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I'm not entirely sure what I should do. I got the message saying the job wants me to start in about a week's time, and have sent me the paper work to sign and everything. Shortly after, I got a message from another recruiter that a job that is - for all intents and purposes - better than the one I have just secured now, wants to interview me.

Is it too late to go back on the job offer I have now, to explore the potential interview?

  • No not at all, assuming you're secure enough that if the 2nd job, that you have an interview for, doesn't work out, you're ok missing out on the initial opportunity. – New-To-IT Feb 25 '16 at 19:54
  • Sorry it's a bit unclear, did you accept the first job offer yet? If not, try to delay until you interview for the other one. – Myles Feb 25 '16 at 21:15
  • I will try to be more specific. On Thursday the 18th, I had an interview for a job I was applying for. Then, on Wednesday the 24th, I had a phone interview for a completely different job opportunity. At the end of that Phone Interview, they asked if I would be willing to go in for a face to face interview. I said I would love the opportunity, and Scheduled it for Friday the 26th. Today, Thursday the 25th. I just got a message saying my first interview opportunity - the one on Thrusday the 18th, would like to hire me, and sent me papers to sign to start on March the 7th. – user47225 Feb 25 '16 at 21:35
  • The interview for the second opportunity (The meeting on Friday the 26th) is far better in terms of pay, my career interest, and even work schedule...but I am scared that since the first job has already sent me paper work and want me to start on the 7th, that exploring the second interview is a bad move...despite it being my first choice of the two jobs. I have not signed any papers yet. – user47225 Feb 25 '16 at 21:37
  • Don't sign before the next interview. Just because they want you to start on the 7th doesn't mean that works for you. Interview on Friday and ask about their hiring time frame. Work from that information. – Myles Feb 25 '16 at 22:19
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Based on your updates in the comments, you are faced with a common situation: Company A wants to hire you and sent you an offer. Meanwhile you're still in the interviewing process with Company B which seems like a job that fits you much better.

Your first task is to get back to Company A and request some time to consider there offer. Ask them when they would need your final decision. How much leeway a company has varies enormously, but it's typically not done to ask for more than a week. If you don't accept they have to go with their second choice and they can't keep those people waiting too long.

Once you've got the deadline for Position A, go to the interview with B. If you get the idea that they like you and you don't bomb the interview, at the end of it you bring up the fact that you already have an offer elsewhere. Ask what their time-line is. If they like you a lot, well-run companies can and will fast-track you through the process. If they don't consider you a potential hire they'll probably tell you outright that they can't speed up their hiring (or reject you on the spot), but this could also be because of a rigid bureaucracy. Companies with rigid hiring policies know that they will lose good candidates but that's another topic.

With any luck, you'll be able to get an offer or rejection from B before A's deadline expires. If you don't, give B a final call the day before the deadline at A and mention that you have to accept or reject another offer and ask if they have an update. Some may get back to you that very day and offer you a job. Some wont.

If the deadline from A is there and you're still in the dark about your chances at B, it's time to make a judgement call that only you can make. Your decision to accept or reject A depends on how badly you need the job. If you're currently employed you don't lose anything if you reject A. If you're not financially secure then you might have to take the sure thing and accept A's offer. Be prepared for the fact that B might not offer you the job.

