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Would you accept a job offer knowing you were not the first choice?


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Old 6th September 2016, 4:13 AM   #1
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Would you accept a job offer knowing you were not the first choice?

I recently applied for a job that is a pretty senior positon and a step up from my current job. I had an interview and didn't hear anything for a month. I just assumed I didn't get it.

I got a call yesterday from HR person offering me that job. I asked why did it take this long to decide and she basically told me that the job was offered to another candidate but he ended up declining.

My worry is that I curently have a permanent job and I am reasonably happy there. If I take this offer and they are not sure I am the right person, I have more chance of being fired down the line. Also perhaps I am not really suitable for it.

The new job would be an increase in salary and responsibility and is also permanent.

Thoughts?
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Old 6th September 2016, 5:45 AM   #2
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They need the position filled either way so if you don't take the job, someone else will.

Can you negotiate better pay / work conditions before accepting, and how long is the trial period?
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Old 6th September 2016, 9:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suckered View Post
I recently applied for a job that is a pretty senior positon and a step up from my current job. I had an interview and didn't hear anything for a month. I just assumed I didn't get it.

I got a call yesterday from HR person offering me that job. I asked why did it take this long to decide and she basically told me that the job was offered to another candidate but he ended up declining.

My worry is that I curently have a permanent job and I am reasonably happy there. If I take this offer and they are not sure I am the right person, I have more chance of being fired down the line. Also perhaps I am not really suitable for it.

The new job would be an increase in salary and responsibility and is also permanent.

Thoughts?
If they let you wonder about the job for a month, maybe it's not a great place to work. They might at least have told you you were second in line and had to wait until the first person decided.
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Old 6th September 2016, 4:01 PM   #4
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I think that would be a really poor reason for not accepting a promotion. No thanks I don't want more money if I'm not the best. Of course there is always someone more qualified for any job than you are, as long as that person isn't taking the job who cares.
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Old 6th September 2016, 4:26 PM   #5
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Take it. Just because you were wait-listed doesn't mean you are unfit for the position. If you were unfit they would have never even considered you back especially for a senior responsible position. Have confidence in your ability. Plus it would be a big boost to your profile.
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Old 6th September 2016, 6:36 PM   #6
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Keep in mind if you interviewed with more than one person, you may have been one or more of the interviewers first choice.
In addition it's not always a matter of the other person being clear cut better than you, maybe he or she lived closer, had 2 more years experience, knew someone that worked there...and they like you equally.
A lot of times they might view multiple choices equally but they have to choose one. For all you know they thought you were more qualified and might be more prone to turn them down.
I wouldn't base a decision on an assumption that you were strictly their second choice.
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Old 8th September 2016, 3:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by suckered View Post
My worry is that I curently have a permanent job and I am reasonably happy there. If I take this offer and they are not sure I am the right person, I have more chance of being fired down the line. Also perhaps I am not really suitable for it.

The new job would be an increase in salary and responsibility and is also permanent.

Thoughts?
I think for any senior post, there will be an expectation that the successful candidate is confident and unafraid of asking difficult questions or making difficult decisions.

In the spirit of that, I would ask them why you were their second choice. No need to soften or justify the question with any "it's just that I'm concerned....wondering if you found me weaker in any particular area" or any of that. It's a valid question. "Can I ask why I was the second rather than first choice". To be honest, if I were an interviewer in that situation I would be surprised if the person didn't ask that question. Because surely to God anybody in that situation would be wondering "why wasn't I their first choice?"
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Old 8th September 2016, 6:18 PM   #8
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I would worry too much about being second. It could have been for a silly reason. You could always ask why as someone else pointed out. A month waiting is kinda crappy so do your due diligence on the company (ie are they having financial or other issues) and they won't shut down or anything.


If I were you and to offset any risk of taking on a new job where you have questions, I would ask for a signing bonus. Of course don't tell them you want more money because of the risk of taking a new job but give them some other reason like "my current job is going well now and would you be open to signing bonus to help me make the decision to leave easier?"
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Old 8th September 2016, 9:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Taramere View Post
I think for any senior post, there will be an expectation that the successful candidate is confident and unafraid of asking difficult questions or making difficult decisions.

In the spirit of that, I would ask them why you were their second choice. No need to soften or justify the question with any "it's just that I'm concerned....wondering if you found me weaker in any particular area" or any of that. It's a valid question. "Can I ask why I was the second rather than first choice". To be honest, if I were an interviewer in that situation I would be surprised if the person didn't ask that question. Because surely to God anybody in that situation would be wondering "why wasn't I their first choice?"
I did ask and they said that the other person had more management experience but I was stronger technically. There was some disagreement in the interview panel of who was better suited and they decided to go with the more experienced person. The other person had some visa problems and was unable to move and take the post in the end.

I am not sure if this puts my mind at ease but I have decided to take the risk.
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