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How to handle an interview when you have multiple job offers

What do I do if I have job offers but still have other interviews? Receiving a job offer while you are still in the interview process elsewhere can put you at a huge advantage if you play your cards right. Here is exactly what you should say to each company involved to maintain great relationships and set you up to potentially get multiple offers.

To simplify the explanation, I will call the company that gave you an offer “Company A,” and the company that you are still in the interview process with, “Company B.”

Step 1: Speak with Company A

Always be building rapport — start out by telling Company A thank you, and that you are excited and grateful. Then make sure you ask for time to think about the offer.

  • Say this: “This is such great news, I have really enjoyed getting to know the team, and I am so grateful for the offer. I am really interested in this opportunity, but I do have an interview planned for next week. I take this decision very seriously, and so I’d like to vet my options so that I am sure of the decision I make. Would I be able to give you a decision on X date?”

What’s going through the Company A’s head:

When you say this, they will start to doubt your level of interest in the opportunity. That is why it is so important to reiterate how excited you are about their offer, and reassure them that you are genuinely considering their offer (versus simply using it as leverage with other companies).

Also know that companies will not be surprised by this ask, as it is normal among in-demand candidates (hey, that’s you!). However, Company A may not be able to give you much additional time because they need to fill the role. There are likely other candidates they would like to give offers to should you decline, and the longer you make them wait, the more likely those candidates will find other jobs.

Step 2: Speak with Company B

Now it is important to go to Company B and let them know that you have an offer, but that you are still interested in exploring the opportunity they have presented.

  • Say this: “I have an offer, and that company wants a decision soon, but I am very interested in this opportunity, would we be able to expedite the interview process to see if it’s a match?”

What’s going through the Company B’s head:

This GOLD, because if they thought they wanted you before, now they really want you.

From the employer side, we appreciate when you let us know any time constraints. If you show excitement and interest this will not hurt your candidacy, and can actually improve it. However, do not use this as a tactic when you don’t actually have an offer, that’s not worth it.

Know that sometimes they will grant your request and move schedules around, and sometimes won’t. The discussion that happens behind the scenes is determining if it is possible to speed things up, and if it is, are we willing to? If Company B says, “No we can’t speed things up,” it could be either that they are just not that into you, or there are some external factors at play that have nothing to do with you.

If they do make the effort to speed up your interview process, take that as a BIG sign that they are interested in you. If a company is afraid to lose you they will go above and beyond to coordinate around your timeline.

What’s next?

Now that both companies know where you stand, make sure you take time to truly vet the opportunities to determine which is best for you.

For more tips, here’s a video where I go more in depth on this topic as well as here’s a video of the best job offer negotiation tactics I’ve seen.

This article first appeared on Quora.

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