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Interviewing Tips/How to ask company to wait after verbal offer

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Question
Hello, Ruth,

Recently, I got a verbal offer at the end of a face-to-face interview from a Director of a company. He said "Well, we would love to extend you an offer. Are you able to say yes now?" and demanded an answer from me on the spot. As much as I loved the company, I was in the middle of interviewing other companies (some 2nd round, a few 1st round interviews). So I told him I couldn't say yes right away and asked him if he could wait a few weeks after the new year for my final decision, so that I could finalize a few interviews.

He did seem disappointed and perhaps a little upset that I couldn't say yes to his verbal offer right away. Then he said if I am going to make him wait, he is not going to give me anything in writing and won't give me a first offer before other companies because he's tired of being used as a "negotiation pawn" for salary negotiations.

How would you have handled this situation? Did I handle this incorrectly by telling him that I was interviewing other companies? Should I just have said "yes" and get a firm, written offer, and then ask him to wait? I told him my interviews situation because first, I wanted to be honest about my situation, and second I really hoped that he could give me some time to finalize my options. But maybe he would have been upset either way.

Thanks,

Answer
Dear Jonathan:

It is unfair for them to expect you to decide on the spot.

I would have told him you needed some time to think it over, but I would not have mentioned the other interviews.  Most people need a few days to see if they can economically take a position, etc.

Never mention other interviews in the future.  Go home, decide if you want the position and give an answer within a few days.

Warmly, R. Butler

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Ruth Butler

Expertise

I will answer questions about resumes and how to do well on an interview. I am a former employment counselor and I have owned my own resume and career counseling business since 1982.

Experience

I have over 24 years of experience in this field. One of my greatest achievements was being asked to serve on the Employment Services Committee of our local outreach. I also conduct workshops and am a guest speaker at many schools and for our local outreach.

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