How to Ask for More Time to Consider a Job Offer

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how to ask for more time to consider a job offer

Deciding on a job offer is a big decision. Your job consumes a huge amount of your time and impacts your quality of life in significant ways.

So, when you receive a job offer after a completing a long interview process, you want to make sure that you’re feeling confident about whether or not it’s the right fit.

Now, ideally, prior to receiving a job offer, you’ll have been proactively managing the response timeline to give yourself adequate time to consider the offer before making a decision. We talk through a process for how to to do that in the how to respond to a job offer post.

However, there may be instances where a company wants you to respond sooner than you’re ready to. If that’s the case, you’ll need to ask for more time to consider the job offer.

To that end, this article covers common reasons to ask for more time to consider a job offer, how much time you can realistically ask for, how to ask for more time to consider a job offer, and then provides a sample email template that you can use.

Reasons to Ask for More Time to Consider a Job Offer

1. Waiting On Counter Offer From Current Employer

When you have a job offer, one of the first things that you’re going to do is inform your current manager.

In some cases, your current employer may want to retain you and will request an opportunity to make a counter offer.

Generally, it will take them a little bit of time to put the specifics of a counter offer together and, if you want to see the details of the counter, you may need to ask the new company for more time.

2. Waiting On Another Job Offer

It’s also common to be interviewing with multiple companies at the same time. And it can be tricky to try and align the timing of a job offer for each.

If you’re in this situation, and you have an opportunity that you’re really excited about and you think you may receive an offer, you may need to ask for more time to consider the offer.

3. Dealing With a Personal Issue or Emergency

While work is an important aspect of life, it is not the most important thing in life. There are times when health or family emergencies come up that simply need to take priority.

If you’re faced with an emergency of that nature, you simply may not be able to give a job offer the mental energy required to make an informed decision. In that case, you’ll want to request more time to consider the offer.

How Much Additional Time Can You Ask For to Consider a Job Offer?

thinking person

In general, a company will provide 48 – 72 hours for you to decide on a job offer. In most cases, that is reasonable but, due to the previously listed reasons, you may need to ask for more time.

As a general rule of thumb, asking for a few days to one week is as much additional time you can ask for to consider a job offer.

Note that the rule is a bit context dependent. For example, if the company has already given you a generous timeline for consideration (more than one week), it’ll likely be tough to ask for a full additional week because they need to communicate with other candidates as well.

So, I would recommend following that rule of thumb, but using to judgment to evaluate what’s reasonable given the context of the situation. 

How to Ask for More Time to Consider a Job Offer

1. Express Gratitude & Excitement

When you’re asking for more time to consider a job offer, the first thing that you want to do is reinforce your gratitude for, and excitement about, the job offer. 

Even though you’re not ready to accept the job offer, you want the company to know that you’re not stringing them along, and that you really are serious and excited about the opportunity.

2. Request a Specific Timeline

specific timeline

A key rule when requesting more time for a job offer is to request an extension to a specific date.

A company will much more likely agree to give you an extension when they know the exact impact on the timeline.

Being wishy washy about when you’ll get back to a company may make them question your seriousness about the opportunity. Similarly, it will make it difficult for the company to plan internally and communicate with other candidates that may be waiting for final communication regarding their offer status.

3. Give An Honest Reason

The last rule for requesting more time for a job offer is to give a reason for your request.

Now, you do need to use some judgment in this case, and ultimately approach your communication in such a way that the company knows you’re excited and serious about the opportunity.

However, at the end of the day, you are requesting a change in timeline. And you do need to provide some sense of what is driving that request. 

Example of How to Ask for More Time to Consider an Offer

The video below from Madeline Mann, creator of Self Made Millennial, provides a great example of how to apply the steps that I just recommended in asking for more time to consider a job offer. Her example can be applied if you receive a job offer over the phone, in person, or applied to an email response (though I have a sample email response template below).

How to Ask for More Time to Consider an Offer Email Template

Included below is a sample email that you can leverage to request more time to consider a job offer.

The template is based upon the “waiting on a counter offer from your current employer” scenario, but could be adapted for the waiting on other offer, family emergency, or other situations.

Dear {Hiring Manager},

 

Thank you again for the offer of {position name} at {company name}! I am excited about the opportunity and about the potential to join your team at {company name}.

 

That said, I’m sending this note today to request a bit more time to consider the {position name} offer.

 

I informed my current employer about the opportunity, and they are preparing a counter offer for me. While I’m excited about the opportunity at {company name}, I would like to see the specifics of my company’s offer so I can make the most informed decision for my family and I.

 

Does it work if I get back to you with a final decision by {date}?

 

Warm regards,

 

{First name}

Conclusion

Deciding whether or not to take a job offer is a big decision. And it’s common to need additional time to make sure that you’re getting it right. If you follow the recommendations above, you can professionally request more time to make an informed decision, while maintaining a good relationship with your potential employer.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan serves as a career counselor on the side. He writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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