which might take until the actual end of the month) just to see which one I would like best.

Now, I don't know how exactly I should proceed. I see only two options, and I am desperatedly looking for something beter:

1st: I ghost the big corporation for a bit. That is, I keep them without an answer until the other company answers me. This option has the terrifying possiblity of suddenly receiving a mail saying "Since we didn't hear from you, we decided to end the offer for internship". Which would be sad because I liked this internship as well.

2nd: I tell the big corporation that I would like to wait another company's answer before answering them. That would be sort of strange, since during the process they asked me whether or not there were companies speaking to me and I said no, and will also give the (wrong) message that I don't want to do an internship there unless there is no other option. I do want to work there, but if the Start up offers me similar/better remuneration and working hours, I guess I would decide in favor of it, since it's closer to where I live and is very intersting proposal.

What is the most professional way to proceed in this case? I am (really) open to options other than the two described above.

  • Did the first company indicate a deadline for you to accept or decline the offer? How did the interview with the second company go? did they schedule for another round? told you that they will reach back to you? – DarkCygnus Apr 17 at 17:55
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    The second company told me that if I had any questions I should write back to them. Then they told that by the beginning of next week they would be sending me a link to a technical test about coding and such. They also asked if I was willing to accept an internship in a different (but very similar) position there. I think it went well to be honest. – embedded_dev Apr 17 at 17:58
  • I see. Working on an answer considering that last comment of yours. How about my other questions? did first company give you deadline? – DarkCygnus Apr 17 at 17:59
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What is the most professional way to proceed in this case?

On a comment you mentioned that the interview with the second company also went well, and that they will be giving you a technical test to complete some day next week.

This tells us that, at least, you won't have a definite answer form them for a week. Most likely it will be more than that, perhaps two weeks, considering the time to check your test results and any other steps they may have.

On the other hand, the first company already made you an offer, and is waiting for you response. You don't specify if you have a deadline to accept or reject the offer, but if you do, you should compare that to the 2 week period you won't get an answer from the other company.

So, if you are willing/able to delay your response to the first company for at least 1 or 2 weeks then do that, compare both offers and decide.

If you are not able/willing to do so, then you should decide if you take this offer and stop your application process with company 2, or if you decline the offer from company 1 with the hopes of landing one on company 2 that also happens to be of your liking.

In any case, it would be wise to consider reaching out to company 2 and ask them for a description of their internship. This way you won't have to wait for the technical test to know what they are offering you, and you can have a complete view of both offers and be able to decide.

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  • I feel that this answer doesn't really tell me anything. In my two options given in the question both of them are forms of stalling, which is basically what I wanted to do. The point is that I don't know how to stall, nor if I am able to do so. That's the reason I've posted the question. As for the part of reaching out company 2 and asking for a description, it's a good suggestion, I wrote them and I am waiting for an answer. – embedded_dev Apr 18 at 7:42
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    @embedded_dev well, we can't make a choice for you. The process of handling multiple offers is not trivial as you can see, and the outcomes may depend greatly on time and many other things. Given your description these are the suggestions I have. If you actually have no time and have to decide on one or the other right now then, again that would be something only you can tell... On a more personal and off-topic note, if it were up to me, my inner voice would say to me "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush". – DarkCygnus Apr 18 at 19:52
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Don't EVER ghost an employer, it reflects terrible on you as I shows you can't conduct yourself when making a big decision. Most employers wouldn't hire people that stopped communicating when they feel like it.

Talk to the second company and try to leverage the job offer into a X faster hiring process. And ask the first company if you could get X time to decide. If you can get that you're golden, otherwise you have to decide.

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What is the most professional way to proceed in this case?

At this point, the big corporation has already made you an offer and the start up has not. You don't know if/when the start up will make you an offer....you have not even taken the technical test! The professional thing to do would be to either accept or reject the big corporation's offer. There is nothing wrong with taking some time to "think about the offer" but anything more than 3 days is unreasonable especially considering that based on your feedback to them, you only have their offer to think about.

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