A Good Problem To Have: Negotiating your Interview Schedule

So Luke called me last week with a dilemma. He was being flown out to Phoenix at the end of the week, by Company A, for a second interview for a job that he was somewhat interested in. In the meantime Company B had called to schedule a second interview but it was going to be 3 weeks out. He was far more interested in the opportunity with Company B but was afraid that he was going to get a job offer from Company A and have to make a decision before he got into the second round with Company B. His question? “What can I say to Company B to try and get the interview moved up, without making them think I am being a jerk.”

This is actually a simple one to solve. Luke needed to call up the HR Director in Company B, (who he had been dealing with) and tell them that he was very interested in their opportunity, in fact at this moment they were his first choice. BUT, and it is a big but… he needs to share with him that he is headed out to Phoenix this week for a second interview with Company A, and he has every reason to believe they will make him an offer. He very much would prefer to work at the HR Director’s company (this is true) but he is afraid the timing isn’t going to work. And then he needs to ask if they can move the interview up to early the following week.

Let’s think about this. The HR Director wants this information. He is attempting to fill a role and if one of the strong candidates is about to get another offer he clearly wants the opportunity to try and realign the process to meet the new time constraints. Nobody is being a jerk here – this is just negotiating in the open.

So Luke made the call and as I expected, Company B quickly moved the second interview up to the Monday after he returned from Phoenix and the interview with Company A. Why? Because now they know that they are in a horse race. And – sad but true – once a company knows that other people are interested in you – they become more interested in you.

Here is the next chapter in this story. Both second interviews occurred, Luke likes both opportunities and in about 20 minutes we are going to be talking through his two different job offers. And then he is going to accept one of them. Like I said a great problem to have!