Do You Accept an Offer if You Are Still Interviewing?
As the 2021 economy begins to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, many companies are faced with a shortage of workers. For job seekers, the question might be which job to take amidst multiple offers. It's up to you to make the best choice after taking various job and personal factors into consideration. Once you accept an offer, you're making a commitment to that organization. Backing out to continue to interview after accepting an offer can affect you negatively in the long run.
Commitment to Your New Employer
After accepting a job offer, you should be preparing for your first day on the job. Your preparation may include completing projects for your current employer, studying materials relevant to your new position or simply taking some remaining vacation days to relax before you start a new role. In your acceptance, you indicated your commitment to the organization. You also conveyed to your new employer that you have ended your job search and that you’re ready to begin working for the company.
Simple courtesy is a primary concern in weighing the decision to continue interviewing when you have already accepted a job offer with another company. Recruiters spend a significant portion of their time reviewing resumes and conducting preliminary screens before they contact applicants with an invitation for a face-to-face interview. That time could wisely be spent considering other applicants who are still searching for opportunities, instead of interviewing someone who may have no intention of taking the interview seriously.
If a recruiter calls you to schedule an interview after you've already accepted another company's offer, the courteous way to handle the invitation is to decline the interview with an explanation that you've accepted another offer.
Your Professional Network
In many industries, the professional network is small and close-knit. Based on the position, the organization and the size of the industry network, word can spread quickly about the offer you accepted. Likewise, word also can spread quickly about your post-acceptance interviews.
Recruiters and hiring managers who learn that you continue to interview after accepting an offer may wonder why you’re essentially wasting recruiters’ time looking for other opportunities when you’ve already accepted a job offer. This can have a negative impact on your professional reputation. You could be seen as someone who doesn't take a job offer seriously or someone who wastes time shopping around for a better offer.
Accepting a Conditional Offer
While it may be in poor taste to continue to interview after accepting an offer, there are exceptions. If you accepted a conditional offer of employment and you have reason to believe the chances are slim that the opportunity will materialize, it’s actually in your best interest to continue your job search instead of waiting around. However, when appropriate during your continued job search, explain to recruiters that you have a conditional offer.
In some cases, it happens that an individual is offered a better opportunity after accepting an offer. The employment website Glassdoor recommends that you tell your current employer right away that you want to make a change. If you've been at a company less than 90 days, it's easier for the organization to let you go than if you've been with them six months or longer. If you want to make a change because the new job offers a more flexible schedule or work-from-home option, your current employer may accommodate you rather than lose you as an employee.
Communicating with Candor
As the employment website Indeed advises, it's better to make a personal connection with a phone call rather than merely sending an email when accepting a conditional offer while still looking. Honesty really is the best policy, especially when it concerns your professional reputation. If you have accepted a conditional offer and you’re still interviewing, be upfront with the recruiters.
Explain that the offer you accepted is conditioned upon circumstances out of your control and that you want to explore your options in case the job offer doesn’t pan out. Your candor and openness could work to your advantage – employers want trustworthy, honest employees, and your admission illustrates these traits.