Forum: Did this new grad ruin an opportunity?

In the Ask The Headhunter Newsletter I introduced a new feature recently: the Readers’ Forum. I ask you how to answer a question, solve a problem or deal with a situation. So step right up…

In the July 14 edition, I published a Forum question from a new college graduate. She enthusiastically tells a company she wants to work there. So the company makes an offer — and thinks the applicant’s acceptance is a foregone conclusion! Meanwhile, the new grad has two other jobs cooking… and asks for an extension on the time to make a decision. The company gets ticked off…

I’m a fresh grad and I just received a job offer from a company I really want to work for (Company A), but I have a pending interview at Company B.  Company A gave me 24 hours to make a decision, and just before the deadline ended, I asked for an extension of less than a week’s time, explaining that I want to evaluate all my options.

The person who interviewed me then told me they were surprised about this because in the interview I told them that I would be prioritizing Company A over my pending application at Company C. But at that time I didn’t see Company B as an option yet. She said that one of the reasons they offered me the job is because I seemed to have a strong interest in the company and because I sent them a thank-you note that reiterated my interest. In fact, they were leaning toward another candidate but because I seemed “100%” about it, they chose me. Nonetheless, she gave me an extension for my final decision.

Should I apologize to her? I still want to work for the company, and I am planning on confirming it in a few days. I don’t want to have any bad blood between us. Did I mislead her in the interview when I told her my thoughts at that time? Should I not have sent a thank-you note? I thought these were the things interviewees usually said/did during interviews. Could they rescind the offer because my interest level waned a bit after they gave the offer? What should I do?

Whoo-wee! Good news, bad news! Did this new grad blow it? I’ve already shared my thoughts with her via e-mail, and I’ll post what I said later on. I even wrote an article about this sort of situation… quite some time ago.

But this is the Readers’ Forum. And you’re up next… What’s up with this situation? What would you tell this new grad? Was she wrong to express her interest during the interview? Or does the company representative have a screw loose? Is an apology due?

Share