What should I do if I have two job offers?

I thought I would post this question here as well, because I realized I’ll get better (or at least more) responses here. (Original post on Reddit here):

  1. Is it considered rude to decline an offer after completing multiple interviews at a company?

  2. Are most employers understanding if I explain to them I have another offer and are no longer interested in working with them?

  3. Once there is an offer on the table, what’s a reasonable time an employer would expect me to make a decision to decline or accept it?

One final question, and this will probably have varying answers, but as a junior, how long did it take you to get caught up to the rest of the team in terms of proficiency/ competence in whatever stack/ tech the company used (i.e. how long until you were given more challenging/ important tasks to complete for the company)?

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First off, congrats. To answer your questions:

  1. Not at all. It’s no more rude than them not hiring someone after several interviews. They were interviewing several people and had no intention of hiring them all. It might be frustrating for them, but that is part of the game. Just be polite about it and don’t lead them on. You wouldn’t be the first to turn down a job offer. It’s nothing personal, no more than them not hiring you would have been.

  2. I wouldn’t say “no longer interested”. I’d say, “you have a fine organization with some wonderful people and I would have loved working here, but I have another offer and I think it’s going to be a better fit.” Or something like that.

  3. Usually they tell you. If not, ask. Just say, “I need some time to talk this over with my significant other, when do you need an answer by?” Any serious organization will respect that. Hell, even if I wanted the job right then, I’d probably say that anyway just to not seem too desparate.

Can’t help you with the last one.


Awesome, thanks for the reply!

@ksjazzguitar said pretty much what I would have for 1-3, so I’ll just put my 2 cents in on the last question (but it may not be very helpful).

It varies widely. Your first few weeks will probably be mostly onboarding training and paperwork, getting your environment set up and all your accounts and credentials created, and (hopefully) learning a bit about you product/project. If you weren’t hired for specific language knowledge, you’ll probably be given time and resources to learn the language and/or framework (but you’ll be expected to be able to do this quickly and independently). Once you’re “ready” to get started, different teams will have different approaches.

The teams I’ve worked on have worked along these lines: Another developer on the team will introduce you to the structure of the code base and will walk through a smallish change with you (probably a minor enhancement or a bug fix). You’ll then be given jobs that the team considers relatively small and low-risk (again, usually fixing isolated bugs). You’ll expected to ask for any help you need.

I know that there are other companies that pride themselves on really pairing entry-level hires with a mentor who works closely with them, but I haven’t seen how that works firsthand.

This is another thing that it’s perfectly reasonable to ask either in an interview or after receiving an offer.

*My comments and advice reflect my personal experiences as a Software Engineer and may not apply to your situation.

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Thanks for sharing, it’s definitely something I can ask about before deciding!

can’t you use the offer from the other jobs to get better pay?