What to Do When You Want a Second Job Offer

You have been interviewing for an entry-level job with both Company A and Company B for the past few weeks. Company A is by far your top pick, but you’re still two weeks away from finding out their decision. Meanwhile, you have an offer from Company B and need to give them a response soon. What do you do?

The most important thing is what not to do. You should never accept a job offer that you don’t plan to see through. Reneging, or going back on a contract or promise, is often perceived as very unprofessional and is likely to burn bridges. Employers talk, so you want to make sure that when you’re accepting an offer, you are fully committing to that company and that you’re putting your best foot forward. So you if you don’t accept Company B’s offer right away, what should you do instead?

Ask for more time to make a decision.

Tell Company B that you’re very interested but need more time to think over the offer. Most companies will allow you a couple of days or a week to decide. If you start asking for more than a week, a hiring manager may think you have other options in play and question your interest and level of commitment, so timing this well is important.

Here’s what you can say in your email: “Thank you so much for extending me an offer for the position of X. It means the world to me that your team believes I’m a good fit for Company B. I wonder if I could have until Friday to get back to you on this opportunity.”

Let Company A know that you have another offer.

Once you’ve emailed Company B asking for more time, be sure to reach out to Company A right away. Let Company A know that they are 100% your first choice, but that you just received an offer from Company B and need to let the other company know if you’ll accept their offer in X number of days.

Here’s what you can say in your email: “I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to work at Company A and the position at your company is by far my top choice. I received an offer earlier today from another company and have to give them an answer by the end of the week. I know we initially scheduled my final interview for ___, but would it be at all possible to reschedule to an earlier time? Thank you again for your consideration, and I’m very eager to follow up soon.”

If you are a competitive applicant that Company A is highly interested in, it’s very possible that they will find a way to speed up the process and get you an answer sooner.

If you don’t get a second offer immediately, don’t panic.

But what if Company A still isn’t able to give you an answer before you have to tell Company B your final decision? This is a definite possibility. If Company A doesn’t budge on their timeline, it leaves you leaves you with a tough decision to make. Do you decline Company B’s offer and hold out with the hopes that Company A will pull through? Or do you take Company B’s offer, minimizing the overall risk and opting for a solid, albeit not ideal, option?

This is something only you can decide. That said, you can trust that you have handled this situation with the professionalism and graciousness that all employers want their employees to embody.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Turn Down a Job Offer and find answers to common interview questions such as Would You Work Holidays And/Or Weekends?

5 Things You Must Do To Prepare for a Video Interview

More and more, recruiters are conducting interviews over video chat. It’s a very efficient and cost-saving way for recruiters to meet candidates, and it’s a convenient way for candidates to attend interviews. To give yourself the best chance of success, you should plan on treating your video interview the same way you would treat an in-person interview. Approach it with the same level of care and preparation, because it holds just as much weight.

Here are 5 tips to ensure that you nail your video interview.

1. Dress Professionally

“Dress for the job that you want to have.” Not only will this help your interviewer picture you in the role that you’re interviewing for, but it will help put you in the right mindset. Just because you’re not meeting your interviewer in the flesh does not mean you should take this as an opportunity to wear your sweats. They can still see you over the camera and you should make sure that you make a great first impression by wearing something appropriate for that position. For example, if you’re interviewing at a startup, a nice t-shirt and jeans is probably okay, and if you’re interviewing at a bank, you should be business casual.

2. Test the wifi and service beforehand 

Your interviewer will likely suggest a service like Skype or Google Hangout to conduct the interview. To ensure that there are no last-minute surprises, download the software and make an account at least a day prior to the interview. That way, if something isn’t working for you, you can politely reach out to your interviewer to let them know ahead of time. Also, make sure that you have a strong internet connection. You definitely don’t want to be cutting in and out during the interview.

Pro tip: Practice with a friend. Ask a friend to hop on the same service to test out the audio and visuals ahead of time so that you can be assured that you’re set up for success.

