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2 job interviews, do you tell the other guy you also have an interview?

  1. Feb 22, 2007 #1
    Hello everyone i'm alittle confused on what I should do. I have a job interview coming up march 12th with a manager at IBM in NC. But I just got another phone call today, from another Manager at IBM in a different location, this time Florida.

    I really want to go to NC but if I cant get the job at NC i want to have a back up plan so I want to go to Florida.

    Do I call this guy from Florida up and tell him yes i'm interested, and of course he is going to want to set up another interview. But do I tell him well I have another job interview coming up at a different location? Or do I just focus on him and if I get the job I just send a nice thank you but sorry I already accepted a co-op position in NC?

    Any advice would be great!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2007 #2
    Nah, I doubt either of them would care even if they knew. If it was at the same location, maybe. The only reason they might care is if it was at the same location and they missed the chance to consolidate the interview.

    Just my guess, others might know something I don't.
  4. Feb 23, 2007 #3
    No need to tell anyone anything unless they ask, and even then don't go into details.
  5. Feb 23, 2007 #4


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    It's a private concern of yours if you have other interviews. Go to them both and see how it works out.
  6. Feb 23, 2007 #5


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    Why tell them ? Just make sure you can be fully prepared for both of them and the best of luck !! :)
  7. Feb 23, 2007 #6
    good point, thanks guys!!
  8. Feb 23, 2007 #7


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    1] Employers should always expect that you are actively exploring other options. If they ask, you can tell them that, without further elaboration. But it is critical to assure them you are seriously interested in them.

    2] As far as which you take, you are not obliged to anyone until you sign on the dotted line. You could have three job offers in front of you and be considering all of them. this also means you should pursue all of them at 100%.

    3] It is a courtesy for you to, once you have more than one serious offer, let them know that you are considering another offer on the table.

    4] The key here, is that you should ALWAYS let them know that you are very interested in the job and seriously considering their offer, and you should continue to assure them of this right up until you sign on one line or another. If they at asny point, think you're less than very interested, they'll drop you.
  9. Feb 23, 2007 #8
    You know, if a university knows that other universities are interested in you, you look even better. So, if the issue comes up for any reason, don't lie.
  10. Feb 23, 2007 #9


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    I'm of a different opinion on this. Since they are both IBM folks, I'd let them both know. There are two reasons for this. First, it may help you, since you can discuss the other job opportunity with each manager to see what their perspective is. You might find out for example, that one job does not have as much projected growth potential as the other one.

    The second reason is that if you keep the two offers secret from the managers, and you get offers from each, and you say to each that you have another offer that you are seriously considering, then you may end up having the two managers each upping their offer to try to get you. If you get hired after that, and they later find out that you were playing two divisions of IBM against each other to get more money, you'll probably be shown the door.
  11. Feb 23, 2007 #10
    Berkeman, that was a potential issue that I had envisioned but I don't have the experience of making a career choice like mr. coffee's, so I refrained from commenting. However, since you voiced, essentially, what I had been contemplating, I felt it was important for me to now, voice my perspective in support of your statement.

    Mr. Coffee, nice job, my friend. You seem to be doing pretty damn awesome.

    Congrats and good luck DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

    - BlAaaaaaZEeeeeeeeeeeeeee -
  12. Feb 23, 2007 #11
    hah thanks complex...
    That does make sense berkeman!
    I see more growth in NC flordia isn't a big IBM place like NC or Boston on the east coast but I will call him on monday and see what he says
  13. Feb 24, 2007 #12


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    If that were to happen, I'd take it as a good reason not to work for IBM. At least they should then offer a lower salary.
  14. Feb 24, 2007 #13


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    If I may add my 2 cents: I've been in a similar situation twice, and things worked out differently in the two cases.

    In a first interview, when they asked me if I was considering other offers, I answered vaguely that "I kept open all my options" without going into detail, and they didn't insist. I got the offer, but was sermoned at the same time that they found out in the mean time that I presented myself elsewhere, which they took as an indication that I wasn't seriously interested in their offer, and that they could show me the door at any moment. (given that threat, I actually didn't accept their offer in the end).

    In another interview, I explained in detail that I went to see elsewhere too (and that I had good chances of being taken there - which was true in fact), and their conclusion was that they wanted to speed up the process in order for me to be able to start quickly with them. I ended up accepting their offer (which came within a week).

