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What's the best way to handle a situation where you have, or expect to have multiple offers?

The ideal situation is that your several offers come in about the same time, and you make a choice. this is not how it happens though. You may have an offer, and several near-final interviews lined up for the following days or weeks.

One way to handle it would be to ask for a longer time to decide on the first offers you receive. 2 weeks? This gives time to rush the rest of the things you have going through to an end. i question whether asking for 2 weeks to decide is reasonable though. My guess is that an employer would see through that and force your hand.

Another way to handle it would be to accept the first offer, and ask for a reasonable period before your start date, then simply "quit" the first position before you ever start if something better comes along. On one hand, employment is at-will, and employers exercise this fact regularly. On the other hand, it seems morally the wrong thing, and has the potential to burn some bridges.

And of course the last option is to simply evaluate each offer in isolation, and accept or reject within the given time frame.

any thoughts?

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closed as off topic by gnat, ChrisF Mar 24 '12 at 20:56

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This is a problem that's not unique to software developers, nor is the perspective of software developers any different to anyone else. –  ChrisF Mar 24 '12 at 20:57
    
This might be a good question for The Workplace Currently in commitment phase at Area51. Please go and commit to supporting this community. –  Chad Mar 26 '12 at 13:02
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I just had this situation happened to me, and I think the best thing to do is to push for sometime. Any reasonable employer that understands the market will respect that and ultimately they want you to stay if you accept the offer as well.

If they don't respect the time to wait, then it's first a red flag for me the interviewee and also it's really up to you to decide what you really want.

Each company and position offers unique experience and benefits, and knowing where you want to go helps.

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You could just say that you have other offers you are considering. I once told an employer I had to wait for another job interview. He was fine with that. If an employer has no patience, or sees this as a lack of commitment, that does not bode well for your working atmosphere...

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