Applying and interviewing for a new job can be stressful and time-consuming, particularly for those who are already in full-time employment or education. What can make the process even more challenging is interviewing for multiple jobs in a short period of time, requiring you to learn two job specifications and have answers to possible questions that they might ask you .
If you are lucky enough to have been offered more than one job, then you may be wondering the best way to navigate the situation and come out with the right job and the right salary. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together some useful tips and tricks to help you handle two competing job offers, and ensure that you make the right decision for your long-term career.
With two competing job offers on the table, one of the first things that you should think about is your needs. If you’re already in work, ask yourself why you want to leave, and whether or not the new role will be able to give you more job satisfaction or an increased salary and home/work balance. There’s little point in moving to a new position unless you’re sure it’s going to be right.
Next, compare the companies and decide which one is best for your career in both the short and longer term. If one has mentioned the possibility of a promotion, it could be the more attractive option on paper, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. In cases like this, go with your gut.
Alternatively, you may decide that having received offers from others, you’d like to stay put in your current role. You could use your new-found confidence to haggle a promotion or pay rise. However, if you’ve already handed in your notice, think twice before accepting a counteroffer .
It’s important that you know you’ve officially been offered the job before you jump to conclusions or start pitting companies against one another. A verbal offer, whether that’s in person or over the phone, does not necessarily constitute a formal offer, so speak to the human resources department or your recruitment firm and ask for the company to put their job offer in writing. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re being offered, the responsibilities of your role, salaries and employee benefits. What’s more, comparing offers side by side can make your decision simpler.
Unless you’ve been asked to make a decision overnight, don’t feel pressured to accept an offer immediately. Speak with your contact and thank them for their offer, letting them know that you’ll get back to them in a day or two. Whilst, in theory, you can take as much time as you need, you should remember that the company will likely question your commitment if you’re not in a rush to respond, and may look at other candidates to form a plan, so weigh up your options and let them know as soon as you’ve decided so everyone’s kept in the loop.
It’s entirely up to the individual whether or not to disclose a competing job offer, but doing so has a number of benefits. First, it’s simply not professional to keep a competing offer from the other company, especially if they’re waiting for you to make a decision. If you think it’s right to do so, be open and honest and let both companies know that you’ve had more than one offer.
You could, in some circumstances, use that power to negotiate a better salary, contract or company benefits, but there’s a fine line between getting what you want and pushing a company over the edge, so be careful in the way you approach such a situation to avoid offence or upset.
It may be that both companies would like to meet with you a second time to discuss the role in more detail and have a chance to sell themselves. Such catch-ups are usually informal and allow you to ask any questions you have about the company before making a final decision, but you should still act professionally and impress hiring managers to ensure they maintain interest.
Once you’ve decided on a company, you should reject the competing job offer and thank the company for their time. It’s important that you stress how much you enjoyed meeting them but that you favoured another role, perhaps for its salary, location or level of responsibility. Whatever industry you work in, it’s good to maintain professional relationships – so be sure to add your new contact to LinkedIn and keep in touch. After all, you never know when you might need them, and you may decide to apply for a position with the firm in the future.
If you’re not lucky enough to have two competing job offers just yet, don’t panic. At Ripple Recruit, we have a wide range of roles across the engineering, scientific and technology sectors to suit your needs, whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned professional.
David Ellery is the Director of Ripple Recruit, an Engineering and IT recruitment agency in Reading. David has been helping candidates and companies for over a decade. You can reach David on firstname.lastname@example.org – feel free to get in touch to find out more .