  • Just one addition: If A is reasonable they will know that you are looking for jobs elsewhere as well. They might be unreasonable about it, or they might put you under pressure to accept the offer. In that case, the risk is higher that you lose the job at A, but then maybe A is not the best place to start either. – gnasher729 Feb 26 '16 at 15:49
  • @gnasher729 True, but that pressure can be the result of poor/rude management or simply because they are in a hurry to fill the position and don't want to lose their second-choice candidates. It's difficult to say which from the outside. I'd consider it a red flag if the hiring manager wouldn't give someone even a few days to consider and wasn't highly apologetic about that inconvenience. – Lilienthal Feb 26 '16 at 16:44
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    "A" probably is expecting to hear from you fairly quickly, but you could tell them that you had a previous interview scheduled and you will give them an answer on Monday. I will say that in your situation I would think very carefully before turning down an actual offer because of a potential one. How many interviews have you had during this period of unemployment which didn't result in an offer? Figure that as your percentage chance of getting an offer from Company B (unless they make you an offer right away...be sure to let them know you need an answer by Monday) – Francine DeGrood Taylor Feb 26 '16 at 20:03
  • @FrancineDeGroodTaylor That sounds like a potential answer or comment on the original question, not a comment on my post. – Lilienthal Feb 26 '16 at 23:40
  • @Lilienthal, I didn't think it added enough to warrant being an answer. Basically, I thought your answer was good, but I just wanted to add an extra suggestion. If you tell them you need more time you should tell them why, and it's true that the decision about whether or not to accept depends on whether they can afford to gamble on the bird in the hand. I just wanted them to consider the odds. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Mar 12 '16 at 0:45
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Depending on your location, you might want to consider a couple of things before making a decision. Specifically...

  1. Whatever you are signing may be binding - for instance a long notice period.
  2. You would probably ruin your reputation with the company that you jumped ship at.
  3. I might weigh in on the interview process for both companies as well. If it was long and in depth they will probably be more upset if you jump ship immediately.

I think this is probably very country & job dependent. For example, at-will employment countries you are probably in a better situation to up and leave suddenly with little notice. Speaking to the job type - depending on the job, (e.g. call centers, or similar businesses) they probably do not expect you to stay very long.


Speaking from personal experience, I once left a company under a month after starting. I interviewed at a better company and informed them of my current employment having just started. They said they were ok with the situation, and I signed my contract with them, followed by giving notice at my old job (two weeks). I did not require a reference so I did not think very much on leaving so quickly.

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With the information that you added in comments, there is plenty of time. Go to the interview on the 26th. If it goes bad, nothing lost. If it goes well, you advice them that you have an offer to start on the 7th. It shouldn't be seeing as putting them under pressure; having offers at some point is normal. At most you put them under pressure not to hang around. Then you see how they react. No matter what the result, you lose nothing going to that interview.

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You should go to that interview. Remember to always keep your own best interests in mind.

If that other company offers you a job apologize to your current employer, and jump ship. In the future don't even mention that job on your resume.

It won't be pleasant, but it will be the best thing for you, and that's really all that matters.

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    -1. This is awful, absolutely awful advice. Yes, job searchers should act in their own best interests, which sometimes means acting unprofessionally and job hopping, but to encourage someone to accept an offer that they are highly likely to renege on is highly unethical and disrespectful to the company and the other candidates for that job opening. It's also a great way to permanently ruin your reputation. – Lilienthal Feb 25 '16 at 20:39
  • @Lilienthal - it's a great way to come out on top. To be successful in this world you need to know when to follow the rules, and when to break them. When to help your fellow man, and when to chase your own interests. Nothing might come of that interview. But if it does, and if that job is better should the OP refuse it simply because it is "unethical" to leave a lesser job which he's held for less a week or two? Should he give up on an opportunity because it doesn't match your moral compass? Seems silly. I advise playing his cards and making the choice that's most profitable. – AndreiROM Feb 25 '16 at 20:43
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    You're advising dishonesty and acting in bad faith, and disregarding the potential backlash this could have on the OP's career. I'm not the one being silly. – Lilienthal Feb 25 '16 at 20:47
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    @Lilienthal Your right, underhanded dealings always come back to haunt you. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Feb 25 '16 at 21:38
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    I just dealt with a staff that quit after 1 day. This is just complete waste of time, to set credentials up, interview, do the uptake, and they leave. There's no way they're getting a positive reference from this very short stint. Do this enough and you'll red-flag yourself out of any stable job. – Nelson Feb 26 '16 at 4:12

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