How To Ask for Time To Consider a Job Offer

Have you ever got selected for the perfect job but backed out at the last minute? Or maybe you got anxious and said yes to a not-so-okay job because of the short acknowledgment time? 

While getting selected for a new job is a great feeling, we should also be careful before saying yes to any new opportunity. Taking time before you make a major decision to accept or reject a job offer helps avoid any later changes in the decision.

In this article, we will discuss why it is crucial to take time to consider a job offer, what duration is okay to be considered for thinking over the offer, and how to ask for time to consider a job offer and make a well informed decision.

Why Should You Ask for Time to Consider a Job Offer?

Asking time to consider a job offer or think over it, is not a bad thing, but it should have a concrete reason behind this ask. 

It is a good practice to understand why you feel the need to take time and ensure that you convey the same thing to the other party. 

Requesting the hiring manager to allow you time by informing them about why you need the time helps them understand and support your request. However, it is not mandatory to give a reason since it is in the end your choice.

Below are some situations wherein you could ask for a time extension to consider a job offer:

  • If a job opportunity is good in terms of the compensation package, vacation time off, the benefits, or even good employee career growth or higher education plans, if you don’t feel good about the new position being offered, you might want to rethink accepting it. Saying yes to a job offer that does not offer an appropriate job promotion, you must ask for time. It is always better to think over it rather than take decisions in rush or in awe of the ‘benefits that the job offers.
  • If you want to think over the company, and its policies, do research and ask around, you might want to take some time to consider the job offer. Checking with any mutual connections that have worked with the said organization might be able to give you clarity and it helps learn the inside story of any organization before saying yes to a job offer.
  • If a job offer requires you to relocate to another city or state, it is best to take some to consider whether the opportunity is good enough for you to make such a drastic change in your personal life. Remember, moving out to another location may seem easy, but it is adjusting that takes time. Plus, think about the expenditure of locating to a new place and the hike you’re getting. Ask yourself, is it worth the try? You don’t want your bank balance to go in minus just because you took up an opportunity in a place that’s too expensive to settle in, even after the hike.
  • If you have applied for several jobs and been to several final interview rounds, you might want to wait out for the results of other jobs. If you feel that the other job positions might surpass the one you have a job offer for in hand, it is best to ask for time to consider and see if those other opportunities work out. Don’t feel guilty about expecting the best for yourself, and if that requires waiting before you accept the multiple job offers at hand, you definitely should do that.

How Much Time Should You Ask for to Consider a Job Offer?

Generally, there is no set duration or a rule on how much time a company is supposed to offer. There is the possibility that a company offers you a long duration or asks for a response within a shorter time frame depending on the severity of their requirement.

However, the average confirmation time asked by most employers is 3-4 days. You could extend that to another few days and ask for a week to sort back your situation.

It is advised to not take more than a week to respond after the interview process is done, until you have a valid reason. 

How to Ask for Time to Consider a Job Offer

You can be abrupt and straightforward, or you could be nice about being given the opportunity. In any case, you should always remember that whatever approach you take now will be remembered by the hiring managers even if you eventually decide to reject the job offer. 

Here are some suggestions on how you could ask the dreadful question about extending the time to consider a job offer:

1. Thank them for the job offer

Always be courteous and thankful to the hiring manager for offering you the opportunity. Kindness and politeness always leave a mark on the other person.

Let them know how much it means to them and how grateful you are. By thanking the hiring managers, you also create the opportunity to ask for a favor in terms of asking for time to consider and think over the offer. 

2. Ask about the deadline

Another way of getting a timeline is by asking for the actual deadline. If they do not have a deadline and expect you to respond after much consideration, you can always set a personal deadline and be quick with your decision.

However, if they do have a deadline, you could either go with it or request them to give you a couple of days over it so that you are well prepared to confirm back with a positive response.

3. Ask for more time

If the job offers particularly comes with a set time, try and respond within the timeline. However, if it seems that it is going to take a few more days for you to make up your mind, you could go back and ask for more time.

Try not to make it a last-minute request though. It shows that you are still unsure of actually saying to the offer.  

4. Ask questions about the offer

Being direct about the details of the employment offer could save you a lot of time and energy thinking about whether it suits you or not.

When the job offer arrives, you could simply go back to the hiring manager and ask them all relevant questions including the breakup of the compensation package, employee benefits, learning programs for new skills, and medical insurance policies for yourself and your family members.

All such questions will help you assess the job offer, or if you have multiple offers in hand, it could help choose among the other available options.

Examples of what to say

While trying to understand how to request a time extension, it is also essential that job candidates know what to say when talking to the potential employer or the hiring manager.

Below statements will help make an informed decision when requesting time to think over the job offer: 

  1. “Thank you for considering me. I am grateful to have gotten this offer in my career and will do my best to do what the job requires. Please allow me a few extra days’ time to consider this position and come back to you with a positive response.”
  2. “Thank you so much for offering me this position. This is such a great opportunity and as a big fan of new challenges, I hope I can bring my best to the table. Also, my understanding was that this is supposed to be a position with a higher salary, however, the offer letter suggests that I’ll be getting the extra pay on an incentive basis. Could you respond promptly if there’s been a change? I’ll be glad to discuss this with you at your earliest convenience. Thanks again.”
  3. “I appreciate your response and am glad to have received the offer letter. Will it be okay if I take two to three days more, over what you mentioned in the email so that I am fully positive about this decision for my career? I’d be really happy if you can confirm my request.”

Examples of what not to say

And as we ensure to say and do the right thing, we must not forget to be careful with our language and our words. Here’s what not to say to a potential employer when asking for time:

  1. “Thanks for the offer but I am not sure yet. Let me think over this”
  2. “I was under the impression that this was a better-paying job. The job letter says otherwise. I’ll come back to you.”
  3. “I’ll let you know in a few days.”
  4. “I don’t think I’d be interested in the position. The job letter doesn’t match my expectations set during the job interview.”
  5. “I will have to go through the other job offers before I say yes.”

Why You Shouldn’t Delay

Nobody likes to be delayed on good news. You are selected for a position that you were interested in and even went through the interview rounds. You surely know what you were looking for. So, why would you want to delay it further by asking for more and more time now?

If there is even a shred of doubt about the job position and what it would mean to bag that job, try to be clear during the initial discussions. Also, be quick on your decisions because an unsure ‘no’ from you can become someone else’s ‘yes’ in no time.

Also, companies do not like it when people take advantage by making unfair demands or taking too much time in responding. You can risk losing the opportunity entirely since such behavior is considered professional. And showing such behavior before you even start is a bad sign.

Tips for Considering a Job Offer

To make your final decision quicker, we’ve created a list of all checkboxes you should tick before saying yes to a job offer. 

  1. Think about what all you’ll be leaving behind if you say yes to this job. It could be the leverage you have right now in your current position, or the seniority, for the years you’ve spent with the same company. It could have something to do with the side benefits you get from working with your current job. Remember to decide based on how it can or not affect you if you say yes to the job offer.
  2. Take all points in the job letter into consideration before saying yes. Understand all aspects of the job position offered to you and how the prospective employer supports you in the new job. Are there any hidden policies that may cut out the benefits indirectly? Ask questions if you have any queries.
  3. Think of the prospects for growth in the new company. Compare it with the possibilities in the current company. Check if there is any on-job training offered in the new company and would you be allowed to access those training. A good learning opportunity can make up for several things as it will eventually help you grow in your professional career.

Keeping this in mind, you should think before accepting or rejecting an offer. Give it some time and decide with a calm mind. Putting up queries or rethinking the opportunities will only help you evaluate the entire job offer and the prospects that come with it.

Good luck!

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