There are many difficult steps when looking for a job or internship: creating your résumé, reaching out to employers, making it through the interview process. But now that you’ve done all that work, there still might be one last obstacle to jump. If you are lucky enough to get more than one offer, you are going to need to make a decision. The problem arises, however, when the time tables of the different employers for accepting the position don’t match up. Cynthia Favre of the Center for Servant Leadership has several tips if you find yourself stuck in this situation.
First, if the company you really want to work with is the one that you’re waiting on, let them know you are very interested and ask them what their timeline is for making the decisions. From there, if you have gotten another offer from an organization that is further down on your list, don’t immediately accept it. Instead, Cynthia suggests writing something along the lines of, “I need to let you know I am in conversation with other employers. In fairness to them and myself, so that I can make a good decision, I would like time to think about this offer. When do you need a decision from me?” Chances are they will give you a few days to a week to decide. After that, contact the first choice again. Get a sense of where you are as a candidate and then let them know that you have another offer. If you’re lucky, they might be able to speed up the process and give you an interview and feedback before you need to give an answer to the other company.
In the end, it still might come down to making a decision without knowing from the first company. However, if you accept somewhere, and later find you were accepted by your first choice, Cynthia encourages you to stick with your initial decision. As soon as companies have lined up interns and employees, they begin to tell other candidates they haven’t been hired. If you decide to leave, that means the company is without a new employee and candidates.
If you have any questions, make sure to stop by the CSL for help.