“Dear Josephine Miner,
While being in the interview process with one company, I received an offer from another company I previously interviewed with. I don’t know if I should just take the first offer or keeping interviewing?
Congratulations on receiving an offer and obtaining multiple interviews! Many students find themselves in a similar, if not the same, situation. First, ask the company that is offering a position the deadline to accept. Some companies give acceptance periods as short as one week while others give students 2 months to accept. Figure out if there is enough time to interview with the other company and receive a second offer before accepting the first offer. If the acceptance period is long enough to do the second interview and potentially receive another offer, then just wait to accept. If that isn’t the case, set an appointment with a career counselor at the Missouri S&T Career office on the third floor of Norwood. The career advisers give students expert advice on topics such as these. They advise students on this situation every semester and most of the advisors are familiar with offers from well-known engineering companies. The advisors can also help students determine if the first potential offer is too good of an offer to refuse.
If a strong connection was felt with the recruiters or there is a recommendation from a friend for the second company, inform that company during the interview that another offer has been extended and when they would need to extend an offer by. Usually companies will try to expedite the interviewing process if a student is in the top of their interview group. If there wasn’t a strong connection, then it might not be a good idea to mention the other offer. Some companies don’t want to take the risk of extending an offer to a student that has the option of rejecting them for another company or feel rushed to extend an offer to someone they haven’t made a connection with.
If there isn’t time to receive an offer from both companies, determine what position sounds more appealing and would help the most in achieving the “goal” career. If the first company offers a position that is of no interest and no value, then consider rejecting the offer and interviewing with the other company. If the positions are similar or of similar interest level, then evaluate the companies. Does one company have a culture or environment that is more appealing to work? Some students prefer working in the field while others prefer working from an office. Additionally, ask each company if they cater to interns and co-ops through fun orientation days, intern volunteer days, or socials such as softball leagues or weekly trivia get-togethers. Ask around from peers, friends, and classmates what previous interns, co-ops, full-times thought of the company and if they were in the same role you are interested in. Classmates can give a much more realistic idea of what the position will be like, especially because companies are trying to sell themselves to students just as much as students are to them.
Lastly, it is hard for many students to reject an offer when they don’t have another guaranteed, but if the other company sounds more interesting or desirable, make sure to really prepare for the interview. Worst case scenario, there is always the spring career fair to get another chance at a job. The last piece of advice is to listen to your gut. Working is easier and more fun when it’s what you want to do. Readers in need of advice please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sincerely, Josephine Miner