3. Don’t interrupt.

It can be tricky to read body language over video chat to know when your interviewer is done speaking and it’s your turn. Make sure to avoid talking over them by waiting one or two seconds after they’ve finished before giving your answer.

4. Use your computer, NOT your phone.

Though it may be tempting, your phone is not the correct device to conduct your interview on. You should be sitting at a level desk or a table. If you don’t have a personal computer, try checking one out of your school’s library and getting set up there.

5. Make sure your background isn’t distracting.

It’s fine to conduct your interview in your personal space, as long as it isn’t too personal. A pile of dirty laundry or books on your bed isn’t going to make a good impression. Instead, try to make your background as neat and non-distracting as possible. If you’re having trouble with this, try booking a private study room in your school’s library to take the interview.

With these tips, you should feel confident in your ability to impress the interviewer and nail the interview.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Write a Thank You Note After An Interview and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are Your Strengths?

GPA vs. Intangibles: What Really Matters

Is the common thought of needing a 4.0 grade point average to be hired at a top company true? At the WayUp Internship Google+ Hangout, we asked hiring managers from Google and Ashoka how much a GPA matters versus what really matters when applying to an internship.

GPA vs Intangibles: What really matters? Video Transcription

Nathan Parcells, CMO, Looksharp:

A student from UCLA named Jessica was wondering how much does GPA matter in the application process.

Cosmo Fujiyama, Search Team, Ashoka:

That’s interesting. Actually, interesting because I haven’t thought about that. I would rather look at the PSA instead of the GPA, which is the problem solving ability.

My new term for thinking about what’s relevant and what’s translatable because these metrics unfortunately don’t apply in real life, outside of the university system.

Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google:

When you’re a student, that’s your full time job, is being a student, so we expect that you take academics seriously and that you’re doing well in your classes and one thing we do, you know, when you apply we ask that you upload your transcripts so we can see your grades so we do take it into consideration but it’s not sort of this end all be all.

Cosmo Fujiyama, Search Team, Ashoka:

Don’t worry about that C+ in Chemistry. Been there.

Jessica Safir, University Programs Coordinator, Google:

Because we don’t stop at your resume where it says education, and then stop looking.

Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter, Google:

You know, if your resume is no internships, no external projects or interests, name, school, GPA, it’s going to be taken really seriously ’cause it’s all we’ve got. But if you’ve got this well-rounded background where you’re doing lots of different things and that’s gonna weigh more heavily than the GPA is. And so I think that’s a really important piece to it, as well.

Hayley Darden, Search Team Leader, Ashoka:

I think excellence is really important and if it doesn’t show up somewhere in your experience and on your resume as something that you value, you know, we notice that. We notice overall excellence. We notice caliber. We notice those things for sure. But I would also say that someone who’s been pursuing outside experiences has been involved and has clearly valued excellence and delivered at that kind you know, level consistently, that’s part of their narrative.

I wouldn’t be troubled by a lower GPA.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What is an Internship? and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?

7 First-Round Interview Tips That Will Help Land You A Second Interview

Securing the first-round interview is a major accomplishment in your job search process: It means that you did something right when it comes to the preparation process. Your resume was on-point, your experience is on-track, and your cover letter was well-written. But now it’s time to show them even more about yourself.

A first-round interview is usually done over the phone or by video call. It’s a screen that you have to pass in order to be truly considered for the job. It has its own set of precautions and best practices that should be acknowledged in order to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward.

Here are seven interview tips for snagging that second-round spot.

1. Have answers prepared for the three most common interview questions.

They’re not all going to be this easy.

There are certain questions that every interviewer will ask in one form or another, so you have to be ready to answer them regardless of which field you’re trying to enter. The good news is, if you’re a great candidate for the job, coming up with an answer that will impress your interviewer should be easy.

These questions are:

  • Why are you interested in this role?
  • What are your strengths?
  •  Why do you want to work at this company in particular?

You should always answer “Why do you want this role?” with the following two points:

  1. Talk about why you’ll be a great fit for the position.
  2. Explain what you think you can get out of the position in the long-term.

