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I recently got a call to accept a verbal offer for a job I was interested in. The hiring manager followed up with an email asking me to reply with my acceptance before they send over a written offer and start the HR process. Then there is another job that interests me but I'm currently at the 2nd of 4 steps in the job's interview process. In an ideal situation, I would like to go through job2's interview process because they are my first choice

Given that the email from job1's hiring manager requesting that I reply with my acceptance is, at this point, not a written offer, is there any reason to delay responding to this email? At the same time, try to (hopefully) move things along a bit faster with the second job's interviewing process...but bring up job 1's offer (if that has any chance of speeding things up with them)

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  • The most you can delay the acceptance of job1 offer is about 1 week. But, it seems you still have about 3 weeks of interviews for job2. So, sooner or later, you will have to either accept or decline the offer for job1 before getting the final answer from company2 (if you pass all interviews with company2). Commented Apr 15 at 4:17
  • Just consider that Job 1 may find someone else while you stall and then you don't get Job 2...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Apr 15 at 10:32

2 Answers 2

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Here is how I would handle it:

I would ask the Hiring Manager to send through the written job offer, with all the various details (Salary, Holiday, perks etc.) and then when you have received the written offer, email back saying thank you very much, you will review it and respond within a Timeframe.

Usually the Timeframe is the end of the working week or the end of the next working week (dependent on when you received the written offer).

If they pushback and say they need written confirmation before they send a written offer - I would start to get suspicious.

Then, it is perfectly acceptable to talk with Company number 2 and advise them that you have a written offer and you have committed to giving an answer by deadline

If they like you or you are the preferred Candidate, they will move things along for you - if not, then they will likely disengage at that point - however, you should not feel bad if they do - since you were not a front runner, you were unlikely to get the job.

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  • Thanks for this perspective. At this moment, I have no reason to be suspicious, job1 is a government agency and the manager's reputation is highly regarded.
    – hello
    Commented Apr 14 at 21:48
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    It's not suspicious at all. Creating a formal written offer especially from a government agency can be very tedious and time consuming (including all necessary approvals and signatures). As a hiring manager I would only go through this process if I'm reasonably certain the candidate will accept and that all issues & details have been fully negotiated.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Apr 14 at 22:38
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    The suspicion (for me) is if you have worked out all the details, you ask for them to put it in writing and then they hesitate. There should be no hesitation if the details are agreed - if you have verbally discussed X salary, then there should be no issue with putting X salary down in writing - Hesitation (to me) suggests that that what was said and what will actually be offered may not align. Commented Apr 14 at 22:56
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I recently got a call to accept a verbal offer for a job I was interested in. The hiring manager followed up with an email asking me to reply with my acceptance before they send over a written offer and start the HR process.

The verbal offer is worthless. At this stage don't stop any other companies from moving at their own pace.

The email mail offer, is an offer in writing, so it has some additional validity. But unless it contained full details that you would be using to judge the offer you can still easily reject the written offer when it is received.

there is another job that interests me but I'm currently at the 2nd of 4 steps in the job's interview process. In an ideal situation, I would like to go through job2's interview process because they are my first choice

You want to make sure that you do everything in your power to compress the timeline for the second company, except forcing them to make a decision too early. If they reject you before you have the written offer from the first company you might end-up with zero good offers.

from one of your comments:

Thanks for this perspective. At this moment, I have no reason to be suspicious, job1 is a government agency and the manager's reputation is highly regarded.

This means the written offer may come hours after you email your assurance that you will take the offer, or it could take months.

So stretch out the process. Wait as long as you can to email them.

When they do give you that completely defined written offer review it carefully. Don't be afraid to ask questions. When you know it is acceptable, and they have given you a deadline, then talk to the second company.

When given a deadline, the 2nd company could reject you at that time, or they could decide not to speedup the process, or they could quickly give you an offer. There is no way to know. This uncertainty regarding their reaction is why you don't push them at the verbal offer stage.

Time in the hiring process is strange. Some steps go quickly. Some take forever. In recent years I have seen it go from application to start date in just a few weeks. In other cases the same process for a similar position with the same company took six months.

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