Job offer/ job interview dilemma, advice appreciated
I have two potential jobs that I’m interviewing for, and could really use some advice.
I’m currently a contract employee at a very well known large biotech company, and work in manufacturing doing visual inspection and some QC lab testing. I have some other manufacturing experience from when I first started also. I've been here for almost 2 years.
I’ve been applying to full time positions at my current company for at least a year now, and haven’t had any luck whatsoever. Several months back though, I was able to meet with the director of cell sciences, who didn’t have a spot for me at the time but was impressed with my resume and wanted to have an informal meeting. A spot finally opened up recently, and I was recommended to the new hiring manager for an interview, which I had a few days ago with the entire team. The recruiter working with the hiring manager now wants me to call them first thing on Monday, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be offered the job.
The problem is, while the job is listed as PD, and is in that department, I was told in no uncertain terms during my interviews that the position is actually strictly manufacturing (cell banking), which is not something I’ve really been looking to pursue further. The only reason I work in manufacturing currently is because I couldn’t find any R&D/ lab based jobs after graduating (bachelors from top UC, molecular biology, with some minimal lab/research experience from that time).
While interviewing for the “PD”/manufacturing position, I was unexpectedly contacted by another major company that I had applied for with a research associate II position (IHC/ISH). I had a long phone interview with them yesterday that I think went quite well, but was told that it will likely be up to a week or two before I hear anything back from them about whether they want to proceed with an in-person interview, which would of course then take even more time and still possibly lead to a rejection.
The research position sounds FAR more interesting to me, and seems a lot more exciting of an opportunity (if slightly intimidating), but it’s definitely not even close to a given that I’m going to get it, and I feel like telling my current company that I want to hold off on accepting their offer may jeopardize what is legitimately a good position at a great company that I’ve been trying to get into for a long time. The manufacturing position would also have better benefits and possibly even pay more.
I’ve never really been in this position before, so any advice at all on how to proceed would definitely be helpful and appreciated.
TLDR: Pretty sure I’m about to be offered a job at a company I’ve been trying to get into for a long time, but for a manufacturing position that I’m not particularly excited about. Have a potential in-person interview at another good company for a very exciting research position, but it’s extremely uncertain whether I’ll actually get that, and will take several weeks to know for sure. I don’t want to put my offer at risk at all when I’d definitely want to accept it if the research position doesn’t happen. Advice on how to proceed?