This way you’re showing that not only do you have something to offer the company but also that the company has something to offer you (which makes you an even better investment on their part).

Most employers want to know that the person they’re hiring is looking for a productive relationship—not just a way to make money.

As for strengths, be sure to pick your top three strengths most relevant to the position and have concrete examples of when you displayed them in the past—even if that means bringing an example from class or an extracurricular rather than a past job or internship. And be honest here—misrepresenting yourself will only hurt your chances of giving a quality example.

The last question will rely heavily on your research around the company’s mission, culture, and how those relate to your personal goals. For example, you could say something like, “Because I want to be in leadership in the long-run, I think your company, which offers a ton of management training, would be a great fit for me.”

2. Show them that you’ve done your research.

Just be sure to do it before the interview.

There are three things you really need to learn about before your interview:

  1. Learn about the company’s business and history. You should know what the business does (obviously) and how it started. Make note of things like acquisitions, major turning points, and the biggest wins (and losses) in its history. This kind of information can come in handy and—more important—is not something you want to be caught off-guard without.
  2. Learn about your potential role. Understanding the business means understanding what you would add to the business. Thoroughly read the job description. After that, search the name of the role plus the name of the company to get more example-based definitions of the position. This will greatly inform your answers in regards to strengths, fit, and what you hope to gain.
  3. Check the news. When’s the last time the company made the news? You probably won’t want to bring up any scandals or PR disasters. But showing them that you not only keep abreast of current affairs but also have an eye on the company is a great opportunity to shine.

How are you going to show them you’ve done the work? Let the research inform your answers. It’s okay to be explicit and say, “For example, in my research, I learned…” They don’t expect you to be a lifelong expert on the company, just someone who can do their homework when they’re called upon.

3. Show enthusiasm and gratitude throughout the interview.

Let ’em know that you care!

Already by applying, you’ve shown some interest in the position. However, to prove to the interviewer that this isn’t “just another job” to you, make sure to sound engaged, enthusiastic, and grateful for the interviewer’s time and consideration. This is especially important over the phone, where your interviewer’s only impression of your attitude is the sound of your voice.

Even if you’re nervous, you should answer the phone with a cheery, “Hi, this is ____.” rather than just a “Hey!” or “Hello.” Listen closely to what the interviewer says, thank them for their time, and be sure you’re showing your excitement with passionate answers. Don’t worry too much about being cheesy—it’s certainly better than the opposite!

4. For phone interviews, make sure you’re in a quiet place with a strong signal.

Believe us, it never sounds as charming in an interview.

Find yourself a room in the library, your home, or a school building that will give you the privacy and resources you need to successfully complete the interview. You want to avoid taking any calls outside, in coffee shops, other public places, or anywhere where you might be asked to move in the middle of your interview.

This means you should carefully plan ahead. Ask your roommate to clear out for that window of time, book a room in the library in advance, or tell your family that you’ll be in room taking a call at x o’clock.

You’ll also want to have your laptop ready (with internet access) to take quick notes, reference any documents they might want to send you, or open any links they might pass along. Sometimes you’ll even be asked to complete a quiz or exercise during the call, so make sure you’re ready for anything.

5. Have a notepad and printed version of your resume in front of you.

Jot down quick talking points you want to hit later… but always look attentive, like so.

This is especially important if they’ve sent you documents to look at on the computer or have asked you to follow a link. You can’t always use your computer to take notes and you don’t want to miss something important. Plus, if your first-round interview IS in person, then using a computer to take notes is out of the question (unless they instruct you to).

6. For video calls, dress professionally and work in a clean setting.

Just make sure you have somewhere to sit up straight…

When you’re on a video call, there’s a limited visual element that you have to be aware of. Make sure the room you’re in is clean and nothing too distracting is in the image. You should also dress like you would for an in-person interview.

Take down any distracting or controversial posters/wall art and make sure your internet connection is strong enough to properly conduct a video call. You might need to work off a school computer or Wi-Fi network to make this happen—so, once again, plan ahead.

