How to Handle Multiple Job Offers

Question:

I was amazed when you said that you had five or seven job offers at the same point, and you picked Mckinsey. I was wondering how did you handle them?

I have my first round for Mckinsey next week. I got a call from a boutique firm yesterday, where I have finalized my interview process with them a while ago and was waiting for their offer. Finally they called, but I can't give them an answer because of Mckinsey.

How can I handle that?

If you have an offer from a company, how do you ask them in a professional way to postpone it a few weeks? Also, how can you encourage Mckinsey to speed up the interviewing process without irritating them?

 

My Reply:

I recruited on campus originally, so all the firms interviewed at the same time, and most of the offers came around the same time. So I didn't have this issue.

In your case, what I would suggest is that you just indicate that you are not done with your recruiting process and that you were planning on making a final decision after you were done. And basically ask for more time.

They will of course ask how much more time you need, and that is a tricky one because you can most likely ask for more time once, but it starts being awkward if you ask for more time twice.

On the other side, a candidate asking for an extension once generally feels reasonable if it comes with a good explanation. A candidate asking for an extension twice generally feels like the candidate is not interested inworking for the company and is really just waiting to work for another company.

At that point, the firm will generally wish it had not extended the offer. Most firms will not retract the offer (because it might hurt future recruiting efforts), but they will wish they could.

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