Oct 24, 2007

How to choose from multiple Java/J2EE job offers?

In Java/J2EE career forums, interview candidates often ask how to choose from multiple job offers? This is not an easy decision to make and often this dilemma is made worse due to not asking the right questions about the position or role at the interview. Interviews are two way process where the interviewer(s) assess the suitability of the candidate to the position or role while the candidate assesses the suitability of the position or role to their interests and career aspirations. Asking the right questions can not only help you make an informed decision to choose the job of your dreams but also can help you negotiate your remuneration and market your skills & strengths more effectively based on the answers.

Some of the questions you can ask are:
  • If I am successful, what type of projects will I be involved in and what type of technologies/frameworks will I be exposed to? Will this role involve liaising with the business users and/or mentoring opportunities?
  • What types of candidates succeed in your organization?
  • Is this a mission critical project? How big is the team? What is the budget for this project?
  • What are the key tasks and responsibilities involved with my role? Does this involve new development, enhancement or support work?

How would you go about choosing from multiple job offers? It is not an easy decision to make but some of the things to consider are:
  • Remuneration and other benefits: This is an important criteria but not the only one. You need to look long term. [E.g. weight = 30%]
  • Opportunity to learn and/or work with popular, emerging and sought after technologies like (e.g. Spring, Hibernate, JSF, Ajax4jsf etc) and opportunity to acquire new skills like integration technologies (e.g. JMS, Web Service, SOA, BPM, etc), new frameworks, business skills, team leading and/or mentoring skills (i.e. one can learn more from mentoring others). By acquiring emerging and sought after skills, you can stand out from your competition and by getting more interview calls next time you start hunting for job [E.g. weight = 25%].

  • Type of project (new project, enhancement to existing project, support): You tend to learn more on new projects. [E.g. weight = 15%]

  • Brand, company culture, business acumen etc. Brand does matter - it helps you to get more interview calls next time you start hunting for job - but again what skills & experience you will be acquiring matters more. You may get more interview calls but may find it difficult to get through your interview stages if your skills are not enhanced through good hands-on experience. [E.g. weight = 10%]

  • Type of role and opportunities (mentoring role, liaising with the business, travel etc): Would this role have active involvement with business users etc? You can learn more by mentoring and also will look good on your CV. [E.g. weight = 5%]

  • Type of organization (Insurance, Finance, Software house, multi-national etc). In some types of organizations like finance, insurance etc you tend get better remuneration. In some software houses and consultancy roles you tend to acquire wider range of skills. [E.g. weight = 5%]

  • How comprehensive the interview was. The more comprehensive the interview the better chance of working with high calibre staff. [E.g. weight = 5%].

  • Location and lifestyle choices. [E.g. weight = 5%] .

Total weight should be 100%.

Note: Weights are for illustration purpose only and may vary from individual to individual.

You can analytically work it out as follows:

You can give some weight to each of the criteria as shown above. The weight needs to add up to 100%. Now say you have offers from company A, B and C. You give some points out of say 10 to each of the above criteria and then multiply each point by the weight (i.e. importance to you) and then add them all up. If the difference is negligible or not conclusive enough then go with your heart. Otherwise you know which one(s) to choose or pursue with salary negotiations.

Related read: Are you feeling stagnated?



Blogger Niranjan Deshpande said...


Thanks a lot for that analytical post :)

6:51 PM, May 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for writing this book, I got 3 jobs within 2 weeks of reading this book. It is an excellent reference for keeping all the fundamentals refreshed.

1:03 AM, July 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good article to choose the better offer @ multiple offers in hand

9:56 PM, January 12, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Arulk for your precious
work.Although,I am not working
in big company but it will
surely help me when I get the big

4:46 PM, January 21, 2009  
Blogger Paras Jain said...

Thanks for the great post. It is very helpful.

7:49 AM, February 14, 2009  
Blogger Anquirens said...

Hi Arulkumaran. Very good post! I was wandering, I have to choose between a telecomucations company and a finance company, the salaries are similar. What do you think about the business knowhow, which would be more useful for my career in the future, or allow me to have a better pay?

11:35 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would prefer a finance sector. This is my personal view.

1:38 PM, July 29, 2011  

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