What to Do if You Get an On-the-Spot Job Offer

Victoria writes:
Dear Dr. Hansen: The scenario is this. If I have a job interview on a Wednesday
and another (more preferred) interview on a Thursday how should I handle it if the
Wednesday interview results in a job offer on the spot? Should I accept the first
offer and then decline it if the second one becomes available or do I level with them
that I have other interviews and would like a couple of days to mull it over? Would
this put the first offer in jeopardy? I certainly wouldn’t want to insult anyone and
appear to be hedging my bets (even though that’s what I would be doing). Any
suggestions for proper direction? Thanks.

The Career Doctor responds:
In any kind of job-hunting situation where a job-seeker is facing a tough
choice the solution is always to determine which alternative is the least
offensive to the prospective employer(s). In your scenario it would be much
worse to accept the first offer only to rescind the acceptance the next day.
The even better news for you is that there is much precedence in a job-seeker
asking for time to consider an offer. In fact my advice for all job-seekers would
be to ask for time to consider the offer — if only to give you some time to think
about it with a clear head. The stress of job interviews is enough to push
some of us over the edge but combine that with the excitement over getting
the offer and you have a job-seeker’s brain which is not functioning at peak capacity.
And if the employer did question your motives for not accepting the job on the
spot that might be a sign that you really would not want to work there anyway.
But all this advice might be moot because as my mother says while it’s good
to think of all possible scenarios you may be putting the cart before the horse.
I continue to hear more and more of employers extending the typical job-search –
where a search may have been completed in several weeks now they are taking
several months.
So if you do not immediately get an offer from either employer do not panic.
Be sure to write your thank you letters to all your interviewers and be sure to
follow-up with both companies.
For other interviewing tips and advice go to the
section of Quintessential Careers.


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