How To Ask For More Time On A Job Offer
Good news – you have had a few interviews with a company and have received an email or phone call with an offer! Now the big question is, “How do I ask for more time on a job offer?” if you are still unsure if you want the position. Often you are interviewing with several other companies for similar positions that you may feel are more closely aligned with your criteria for employment. Let’s address a few variables that you should assess to see if you really want the job and learn how to buy more time to make the right decision.
Whenever you receive an offer from a company, be sure to immediately express your gratitude by thanking them for the offer. You can say something like:
“Thank you very much for considering me for this role. I am honored and feel like I would be a great addition to the team to help them with (…) When do you need my official answer?”
Notice that at the end you add, “When do you need my official answer?” If you are still considering other jobs or waiting on another position, you may not want to outright accept the position, so you need some time to decide.
Do You Really Want The Position?
You need to ask yourself this question,
“Do I really want this position?” “Can I see yourself working with this company in this role?”
If you still have reservations, you need to do your homework and assess your evaluation criteria for what you are looking for in a company and role. Only after doing this can you ask for more time on a job offer.
Tips – How To Ask For More Time On A Job Offer
Before asking for more time to consider a job offer, you should take a few things into consideration.
Establish a deadline: You need to ask the recruiter when he/she needs an official response from you. In most cases, recruiters might tell you something like, “We need an official response by next week, Wednesday,” etc. Times can vary, but a week is pretty standard.
You Establish The Deadline: In this case, you ask the recruiter if it is all right for you to give them your official response by a specific date. Obviously, this is not going to be a month out, at max a week. This is common to do as you may be working out things with other potential employers. However, beware that with both the recruiter and you establishing deadlines, things can change and offers can fall through, so there is always a risk.
Ask Additional Questions: One common way to buy more time is by asking additional questions about the company, salary, benefits etc. In many cases, the recruiter will have to find out this specific information, so in essence this buys you time. You might want to know if your spouse will be covered under your health insurance, or could she be added to it and you pay the difference. You might ask about vacation or maybe another question to which the recruiter most likely won’t have an immediate answer. These types of questions can buy you time.
Don’t be Afraid To Negotiate: Another tactic of asking for more time is to negotiate the employment offer with the recruiter. It doesn’t have to be only salary. Sometimes companies can’t offer a higher salary, but there are always other things they can offer to sweeten the deal. You may try to negotiate a few extra vacation days and some other benefits. Some other benefits may include: incentives to further your education and /or go back to school; bonuses/incentives; paid time off. Since the recruiter will have to bring this back to the hiring manager, this will give you some extra time to consider whether you want the position or would rather wait for the offer you believe you will receive from another company.
Ask for the job offer in writing: This is a must; you should always ask for a job offer in writing. Verbal promises alone are never a good way to go. There is no proof. Having paper/electronic proof is always the way to go.
Things You Shouldn’t Say
It is advised that you not say certain things if you are unsure of whether to accept the job or not as these will show that you are amateur and unprofessional. Here are some of the main ones.
I am not sure if I am interested in the job: This will most definitely make your recruiter frown. In any interview process, you need to do your homework and understand what the company does and what the role is all about. If you are still not sure if you are interested, it is not a good sign. Don’t say this.
Let me get back to you: Many times people say, “Let me get back to you on that..” and they never do. This phrase is unprofessional, and it shows that you are not assertive. If you do intend to use it, say something like,
“May I get back to you by next Wednesday, (date) with my official answer?”
This is easier to digest and is more professional to say.
The salary is too low: There may be times throughout your career that you feel like saying this. In fact, some offers are ridiculous and deserve this answer, but you don’t want to burn bridges. If a recruiter provides you with a salary offer that is much too low to accept, counter it and present your reasons why you believe the salary should be higher. You can talk about what the market and segment offer, and what someone with that level of experience normally gets. Nowadays you can find a lot of salary information on Glassdoor and Payscale. Make sure to do your homework on these sites.
I am not a big fan of the position or schedule: If you are not a big fan of the position, the recruiter may understand this to mean you will only be sticking around until you get a better offer. Don’t create that doubt in their minds. If it is the schedule that bothers you, such as working third shift, you could ask if there is a possibility to move to first or second shift after a period of time. Get this information upfront so you can make a good decision.
Your company is not very good: This is certain to raise eyebrows. The fact is, nowadays you have access to loads of information about companies through the internet, social media and other job sites like Glassdoor; so, you should able to get a good overview of what things are like. If a company is not very good, do you really want to interview with them? Glassdoor reviews of a company can reveal a lot about it and show just how many disgruntled employees it has. The important thing here is to see what location these reviews were posted at and when. Look for reviews that are up-to-date and for the specific location like New York office. Ask the recruiter questions about the company culture and what it is like to work there. Dig deeper and find out if it is a good fit for you.
Consequences Of Delaying
Delaying a job offer can have consequences. The hiring manager may come back and change the offer that’s on the table, or the company may find someone whom they deem a better fit for the position. It is always a gamble and you run the risk of having something change when you request more time to consider the job offer. Just beware of this when asking for more time.
Do Not Delay In Bad Faith
Take the following situation: You are offered a job at a company and you accept it; but you are still job-hunting and searching for something better. If you do this, you will create a bad reputation for yourself, especially if you work in a niche market where most recruiters are connected. Make sure you are accepting jobs that are indeed a good fit for you and ones you want.
Accept Or Turn Down The Position
Do you want the position or not? If you feel that your needs have been met with the offer, you should go ahead and accept. If you are still unsure or are waiting on another offer that you feel is better than the current one, try to buy a little time. Ultimately, you should know whether to accept or not.
Template 1: How To Ask For More Time On A Job Offer
Thank you so much for your consideration for the (position name) and the opportunity to work with your team. This is exactly the kind of challenge I have been looking for: (company attributes like startup, small, great mission/purpose etc) and the chance to put my skills to the test and impact the team’s success.
I hate to delay my official acceptance of the job offer, but I need a few days to respond to competitive offers. I am not dis-considering the offer at hand and I am honored to be considered for it. I just want to make sure I dot all my I’s and cross all my T’s before making a major decision.
I do recognize that the company has time constraints and there is a strong need to fill the position. May I get back to you at the latest by next week Wednesday?
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Template 2: How To Ask For More Time On A Job Offer
Thank you very much for offering me the (role name) position. I greatly enjoyed speaking with you and the rest of your team, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with (company name).
I am carefully considering a few options and will let you know within the next week. May I get back to you at the latest (date)? Does that timeline work for you?
Thank you again for considering me for this amazing opportunity.
Waiting on job offers and asking for more time to consider an offer can be stressful and cause a lot of anxiety. This is normal. Do your homework, learn as much about the company as you can, and make sure the job and company are aligned with your criteria for employment.
Have you experience this before? Have you ever asked for more time to consider a job offer? Share your experience in the comments section below.
For more job search and interview tips, check out the CareerPrep blog and for video, see the EnglishInterviews and CareerPrep Youtube channels.
Thank you so much for writing this, the do’s and don’ts and templates are extremely helpful!