    So the first potential employer actually found it a negative attitude to go and look elsewhere, while the second employer found it an element of competition that was HIS problem.

    In my eyes, the first employer had a strange sense of reality: it seems rather evident that someone looking for a job looks at different places!

    Now, the situation of the OP is peculiar in the sense that he gets TWO offers from the same company. I guess it all depends in how much these two divisions have to be considered "independent", and in how much they are "part of the same house".

    However, I think there is one thing one should never ever do during an interview, and that is, to lie.
  15. Feb 24, 2007 #14


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    Indeed, I think that IF the OP wants to say he has another offer, he also has to say that it is from the same company.
  16. Feb 24, 2007 #15
    vanesch, here is the thing, i thought of that too, but I don't want this guy in Flordia to speed up the process and be like, well your resume looks awesome your hired, i really don't want to go to flordia.

    Flordia will only be a summer job, while the one in NC is a summer and fall, co-op in a great division of IBM and is located by family who recently moved down there so i'm really interested in NC.

    But I also have alot more competition to go to NC everyone on the East Coast who wants to co-op with ibm i'm against so its hard to say what I will do. But I know i'om going to call the guy back on monday and tell him I do have an internview for the Tivoli Department in NC with IBM as well and it shouldnt' be a problem i just hope he doesn't either blow me off or say i got the internship.

    PS: sorry this message is quite sloppy i'm in a hurry!
  17. Feb 24, 2007 #16


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    Mmm. So you hope for the job in NC, but if you don't get it, and you can have the one in Florida, you'd go for that one. In that case, unless asked for, I wouldn't say anything to the Florida guy.

    See, your problem is the following. If the Florida guy knows that you also look in NC, he might ask you which one you prefer! You then have the choice between telling him a lie, or telling him that you're less interested in his offer than in the other one. See, it is kind of funny to look for a job, but to say in the mean time that you'd prefer to go elsewhere. Doesn't look very serious. On the other hand, if you lie and you say that you prefer his offer, he might try to "help" you make your decision, and call his collegue in NC to see if he can't do without you given that you don't seem motivated to go to NC, spoiling your chances to get there.

    My personal idea is that if you're not asked for, you should not say anything. If for one or other reason they both KNOW (maybe they have a common file system for applicants, and you're filed there) this (you should take into account that they might know that you have two offers), there's no problem. You're looking for opportunities. These are two different offers, with totally different descriptions, and you simply want to know what are your options.

    In fact, they are not OFFERS yet, just potential opportunities. They are not crystallised either yet.

    However, when asked for, I wouldn't lie. However, I would remain very vague over whether you prefer NC or Florida, unless really pushed to. You can always say that they didn't hand you a detailled list of all the candidates that they are interviewing, either, so they keep their options and so do you!
    If they ask you which one you prefer, you can say that that is a hypothetical situation which you will only consider when it becomes a reality: if they give you the TWO offers, then you will make your choice, not before. Tell them you're still in a quantum mechanical superposition :tongue2:
  18. Feb 24, 2007 #17


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    Having worked for a big company - and done interviews - this situation doesn't sound unusual, for two reasons.

    The cynical reason is that the right hand probably doesn't know what the left hand is doing. If you don't like that concept, don't work for any big company, period. That's just the way the world is.

    The less cynical reason is, if you have made an application and they think they may want to employ you, it could be the company doesn't have a clear view of where your would fit in best, against their current requirements. Presumably your application is "doing the rounds" inside the company and a couple of managers have said "hey, he looks interesting". From the other side of the table, there are sometimes big fights about who gets to employ an applicant that everybody wants!

    Tell the Florida guy you have the other interview (i.e. exactly, when, where, and who you are seeing) and say you want to explore both options fullly.

    If the Florida guy really wants to see you, he might even make a trip to NC and sit in on your interview there.

    You want to get to the position where YOU have all the facts and YOU make the final decision. If you give the impression you have already made up your mind, you won't get any more facts - the guy who thinks he has lost you will most likely just go find somebody else, not spend time chasing you.

    BTW if you do end up doing two interviews, assume the second interviewers have already talked to the first guys before they see you, and they will talk again afterwards. (Sorry if that's so obvious it sounds patronizing - but from your OP it seemed worth pointing it out).

    Playing hardball to get what YOU want is perfectly OK, but if you try playing games and telling them different stories, expect to get found out. And from the other side of the interview, if you do get found out the simplest response for the company will be to turn you down, however good you are.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
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