Penny writes, “I just got a job offer! Should I cancel the other interviews I had scheduled for this week?”
Yes! Or maybe not.
First, Congratulations. Landing a job offer is fun, exciting and not always easy to do, so here’s to you, Penny. Now, about those other interviews…
If the job offer is solid, if you have a start date and you’ve signed something or otherwise indicated that you are solidly accepting the job, then cancel your other interviews. You’re good to go.
If the job offer is tepid, if someone said you’d be great for this job or they told you they are “putting together” an offer, keep the other interviews. Offers can fall apart after they’re signed, but they are more likely to fall apart before that. Budgets change, needs change, the boss’ daughter-in-law steps in. These things can happen, and you’ll want the other interviews as back-ups, just in case.
If the job offer is solid, but it’s not quite the title or money or responsibility you hoped for, keep the other interviews. Respectfully ask the offering manager for some time; ask, Do you mind if I sleep on it? Or, Do you mind if I discuss this with my spouse? Ask, When do you need me to get back to you with a decision? This should buy you time to attend the other interviews and get a sense for whether one of those other positions is preferable.
If the job offer is good, but not good enough, you might be able to use a second offer as leverage. The timing here has to be uncanny. You need to have multiple offers at once and you need to be extremely confident and polite so that you don’t offend anyone. You also have to be honest; when you tell Manager #1 that Manager #2 offered more money for the same position, you must be prepared for the possibility that Manager #1 might say, sorry, and send you off to Manager #2.
Finally, if you do choose to skip the other interviews, make sure you cancel them. Don’t be a no show. Remember, offers fall apart and job changes happen; you just might need to interview with these people again someday, so you’ll want to leave them with a good impression.
Julie Desmond is IT & Software Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Send your career-related questions to Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.