How do I handle an interview offer after already accepting another position?

By | 2022-02-14T17:57:46-05:00 June 13th, 2011|1 Comment


Dear Donna,

I graduated in December and was fortunate to receive a job offer at a hospital in February. Although I initially was super excited, I am not anymore. I was rushed off orientation after five weeks and was promised a few things in training that I never received. I asked for more time on orientation and was told I would receive it, but when I came into work the next day I was sent off alone again.

Meanwhile, I went to two job fairs and got a call back and offer from a
community/public health agency, which was one of my interests. I accepted the offer but then got a call from a hospital for an interview the same week I am to start orientation at my new position. I am torn because the hours are great in public health, but the hospital is 10 minutes from my house. I worked for that hospital about 10 years ago and know it’s a great place to work – I quit because I was young and didn’t make the right decisions – so another opportunity with them is great.

As a new graduate, I thought I would find a job at a hospital and be there for a long time. I am very confused on what to do. I don’t want to lead on an employer and I like to be honest, but don’t know how well that will go over in this case.


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Mari,

How wonderful that you have more than one option to consider! To learn how to handle this situation, please read the article “Juggling Job Offers” ( The second scenario outlined in the article most closely applies to you, even though you already have accepted the position.

As the article details, you need to contact the facility where you have the pending interview and let them know you have received another offer. You don’t have to say that you accepted it, but do say you will need to give them a response ASAP or risk losing it). Ask whether there is any way you can have the interview ASAP because you would prefer to work for them (the hospital).

Your primary allegiance is to yourself, and you have to do what is right for you. This is the time, before actually starting the next job, to make your decision and even change your mind if it comes down to that. The public health folks may not be happy, but your job is to make yourself happy – not everyone else. Whichever job you decide to accept, you could be there for a long time, so choose well.

Best wishes,


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One Comment

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    Jennifer Lilly October 22, 2020 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I have been a nurse for 21 yrs (16 yrs hospital time because I was stay at home mom for 5 yrs). I worked for this hospital system before so I am a rehire. Here is my dilemma…I took a position and have not started new hire orientation until Nov 2 and now I just got a call to interview for Peds ER in same hospital. I much prefer Peds ER and this is the 2nd time I have been offered an interview with the Peds ER after I have accepted a position. What should I do? I it gonna cause an issue if I am offered the Peds ER job and want to take that over the position I already accepted?

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