I've applied to two companies, A and B. I already interviewed with A, and they just called to offer me the job. I said yes, I would like to work for them, but I'm waiting on another job and I need a couple of days to think about it. Company A will call me back on Friday (two days). Tomorrow I have an on-site interview with company B (after already completing a phone interview). I would rather work for company B.

How should I handle this? Should I tell company B in my interview that I have a pending offer? Should I say that I would rather work for them? Should I ask company A for more time until I get offered or turned down at B?

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    Always tell the other company (B in this case) that you have an offer. Say "I've got an offer from A, and they need a response by Friday. I'm really interested in working with you, B, but is there a way to speed up this process?" I was able to go from cold-call to hired in 4 days using this process. – Garrison Neely Apr 2 '14 at 19:37

The first thing I can say to you is be open and honest with all parties, it will make the whole process that much easier for everyone involved. It doesn't mean you have to tell them absolutely everything, for example I wouldn't tell company A that you would prefer to work for company B, but I would tell company B you have an offer on the table from company A who are expecting an answer the following day.

If company B can give you an answer by Friday then great, you have the ideal situation. As @GarrisonNeely commented use the offer from company A at your interview to try and get the process speeded up. Assuming they also give you an offer you can then pick and choose at your leisure. But they may not be able to give you an offer in such a short time frame. They may have other candidates to interview at a later time or meetings to be held to consider candidates. In that case at best you may get an indication of when to expect an answer.

If that is the situation come Friday you're in a difficult situation. If you ask for more time from company A you're pretty much telling them you're holding out for another job. It's at that point you would need to make a decision and either hold out for company B, in which case you can ask for more time from company A (just don't expect a favourable response) and then if it goes south put your hopes in company B.

Or you can accept the job with company A and not let the hope of company B lead you on. You have a firm offer and that's better than a possible offer from a company you'd prefer to work for.

  • Thanks for the answer. Should I mention the name of the company that I have an offer at during my interview? Companies A and B do very similar things. – ahota Apr 3 '14 at 4:56
  • @aj I'd only tell them if they ask. – Styphon Apr 3 '14 at 6:17

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