2 Job Hunt Questions

by Evil HR Lady on February 7, 2014

Hello Miss Lucas,

 I have a job dilemma. I’m a college student that will graduate in May. I have a job offer that I already have sort of verbal agreement with (let’s call it Company A). That was last semester. Now, I have a job opportunity for Company B. It is more interesting, and in a better location. I have a final interview coming up in 2 weeks. Do you think it is unethical what I am doing?

 I don’t want to turn down Company A yet because I don’t know what is going to happen with Company B, and I want to have a back up plan in case it does not work out. Should I feel guilty? I feel very grateful about having an offer from Company A, but I think my career would be better if I had a job with Company B. How should I handle this situation?

A “sort of verbal agreement” often ends with no job, whatsoever. Until you have a real live offer letter, with dates and background check info and paperwork to fill out for your 401k deductions, you don’t have a job offer. I know it may seem like you do, but trust me on this one, so many verbal job offers just go *poof* that I don’t consider them real offers at all. (In the professional world that is. If the folks at Burger King say, “You start Tuesday at 4:00,” you have a job offer.)

So, not only is it ethical to pursue the job with Company B, it’s a darn good idea, and I highly recommend it. You may or may not get an offer from Company B, and if you don’t it’s nice to have A in your back pocket. If you do, then, you do need to speak with Company A and tell them that you’re so sorry, but you’ll have to turn down their offer.

Now, of course, if they get you the formal offer and want you to sign something by next week (before your interview), you’ll have to be upfront with them that you are still interviewing and could you have some time?

 Dear Evil HR Lady,

 I have accepted a job offer from a company I want to be at. I start on Monday. I am a finalist at another company. Do I need to call the second company and tell them I already took a job and “thanks, but no thanks”. Or do i just sit tight and give them the news that I’m moving on when the contact me.

 (Background) The hiring manager at the second company said I was 1 of 2 finalist, and would make a decision this past Monday/Tuesday. I’ve heard nothing so I am assuming they offered the first guy a position, and am holding me on the line as a backup. Reason I’m thinking this, is that I came from their competitor, but I didn’t show great interest during the interview (DOH! I know!).

 I don’t want to burn bridges at the second company as I would like to work for them someday.

 Well, you’re certainly not required to withdraw, but since you’ve already accepted the other job, what would you do?

Situation 1: They offer you the job. What do you says, “Oh thanks, but I already have another job. I started yesterday!” Then they’ll be miffed. Especially since you KNEW you had the other job offer and didn’t say anything and they may lose out on the other candidate because of the delay.

Situation 2: They call to reject you. Then what? Do you say, “You can’t reject me! I reject you!”

Just better to withdraw. And you can be straightforward that the reason you’re withdrawing is because you’ve accepted a job with another company and that you wish them well. Also, just because they said they’d get back to you on Monday/Tuesday doesn’t mean they actually will. Hiring time operates in it’s own universe.

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