May 2019 By Kim Tang
You’ve nailed your interview, and you have an offer — congratulations! But maybe you aren’t sure about the position or you’re waiting on another offer. If you’re not sure what to do, a safe answer is to ask for more time. While keeping in mind the employers needs and time, it’s perfectly fine to ask for more time to consider the offer. If you don’t know where to start, here are some guidelines.
If you need more time to decide
Reiterate your thanks for the offer, and ask your employer when you should respond by. If they have a set deadline they need a response by, you’ll know how long you have. Remember, you never have to say “yes” or “no” right away.
Use the time they give you to ask questions to clarify anything you may not know about the company. You can ask about the position, projects you might work on, the team you’d be working with, your supervisor’s style, salary, benefits, vacation, etc. It’s important to know as much as you can before accepting a position.
Here’s a sample script you could follow:
Thank you so much for this offer — I’m really excited about this opportunity! I’d love to take some time to think it all over. I know I’ll likely have some questions for you as I process the offer. Is it okay to email you some questions? When are you looking to have a decision by?
This response shows that you’re interested in the position, but also clearly states that you would like more time to consider the position.
If you have a competing offer
Having multiple offers is a great problem to have, because you have options, but it can also be stressful if you’re waiting to hear back from one or more offers. If you’ve heard back from one company, reach out to the other one and let them know that you’re interested in working with them, but you do have competing offers on the table. It’s always better to be honest with an employer rather than being vague. They know that you are applying and interviewing with multiple companies. Being polite & professional will go a long way!
At the end of the day, you’ll have to honor the deadlines set by the company, so if the other company can’t get back to you on time, you’ll have to decide whether or not you’re willing to wait or accept the first offer given to you.
What not to do
Do not accept and offer and then rescind an offer for a competing one. This is not only unprofessional, but it also places the employer in a tricky situation of now needing to hire someone new after having closed the applications and sending out rejection emails. Once you commit to a position, unless some personal, uncontrollable situation arises, stick with the position you accepted. You don’t want to burn any bridges in your career.
Also, don’t respond past the agreed date for an offer — being late may compromise whether or not your offer still stands. Try to be punctual as best you can.
Good luck with your job search, interviews, and career goals!