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I have a take home assignment and an upcoming technical interview with company B after passing the previous stage. However, I received an offer from company A for an immediate start. The internal recruiter from company B said I should let them know if I receive any offers from other companies. I like both company A and company B, however a bird at hand is better than two in the bush, and I know the details of company A's offer but not company B because I don't have an offer from company B. Company A's offer includes a months long probationary period, so maybe I could still use company B as a backup?

Based on the above, is it in my best interests to inform company B that I have received an offer from another company, or should I just do company B's technical interview without them knowing I have an offer already? If it is in my best interests, what is the best way to word such an email so as to avoid burning bridges, and also to keep my option of working at company B in the future open?

If asked, how much detail should I divulge to company B about company A's offer?

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  • Have you been given a salary range by company B? Jul 26 at 13:57
  • If you tell them, they could not appreciate it. Like "oh you don't want to stay there?" or like you're going to force them to offer more. I would not say a thing and try to get the best of at least one company if I like them both the same way then I would accept the best offer. The less they know, the more you're free.
    – PowerCat
    Jul 26 at 14:10
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  • @Gregory Currie good question, no I have not been given a salary range by them.
    – Sa2
    Jul 26 at 23:48
  • @Joe Strazzere I mean in future if I need to, I have company B as an option.
    – Sa2
    Jul 26 at 23:50
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is it in my best interests to inform company B that I have received an offer from another company,

Yes it is.

If the recruiter has asked you to let them know about an offer, there is the possibility that they may accelerate your interview process and present you with an offer depending on how desirable of a candidate you are and their need to fill the available role.

As far as details to provide, you can let them know that you have an offer from another company and let them know by when you need to respond to the other company. You can provide general information of salary and benefits if asked, but I would refrain from telling them details of the company. Having another offer should not burn any bridges with company B provided that they have not even provided you with an offer and it is common to be interviewing with multiple companies when job searching.

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  • This really depends on the field you're in and the stage of the interview process. I personally like to be open - and it has resulted in expedited hiring processes. But it's also resulted in an early rejection, when I was open about it in a very early stage in the hiring process. In my field, it's basically expected and recruiters and hiring managers are used to it.
    – MvZ
    Jul 27 at 9:05
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You shouldn't tell company B about company A if you wish to go through B's hiring process. B. would most likely just pass on you if you told them about the offer before you even pass B's hiring process. That said, if company B has told you their pay range/minimum and it's more than 10% below what company A. is offering there's probably no point going ahead with B's hiring process.

You should also consider health benefits, perks and bonuses. For example some companies give you lots of bonus opportunities and it can increase your annual pay by a lot.

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  • Absolutely false. Its normal for recruits to be talking to different companies and be at different stages in the process. By telling the companies where you are, they can speed up or slow down things to try and make the process work for you. I was just interviewing with 3 companies and their HR worked with me to keep the 3 in about the same stage so I got offers at roughly the same time. This is fairly normal, and why recruiters will ask where you are in your process with other companies. Jul 27 at 4:38
  • @GabeSechan On the other hand, employees that you have a "monopoly" over for offers will be cheaper than employees with offers from multiple companies, because you don't have to compete with those companies to obtain the employee.
    – nick012000
    Jul 29 at 8:10
  • @nick012000 A company worrying about that has already failed miserably. Their job is to get the best talent they can, at a good price. The best talent has multiple offers. You're dooming yourself to an inferior workforce to the competition by thinking like that. Which is why good companies don't do it. And why you, as someone with multiple potentials, should be happy if they eliminate themselves like that- they're signaling that they're cheap and don't know how to run a business. Jul 29 at 12:43
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    "Their job is to get the best talent they can, at a good price." No, their job is to get people who can get the job done, as cheaply as possible.
    – nick012000
    Jul 29 at 12:49
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You should not volunteer any information that can put you at a disadvantage.

With plethora of candidates these days, telling B that you have an offer most likely will terminate your hiring process with them

If both companies are nice destination for you, you should pursue then both.

Hiring process is not an offer of employment and you cannot be certain it will arrive

Given you have a probation period at A, you can continue with B as well.

If you will get an offer from B - this is when you evaluate what is best and can inform B about the A offer in case you would prefer B but compensation-wise A is better.

As far as i know - probation period works both ways and allow you to resign at a day notice

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  • Do you mean start at company A without telling company B, then if I receive an offer from company B during my probationary period with company A then I can evaluate whether it is best to switch from company A to company B?
    – Sa2
    Jul 27 at 8:16
  • @Sa2 Yes, if you decide to start at company A, probation, do not tell company B, unless you want to stop your application with them. IMHO, no one candidate is too important to speed-up recruiting process due to another offer. As i see it, the only result from you having another offer would be conclusion of your candidacy at B
    – Strader
    Jul 27 at 14:48
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Here's how I see this playing out:

You can either tell them, or not. Those are your choices.

If you tell company B about company A's offer, company B may accelerate their current hiring process, things such as cancelling the current take-home assignment and doing an abbreviated test instead. However, company B may also say that they cannot accommodate the other company's offer and will end your process immediately. So it depends on how much you want to work for each company; if you're willing to potentially sacrifice your candidacy at company B, then you should inform them about company A's offer.

If you do not tell company B about company A's offer, then they will continue their interview process with you as if there is no other offer (because, to their knowledge, there isn't one). However, company A will likely not wait until company B is done their recruitment to have you sign the offer, so at some point you'll have to "put up or shut up", and it will be unlikely that you can have both company B and company A's offers both in hand at the same time. If you sign company A's offer without notifying company B, then company B may be upset with you, to the point of possibly burning your bridge there. The other option here is to lie to company B about why you're not continuing their interview process, if you're comfortable with that, once you've signed A's offer. So once again, it depends on how much you care about company B, whether or not to notify them about A's offer.

All this is to say, the situation is really too unpredictable, without knowing the personalities of the people involved or companies involved. Here's what I would consider doing (YMMV):

It all depends on how long this take-home assignment from company B is. If it is "long" (4 hours work or more), I would tell company B about company A's offer right now. If the assignment is going to take a long time, it will also take them along time to review, and feet are going to be dragged. You're simply not going to get anywhere with company B before company A's offer expires. Inform B that you have an offer (never say who the offer is from), and ask them how they would like to proceed; if they end your recruitment, then so be it, and if not, then do whatever they ask (within reason, of course).

If the assignment is "short" (4 hours or less), then finish it as quickly as possible and return it ASAP. When you return the assignment, tell B that you have an offer already, and you need them to move quickly. When a company is told you have an offer in hand, they will do one of two things: They will either end the recruitment immediately (and you've lost your 4 hours work; this is why I'm only suggesting this if the assignment is short so you don't waste too much time), or they will speed up significantly to make sure you have both offers in hand and can consider both. You're obviously hoping for the latter, but the former is also possible, and if that happens then just go with the offer from company A.

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  • With plethora of candidates these days, telling B that you have an offer most likely will terminate your hiring process with them
    – Strader
    Jul 26 at 18:07

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