7. Don’t forget to follow up.

I just wanted to say, “Thanks… and here are three reasons why I’m perfect for the job, partner!”

First round interviews usually mean many candidates being screened for the same position. Following up with a well-worded, prompt email briefly reminding the interviewers of your skills, why you would be a great fit, and your interest in the position will help you stand out. Also, be sure to thank them again for their time and tell them you’re looking forward to further discussing the opportunity.

By following these steps, you’re on the road to landing your dream job. Remember that even if you don’t get this particular position, you’ll just be better prepared for the next interview. Getting through an interview is in and of itself an accomplishment.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Negotiate a Job Offer and find answers to common interview questions such as What Motivates You? right here on the WayUp Guide.

How to Tell An Employer About Competing Job Offers

Having competing job offers is generally considered a great problem to have. It means that multiple companies are interested in working with you and that you’ve proven yourself to be a competitive candidate. However, there are a few things you should consider as you navigate this process, from how to keep both companies in play while exploring your options to whether to tell each company about other offers you’ve received.

It may seem tricky, but we’ve broken down the steps to make sure that you’re able to juggle everything without dropping the ball, and that you end up with the internship or entry-level job you want.

Step 1: Make sure your offers are in writing.

A verbal offer is not an official offer. Before you attempt to negotiate with various companies, you need to make sure their offers are in writing — outlining not only base salary but other important benefits like health insurance, vacation days and flexibility.

If you’ve only received a verbal offer, contact the hiring manager, recruiter or HR representative that you’ve been interacting with to firm up the offer. Consider saying, “This all looks great. I’m looking forward to reviewing all of the offer details. When can I expect to receive a written offer?”

Step 2: Don’t accept an offer if you may back out. Instead, extend the timeline.

Let’s say Company A just gave you an offer, but your top choice – Company B – has yet to finalize their offer in writing. Company A is pressuring you to get back to them with your final decision. What do you do?

Ideally, you want more time. Unless you think asking for more time would be so damaging that it could put your offer at risk, it’s worth saying, “I’m very excited about this offer and the chance to join Company A. I know that you asked for my response by Tuesday, but  there’s a lot to consider here. Could I have until Thursday to communicate my final decision?”

It’s possible that Company A may decline your extension request, in which case you have to make a choice to either 1) accept Company A’s offer without knowing the outcome of Company B’s offer or 2) decline Company A while banking on Company B’s offer. While it might be enticing to accept Company A’s offer while also keeping the door open for Company B, accepting and then rescinding an offer could easily burn bridges. It’s best to avoid that scenario if possible.

Pro Tip: A final option, and one we recommend, is to reach out to Company B and tell them about your situation. Let them know that they’re your first choice but that you’re under a deadline to make a decision. If they’re planning to make an offer, this will

Step 3: Carefully time when you’ll inform each company about the other offers.

If you’re going to inform Company B about Company A’s offer, it’s best to do so in the final interview or final follow-up, once you’ve had a chance to gauge where you stand relative to competing candidates. That said, you don’t want companies thinking you’ve pitted them against one another in a salary war. You could run the risk of having your original offer pulled if you mishandle this conversation.

Only if you’re feeling confident in the offers and your ability to manage the conversation carefully, should you go ahead and share this information. The goal here is to get all of the offers on the table at the same time for you to consider them and maximize your chance to make the best decision.

Say something like:“I’m very excited about the opportunity to work for Company B, especially the ability to have an impact. Company B is by far my top choice, but I have just received another offer this week at a company that would allow me to build out a different skillset. They asked for my response in a few days, and I was wondering when I could anticipate to find out Company B’s final decision. Thank you again for a great interview process, and I very much look forward to hearing your response.”

Step 4: Show appreciation.

Wrapping up your communication with a company should be done with grace and tact. Showing sincere appreciation for the hiring managers involved respects the time and energy they invested in your hiring process. When you’re ready to turn down one of the job offers, find out the right way to turn down a job offer.

With this tricky part of the journey managed, you’ll be ready to dive into your new job.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as What to Do When You Want a Second Job Offer and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About Yourself.