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Hi!

I’ve been interviewing at 3-4 good companies for the last couple of months. Finally I got an offer from the one that’s at the top of my list. Thanks to the Manager Tools podcasts! One of the other companies is doing background checks and a third one is flying me in for a final interview at their site to talk to some higher up for supposedly the final placement.

Could you please suggest what’s the best way proceed in your opinion? Should I ask the third company to cancel my travel plans and interviews with the higher ups? Or should I still go to the interview, get an offer and then make an excuse (e.g. offer too low) to decline them? (I seriously doubt that they can beat the offer and quality of job that I got offered by the first company)

Thanks!

jhack's picture

If you are going to take the offer, then take it. If you have time and you genuinely want an offer from the other companies, continue the process. You should probably let them know that you have an offer which you are considering.

AFTER you accept an offer, call the others, offer your regrets and appreciation, and tell them that you've accepted a position with X. You don't need to "reject" any offer -- you're only accepting a different one that's a better fit for you.

Your professionalism here is important.

John

rts_research's picture

Thanks jhack, for your response. It does make sense. I actually "genuinely" do not want the other offer now, but am feeling awkward to drop out without even giving that company a chance to present their offer. They have been very nice to me with all top guys going out of their way to take time to answer my questions and sell the company to me.

So I guess, the question is .. drop out now, versus do not accept their offer later. (Sparing a day to go talk to that company is no big deal).

bug_girl's picture

Speaking as someone with a limited interview budget...I would rather have you cancel at the last minute before the interview, than come and interview with no intention of taking the job.

It wastes my time and money, and keeps me from potentially interviewing another candidate.

As long as you make it clear the other job is a better fit for you, my feelings won't be hurt in any way, and I won't think negatively of you.

Jhack is right--Make sure you have a firm offer (preferably in writing!) [b]before[/b] you back out, though!

TomW's picture

[quote="rts_research"]So I guess, the question is .. drop out now, versus do not accept their offer later. (Sparing a day to go talk to that company is no big deal).[/quote]

If you have no intention of accepting their offer, then there is no reason to even go to the interview. It's just wasting your time and the company's time and travel money. What good could come of going to the interview?

Simply tell them that you have accepted an offer from another company and that you wish to cancel the interview ([i]after[/i] you have actually accepted that other offer!)

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Politely decline now (or as soon as you've accepted the final offer from the other company), just tell them you've accepted an offer that's a better fit. If they ask (some do, some don't) give them a valid reason why this other offer is a better fit. 'More money' isn't a good reason to give, it makes it sound like you're trying to get them to counter offer.

Interviewing with no intention of accepting the offer feels, well, dishonest.

Once you're in your new job send the hiring manager at the other company a thank you card thanking them for interviewing you and the offer of a further interview. If you feel it appropriate, invite them into your network and keep in touch.

Stephen

HMac's picture

[quote="rts_research"]I actually "genuinely" do not want the other offer now, but am feeling awkward to drop out without even giving that company a chance to present their offer. [/quote]

And you're NOT gonna feel awkward knowing you've let them continue the process when you know you don't want an offer? And maybe - just maybe - they've lost another candidate because they took the time with you?

If there's any way for you to accept the offer from your preferred company FIRST, and then inform this company, that's the best (and safest!) course of action. If you can't do that, then I guess if makes sense to politely take yourself out of the running with the company you don't want to work for anyway.

My only other recommendation:

[i]Re-read stephenbooth_UK's post just above. It's gold.[/i]

-Hugh

rts_research's picture

Thanks for all your responses. I completely agree that there is no point going to an interview if I have no intention of taking the job. The only things that are making me think about it are:

1. I haven't gotten a concrete offer from the company that's my top priority. Only my recruiter has told me that I've gotten the job and what the planned salary and bonus structure is (I apologize, I did not clarify this in my original post)
2. What if this company exceeds all my expectations when offering me the job? (There is a very little chance that this will happen, but what if it does? Without seeing their offer, I'll never know)
3. The interview is on Monday. Canceling at the last moment may look really weird and rude especially when we've been planning schedules since last one month.

Does it change your advice? Barring my tricky circumstances, I definitely think that the overall theme expressed by the group is really a no-brainer rule for any ethical person.

HMac's picture

rts_research:

[b]Make up your mind.[/b]

[quote]"I actually 'genuinely' do not want the offer now"[/quote]

[i]or[/i]

[quote]"There is a very little chance that this will happen, but what if it does? Without seeing their offer, I'll never know"[/quote]

[i]or[/i]

[quote]The interview is on Monday. Canceling at the last moment may look really weird and rude especially when we've been planning schedules since last one month. [/quote]

If you can't [i]not [/i]do it, then do it.

Sounds to me that you don't like the advice you're getting...or you're having second thoughts.

Only [i]you [/i]can make the "right" decision here. So use your judgment, make up your mind, carry through on it, and live with any consequences.

Y'know...just like being a manager. :wink:

-Hugh

rts_research's picture

So I did implement your advice for all but one of my interviews. (I had 3 more job interviews lined up besides the one mentioned above. I cancelled all those 3). I agree that interviewing with no intention of accepting the offer felt (slightly) dishonest … not to mention the waste of time for me and the company.

But I did go to the one interview that made me start this thread. I simply followed Horstman’s first law of interviewing, “Until You Got Something, You Got Nothing”. Since I had not gotten the offer from my preferred employer, I did not want to take any chances. It felt that declining one interview while not having another concrete offer in hand would be little too overconfident. Anyway, now that I’ve the offer from my preferred employer, I’m all set. Cancelling the remaining job interviews makes perfect sense at this point. Thanks a bunch for your help, and of course to Mark and Mike for their amazing guidance!

jhack's picture

Well done, and congratulations on your offer!

John