What if you are expecting a job offer with one company and then get an interview with another company?
Specifically, you haven’t yet accepted an offer but are expecting one shortly.
I don’t suggest accepting a job offer and then changing your mind and accepting another company’s offer. That’s unethical.
The reality though is that timing often plays a big part in how we move forward in our career. You might be approaching a job offer with one company and are then invited to attend an interview with another company that you are also interested in working for.
What should you do?
Unless you’ve received the job offer in writing, it isn’t yet a job offer. In this case, your job search isn’t over yet as far as I can tell.
Until you have received a job offer in writing and have accepted it, I always think it’s good to keep your options open. I’ve seen verbal job offers retracted and instances where a job offer was believed to be forthcoming only to get shot down by an unexpected company hiring freeze.
A good interviewer (and recruiter) will ask you specifically if you are interviewing with other companies and if you are expecting any job offers shortly. They will ask you where you are specifically in each stage of the interview process if they are really interested in you.
If they don’t ask, you might decide to bring it up yourself in an interview. You should always leave an interview understanding what the next step is.
Is there another interview and if so, when? Will a job offer now be made to the successful applicant?
Ask the interviewer just before you leave the interview what happens next and when you will hear back from them.
If you are interviewing with Company A and are expecting a job offer with Company B shortly, you should close the interview with Company A by confirming the next step in the interview process and the timing. Afterall, if you’re expecting an offer from Company B within the next week but Company A isn’t planning to hire someone for their job for another month, the timings don’t match up.
At this point, you should consider letting Company A know you are interested in their position but are expecting an offer from another company shortly and see if they won’t speed up the interview process. If they are really interested in you, they should try to accommodate your schedule as best they can.
It may or may not be possible for them to do so or they may simply choose not to accommodate you but you won’t know unless you ask.
I’d only use this strategy when you have already been given a verbal offer from Company B and are waiting to receive it in writing or when you already have the offer in writing and have some time to make your decision as to whether or you’ll accept it. Simply “thinking” that you’re expecting an offer from Company B doesn’t really hold much weight.
Otherwise, you will have to decide yourself whether to accept Company B’s offer or take your chances and hope that Company A pans out for you in one month’s time. Chances are that Company B won’t wait one month to see if you accept their offer while you’re actually waiting for Company A to offer you a job.
Unfortunately, sometimes timing just doesn’t work out in your favor during the job search process.
Part of managing your job search is managing timelines as best you can and ensuring that the people you are interviewing with understand where you are in the process.
If you simply tell Company A you’ve accepted a job with Company B without making them aware earlier that you had a job offer waiting, you may miss out on a good job offer with Company A that might have been made available to you had they known about it earlier.
I have seen instances where upon being told that a job candidate was expecting a job offer elsewhere, a hiring manager sped up their company’s hiring process in order to successfully hire someone they were really interested in.