Stemming from this question, I actually managed to get another job interview for a different company.

I hear back about my status from the first interview on Tuesday. I have my interview for the second job tomorrow. How do I go about this? I'm indifferent about which company I would rather work for, and I don't think I can balance two jobs, not at least until this semester ends in May.

In case that is too broad; Should I tell each company about the other offer, in the event I get offered positions at both? Should I just pick one and decline the other offer?

Again, these are both entry-level, retail jobs. Nothing extremely professional or formal.


3 Answers 3


You don't need to give a company details about your other interview. Some places have boilerplate out there which says "please do not apply for any other jobs while you're applying to us" but I think most everyone realizes that this is not a realistic thing to ask prospective employees to do.

If you happen to receive the job offer before the second interview, there's also no rule that states that you have to respond to said job offer immediately, at least not usually. Tell the first potential employer that you need to weigh your options. There's no need to let them know that you're looking into another offer; in this case, it could be perceived as a negative in that it makes it look as though you are their second choice.

I realize that you don't really care either way between the two jobs, but I think you do need to ask yourself a question: if you get them both, which one will you turn down? There may be small differences in pay between the two places but by and large retail places pay about the same amount (which is somewhere between "minimum wage" and "dirt") so outside of a 'vibe' you might get from the interview itself I'm honestly unsure why you wouldn't just choose one of them as your first choice. This certainly makes it easier for you if the first interview turns out to be the job you preferred.

Otherwise, if they do want you to respond immediately I would go to the old saw that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. In other words, don't decline an open offer in favor of another offer which may or may not come down the line. Even retail declines to hire folks sometimes - my memory is that places can be particularly picky outside of Christmas - and if you turn down the first job before being extended the second one, you might be left out in the cold for a while.

  • "do not apply for other jobs" is a perfectly reasonable request, and it's quite ok for you to ask for an exclusivity payment for the duration. Remember, ask for what you want (provided it's legal), because you might just get it.
    – Móż
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 23:35
  • "please do not apply for any other jobs while you're applying to us" - who actually says that?
    – Brandin
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 9:38
  • I have never heard of anyone asking you to not apply for other jobs while applying to them. Its expected you will be applying to multiple jobs. It is extremely normal to get a job offer while applying to another job. You would generally tell them and they will speed up the process on their end if possible. Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 6:27

Do the exact same thing as you should do if two companies want you to interview on the same day at different times: go to both.

You have had an interview; you do not have a job or even an offer of another job. Unless you have signed a contract saying that you will not look elsewhere (unlikely), there is no legal, moral or ethical reason for you to pass up this second opportunity.

Even if you do not get an offer out of the second interview, you get something valuable out of it: interviewing experience.

In short, go.

As for telling the companies about each other -- the only situation where it makes sense to volunteer that information is if you want it to strengthen your negotiating position. Unless you are prepared to lose both jobs, or you feel that with that you can get a significant benefit, I would not recommend volunteering it to either company before making an agreement.

You could mention it to the company you plan on declining; they might feel tempted to up their offer. If so, you could reconsider your decision.


I kind of fail to see the problem. The company interviews multiple people, and you interview at multiple companies. Where’s the problem? This is a business transaction between two parties (you and a potential employer), and both of you should expect the other one to look for multiple options.

Besides, before you even show up there and learn something about the company, how could you know if you want to work there? Do you have friends there, have you done an internship, or do you currently only have an outsider’s view?

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