1
  • I applied for job A, and the recruiting process started. Interviews, tests, etc.
  • Very close in time, also applied to job B. Same situation and evolution more or less. Interviews, tests, etc.
  • I am both interested in job A and job B. Let's say both are good opportunities and definitely any of them are worth more than no job or waiting for other opportunities.
  • However, I do prefer job A way way much more than job B. Job A has better career opportunities, higher salary, and I connect better with the people there. BUT job B is also OK. BUT I have a preference for job A.
  • Now, both hiring processes are running close to an end but seems in job B they're gonna make me an offer around 1 week before job A might do it.
  • Both jobs are in the same kind of industry, in the same city.
  • I told both A and B I am involved in other hiring processes so it might be I get offers from others. They both know.

Questions:

  • Is it too bad to accept job B offer, and one week latter accept job A offer, and "reject" job B?
  • Is there an smart yet not risky way of keep job B offer on hold for one week? i.e. before I can secure (or discard) job A offer?
  • Something smarter to do in here?
4
  • 1
    If it's really just one week between the two offers you could probably simply not react to A's offer until you've heard from B. Or react in a non-committal way, say, by asking some question regarding the offer, or something along those lines, just to kill some time.
    – Thomas
    Sep 10 at 9:24
  • 1
    'Is it too bad to accept job B offer, and one week latter accept job A offer, and "reject" job B?' — it's about as bad as if A offered you the job first, then a week later they phoned you up & said, "sorry, we're going to have to rescind the job offer, our first preference candidate came back and decided to take it after all, sorry!". How would you feel at that stage if you'd already turned down B? Sep 10 at 14:02
  • It sounds like you prefer job A. If yes, then just go with job A. Sep 10 at 19:10
11

In my opinion it's very unprofessional to accept a job offer and then change your mind. It's best to be up-front at the time "B" presents their offer and ask for more time to make your decision.

Once you have accepted an offer, the best approach is to inform any other companies that you are in the process with that you have accepted another offer and are now no longer available.

I know that some people have no qualms about accepting and then "unaccepting" and offer but I feel it reflects poorly on the person. Perhaps I'm old-fashioned but when I say "yes" I mean it.

2
  • 3
    Indeed! there is no shame in stating "Thank you for the offer. I need some time to hear from other pending processes before I can fully evaluate my options and make a decision". If a company is forcing you to choose, you probably won't want to work for them anyway.
    – STT LCU
    Sep 10 at 11:59
  • There is no shame. However, you might lose both offer B and offer A if you do this.
    – Worker
    Sep 10 at 15:57
8

Is it too bad to accept job B offer, and one week latter accept job A offer, and "reject" job B?

Yes. It's breaking a commitment and going bad on your word. It's not the end of the world, but I would avoid it, if possible and it's likely to damage your relationship with company B and the people who you interviewed with (which you may run into later in your career).

Is there an smart yet not risky way of keep job B offer on hold for one week? i.e. before I can secure (or discard) job A offer?

Just ask. Typically an offer (at least in the US) is good for one week, which you can use to decide. If you need more, you can ask for it and many companies will accommodate so you can make a confident decision.

It's not without risk, since you are you communicating "I'm on the fence" and not "this is my dream job".

A really good company may reach out to discuss what's holding you back and what could be done to make this better for all parties. A really bad company might turn you down just for asking, but that may not be a terrible loss. Either way you'll learn something about the company in the process.

Something smarter to do in here?

Start leaning into company A right now. Let them know that you are likely to get an offer soon, but that "A" is your front runner. However, you can't afford to turn down a decent offer without having an alternative and you won't go back on a commitment once, it's made.

Ask "A" what you can do to speed things up and if there is any way to accelerate the process. That's a perfectly valid ask and every half-way decent hiring manager will prefer the opportunity to compete over just being turned down.

Take your cues from how "A" reacts: if they start moving, chances are that they really like you and the prospects of an offer are good. If they mostly ignore you, than they don't care much one way or another, so it's unlikely that you are their dream candidate.

0

Is it too bad to accept job B offer, and one week latter accept job A offer, and "reject" job B?

Depends on how the company will react.

Accepting an offer binds you to that contract. Depending on how the offer is worded, you might have to pay the company some penalties because when you accept a job, a whole bunch of stuff happens on their side: looking for other candidates is stopped, other valid candidates are notified that they will not be getting the job (because it was offered to you), logistic processes are started to bring you on board, legal details need to be handled, etc. If they do this and then you tell them "sorry, I will be going some place else" they will not be happy. They might go after you in one way or another, black list you, your reputation might be affected if words travels around, etc.

There is also the option they will do nothing, just let you go, but most companies will protect themselves in some way from this sort of behavior.

Is there an smart yet not risky way of keep job B offer on hold for one week? i.e. before I can secure (or discard) job A offer?

Your only options are to delay providing an answer to the first company or to contact the second and say something like "I have an offer from another company, but I would really like working for you better. Is there a way you could provide me with a resolution on our interview, so I can include you in my making of a decision?" Or something like that.

This doesn't necessarily mean it will happen. If their processes are slow, you might still get a response too late.

It might also not be received well (I was more than once in this place and some HR personnel didn't like it. They though I was trying to pressure them. This is a common occurrence in job searching so their way of acting kind of decreased their importance in my decision making process).

So you tell the first company that you will carefully analyze their offer and ask when, at the latest they need a response (they will pressure you to be sooner rather than later :)) and then you contact the second company and kindly ask them to hurry.

Something smarter to do in here?

Not really. You either accept the first offer, try to delay while waiting to receive the second offer, or you refuse the first offer and take you chances with the second. It all depends on how much risk there is in getting refused in the second case, and on how desperate you are for having a job.

Remember the saying "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Try to lay out a logic tree of all possible outcomes and look at all of those outcomes and see with which you are most comfortable with.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .