What would you do if you received an offer a week before you were going on an interview at a school you were really interested in (both R1s). Namely, how would you ask the first school to give you a large enough window of time to decide that you could go the second school and wait for them to make a decision? Would you also be upfront with the second school (that may not be making a decision for at least another week after you visit) that you have an offer on the table but are very interested in their program? Any tips on negotiating this situation would be greatly helpful!
Date: 03 Feb 2014 23:51
Number of posts: 5
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My advice: be upfront with everyone about the situation. Ask for more time from the offering school, and ask for a fast decision from the interviewing school. Good luck!
so what is a reasonable length of time to ask for from school 1?
I think 2 weeks is reasonable. Of course, it is important to bear in mind that, as far as I know, no one is "on the clock" until an actual "paper" offer is on the table. That means that if the offer is only verbal or email you are not on the clock. The clock starts AFTER all of the issues have been worked out including salary, start-up, etc. So, if the offer is made but not formalized, you have time already. Often, plenty of time. And then after the actual offer is solidified, you should still have some time (again, like a couple of weeks, usually).
How did things work out? You absolutely need to tell the other school that you already have a job offer on the table. This generally makes you a more attractive candidate, and it lets them know they need to speed up their process if they want you. Another offer allows you greater leverage in negotiating start up, salary, etc. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the only way to land certain start up requests.
It is also completely normal for candidates to let search committees know they have additional interviews scheduled. Some institutions, esp R1's, will allow you to complete those interviews before making your final decision, as long as the time line is reasonable. At my R1 we have allowed particularly attractive candidates to take as long as 8-10 weeks. And BeenThere has a great point - you don't formally accept an offer until all of your salary and start up negotiations are complete, which typically takes multiple rounds of back and forth between you and the institution. Several weeks minimum I would say. Good luck!