I have so far already received job offers from 2 leading consulting firms, but am currently only in the second round for the consulting firm of my preference. How should I handle these multiple consulting job offers in the same time, as all consulting firms obviously want to have an ‘answer’ as soon as possible.
When I was doing case interview at multiple consulting firms (as well as at two corporate firms), I also had this problem at some point. By the time I had arrived in the second round at Bain & Company (which had my personal preference), I had two job offers, and by the time I was invited for the third round interview, I already had offers from several leading consulting companies.
One question you could then ask yourself is why not start interviewing with the consulting firm of your preference before any other firm, so that you would less likely have this problem? Well, first of all, I always recommend you to first ‘visit’ consulting firms that are not your primary target, and learn there from your first case interview experiences. Only when you did an adequate amount of case interview, you should interview with the consulting firm(s) you really want to work at. Obviously, you should already send your resume to them well before, just arrange the interview after the interviews with your non-preferred consulting firms. Nonetheless, it is important to emphasize that you should ‘not place all your eggs in one basket’, as it is obviously a good thing to have some (or various) job offers.
To come back to the question, what should you do if you have multiple job offers? First of all, most consulting companies will understand/assume you are interviewing at other firms, most certainly if you are a good candidate. Generally, the best thing to do, is generally to be honest and say you are still in other interview/recruiting processes and that you would prefer to make a final decision after you are done with all/most interviews. It is often a good thing to add that you have really enjoyed the interviews at their firm, and are glad to see you have received an offer from them (definitely if you mean it). You can then ask once for more time, though make sure you ask the ‘right amount’ of time, to assure sure you do not have to ask for more time twice, because that would leave a relatively bad impression.
In conclusion, asking for a time extension for considering the offer once is very reasonable, as long as it comes with a good reason. If you would ask for a time extension twice, it would clearly give the signal you are not that much interested in working for their firm, and that you are just waiting to get an offer at another firm.
About the Author:
Tom Rochtus works as a strategy consultant for Bain & Company, one of the world’s most prestigious management consulting firms. He is the author of "Case Interview Success", a top-seller on Amazon.com, covering how to ace case interview.
How To Handle Multiple Consulting Job Offers?