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How to handle two competing job offers

Applying and interviewing for jobs can be a time-consuming and complicated process – even more so if you’re juggling a full-time job or going for interviews with different companies. If you’re lucky enough to be offered more than one job, you may be wondering how best to navigate the situation and come out on top. Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know.


Wait for written job offers

A verbal job offer (such as "we want you" or "will you join the team?") does not constitute a formal offer. So, before you jump to conclusions or start battling companies against one another, make sure you have written offers. Speak to the HR departments or their recruiter and ask for them to put their offer in formal writing if they haven't already. The chances are they'll already do this when they offer you the job, but in smaller firms, it may not be common practice, and you may need to give them a gentle nudge.


Ask the companies for more time

Unless the company you interviewed with is looking for a candidate to start immediately, you should not have a problem in delaying your decision for a couple of days. Reach out to the HR department and thank them for their job offer, and let them know you're thinking it over. Take as much time as you need, with the go-ahead from the recruitment department, but remember that you'll need to decide at some point – waiting too long could cause the hiring company to have second thoughts and look elsewhere.


Let the company know you’ve had another offer

It's not professional to keep your competing job offer from the other company, especially while they are waiting for you to make a decision so when you can, be honest with them. You could use your job offer as leverage to negotiate a better salary or contract, but you should be careful that you do not offend or upset the other company. If you're still undecided as to which company is better for you, consider asking for a second interview or catch-up.


Make a decision

While it's flattering to have two companies vying for you, you will have to decide as to which you'd prefer to work for. Weigh up the pros and cons of the companies, negotiate your salary and contract if possible, and then let your chosen company know that you accept their offer. You’ll then need to let the other company down, which leads us to….


Say thank you

Thank the company for their time, and stress that you would have loved to have worked for them. It’s important that you maintain a strong and professional relationship with the company you’re letting down, so explain why you chose the other company. Thank them for their time, network with them on LinkedIn and keep in touch. After all, you never know when you might need to work with them again in the future.


Not lucky enough to have two competing job offers on the table yet? Start your job search on the Twelve Recruitment website, or get in touch on 0203 587 7512 to find out more.

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