Hoping for a Better Offer After Two Interviews

Ward writes:
I had two job interviews two days apart. The one I am hoping to be
hired with is the latter. At my first job interview I was immediately offered
a job but it does not meet with my salary requirement nor does it offer any benefits
until after 60 days. How do I tell them I wish to wait until after my
second interview without messing up the first interview?

The Career Doctor responds:
First congratulations on moving forward with such success in
your job search. I wish you continued good luck.
That said let me offer a few pieces of advice about job-hunting and salary negotiation.
Job-seekers should always have an idea of the salary range for the jobs
you are applying for — because you never want to apply for a job that pays
below what you are currently making (unless you are making a drastic
career change) nor jobs that pay well above your current salary (and
level of expertise). So I am assuming the salary offer was not totally
unacceptable but simply below what you had expected.
Now to your dilemma. First you should never accept any job offer on the
spot — always thank the employer for the offer but ask for some time to
review it before making a decision. Using this strategy allows you to
stall for time if you have other potential offers in the pipeline gives you
a chance to review the entire offer (salary and benefits) at your leisure
and provides time for you to consider making a counterproposal if the offer
is not quite acceptable to you.
So in your situation knowing you may have a better offer pending I
suggest you ask for some time to consider the offer. By the way I
would also ask for the complete offer in writing. I know some employers
don’t like to do it but job-seekers need to protect themselves — and
be assured of all the benefits promised in the verbal offer.
If the second offer never comes the next thing you need to decide is
whether you want to continue job-hunting or whether the first offer is
acceptable as is or with some adjustments from a counterproposal.
If you do decide to make a counterproposal be sure to follow the
protocol — you have only one shot at negotiating and make sure all your
counterproposals are backed by research and facts (not personal pleas).
And finally a caveat: a small percentage of employers do
not negotiate and will actually rescind the offer in a huff if you attempt
to negotiate so there are risks here.
Learn more about salary negotiation in the Quintessential Careers
Negotiation Tutorial
. And learn more specifically about counteroffers in
this article on Quintessential Careers:
Offer Too Low? Use These Key Salary Negotiation Techniques to Write
a Counter Proposal Letter

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