Careers advice from Theodora Griff

22nd February 2013 at 00:00

Two jobs, tough choice

Big dilemma: I have two interviews next week, the first of which is for a maternity post. Can I accept it and then accept the permanent job that is interviewing three days later?

That is just not possible, because if you are offered and accept a job, you must then withdraw from all other interviews. You cannot accept the first job as an insurance offer and reject it if you receive another offer. Not what you wanted to hear, I know.

A school goes to the expense and effort of advertising and interviewing. It offers the job to a candidate. If he or she decides after a few days to turn it down then they offer the job to another candidate. But in the meantime the other candidate has accepted another job offer. This is what schools fear.

Most schools will offer the job by phone that evening or the next day, and will expect an immediate answer to allow them to rush an offer to their second choice if that proves to be necessary. The very most that you could hope for would be 24 hours to think it over, I'm afraid.

After all, you would not expect the school to ring you up a few days after offering you the job to say that they have since interviewed someone they like more than you, so, sorry, they are withdrawing their offer.

You have to decide how desperate you are to get a job. Can you risk not getting one at all? You may decide to put all your eggs in the one basket of the permanent job. Alternatively, you may prefer to play safe and go for the temporary post. In either case, I wish you the best of luck.

Meet Theodora Griff online on the TES Jobseekers forum or in person at a TES Careers Advice Service seminar or individual consultation. bit.lyuWhqN2.

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