Q. Since revising my résumé and cover letter with you, I have had a dramatic increase in interview activity. My problem now is that I have several opportunities on the horizon that I am interested in and one of the companies I spoke with recently has extended an offer.
How do I juggle things so I can keep all my options open? The timing is becoming a bit of a challenge and I would like your advice on this. – JG, New York
A. What an excellent problem to have! It is great news that you have an offer on the table already; but I do understand the challenge you are facing. Particularly at the senior level, the progression of the interview process can have ups and downs. I have heard of candidates having upwards of 6 or 7 interviews with various people over the course of many months before a final offer is extended.
Given that you have a current offer, you should go to the other companies where you are interviewing and be honest. Let them know your situation; see if there is any way they can accommodate you to expedite the interview process.
In the meantime, let the prospective employer know that you need a little more time to think about it, and that you have some other roles you are considering. Politely ask if you may have an additional week to consider the position. Going beyond that time might send the wrong message – so you will need to be careful.
Assuming you feel the role that has been offered is aligned with your goals, and satisfies the things you are looking for in a new position, accept the offer. You will need to do this in the agreed upon timeframe if nothing else has transpired within the time initially discussed.
Under no circumstances should you accept the role and continue to interview. That type of activity sends the wrong message about you; potentially, you could damage your brand. It’s a small world out there. If, you feel that the offer is not the right fit for you after all, let the hiring manager know as soon as possible so he can look for other suitable candidates.