This post is contributed by Sandy Marmitt, Burtch Works’ analytics recruiting specialist.
The job market for data scientists and analytics professionals continues to be strong, but a common situation I’ve seen is that quantitative professionals may be fielding several job offers at the same time. As the market becomes more saturated and demand continues to increase, the odds that you’ll be interviewing with more than one company at the same time become more likely.
Obviously having multiple offers on the table can be a great thing, but it can also be tricky to manage! How do you know which offer to take, and how can you navigate this process without stepping on any toes?
Being an analytics recruiter, I thought it might be helpful to share my perspective on how data scientists and analytics professionals can handle this situation well – including what not to do!
What to Do
1. Be up front about other interview activity
Being transparent about other offers or interviews can work to your advantage, and can help you balance interview timelines when you’re interviewing with multiple companies.
2. Evaluate the entire offer
When comparing job offers, think about the position, growth opportunities, and your interest level, not just the money value assigned to the offer package. Although salary is certainly an important factor, it shouldn’t be the only basis for your decision. Especially in areas like data science and analytics, questions about tool usage and data should be important considerations (see #3).
Additionally, the more you’re able to elaborate on what interests you about other offers or your pain points, the more a potential employer might be able to address them. For example, if you’re concerned about vacation time or maternal/paternal leave policy, sharing this pain point with potential employers can help them create a more competitive offer for you. Check out this post for more advice on making career choices and evaluating offers.
3. Ask deliberate questions about the position you’re interviewing for
I’ve written previously about how to evaluate analytics and data science positions based on seniority level and job responsibility, because this is a key area! Especially in data science and analytics, not every company shares the same definitions for job titles and roles, so asking questions during the hiring process is very important.
Who does the role report to? What is the management scope of the position, if any? What will your day-to-day responsibilities be? What data sources is the company using? What tools and methodologies are they employing? These are all important questions to ask so that you have a clear understanding of what each job offer you’re evaluating truly entails.
In my experience, data scientists and analytics professionals who are transparent about their job search activity and goals end up with the more successful outcome. Especially if you’re working with a recruiter, we’re often able to share insights about things to keep in mind when interviewing.
Whether it’s a reminder to ask about a company’s expectations around how many hours you’re working or their on-call policy, the more we know about what you’re looking for and interested in, the more we can help you! Interested in working with certain tools or methodologies, or concerned about data sources or accessibility in a potential role? Discovering these preferences can help you find a role that is a better fit.
What to Avoid
1. Don’t accept a role unless your decision is final
If you’re interviewing with multiple companies, and especially if you haven’t been clear about interview timelines, this can lead to some pretty sticky timing situations. You might find yourself in a situation where you’re given a deadline to accept an offer, but you’re still in the interview process with a few other companies.
Although it may be tempting to accept an offer with a deadline and still continue interviewing – don’t do it! Doing this can seriously damage your reputation, especially if you then end up reneging on the job offer you initially accepted.
2. Don’t burn bridges if something doesn’t work out!
On a similar note, if for some reason the job search process doesn’t end up going the way you want it to, be careful not to burn any bridges in the process. For example, going MIA or otherwise ceasing communication if you don’t get the offer or decide you’re no longer interested is an immature response. Words gets around and you don’t want to put yourself in a future job search situation where a negative reputation precedes you. This is especially crucial if you’re job-searching mostly in a local market (such as a single city or state) where it’s even more likely that quantitative professionals from different companies that you might interview with will know each other.
Managing multiple job offers can be a complex situation, but my ultimate advice is to be transparent about interview activity, ask smart questions when evaluating different roles, and tactfully end the process with other companies once you’ve made a final decision.
Perhaps most importantly – enjoy the fact that you’re in high demand! Knowing how to take advantage of opportunities right now without damaging your reputation is a skill that will serve you very well as your career advances.
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