3 Essential Tips for Asking For Time to Consider a Job Offer

Ideally, you should be excited about a job offer. Some don’t even get the chance to sit for an interview. When you complete the process on an impressive note and receive an offer, most hiring managers expect you to be super-excited and eager to resume duty as soon as possible. 

While a job offer calls for celebration, some don’t just feel like the right one sometimes. It is okay to have a second feeling about a job offer. In fact, it is important that you don’t rush into accepting an offer you feel is not the best for you. So how do you handle the situation? 

An Offer is Just an Offer 

A job offer means the employer has accepted to hire you for a role. It doesn’t tie you to a contract until you accept and resume work. You can still decline the offer right away if you are convinced it is not the right job for you. If, for any reason, you keep having doubts about an offer, you can ask for time to consider it. This may be a difficult thing to do, but you need to follow your guts. 

It may come as a surprise to the hiring manager or anyone who made the job offer, but it is better that you make up your mind before accepting a role. It will be worse to accept a job you are not sure you want and change your mind a few days or weeks after resuming duties. 

If you are uncertain about the suitability of the job for you, saying no is not the smartest thing to do. If you are hopeful of a better job in the near future, or you have something else that feels better than what you have been offered, asking for time to consider the offer is the smart thing to do. 

Do It the Right Way 

Asking for time to consider a job offer means buying time to analyze the offer and your options. You don’t want to come back to accept it only to find out that it has been given away. You need to play your cards right to avoid such an unfortunate situation. Here, we will discuss a few ways to do it right. 

How Much Time Do You Need? 

You need to understand that a company will not put their business processes on the line just because of you. You need to be sure of how much time you need to make up your mind before asking for time. Many companies allow candidates up to one week to accept an offer. Keep that in mind when asking for time to consider an offer. 

How Do You Make The Request? 

You need to know that managers and HR professionals don't always accept candidates to make an immediate decision about a job offer. Even when you are thrilled, it is normal to take a little while to think of an offer and give a firm reply. They may even expect a counteroffer within the period. 

Knowing that you have options, it is important that you don’t put yourself under any pressure when asking for time to accept a job offer. You also need to ask in a respectful manner. You want to be on the good books of the person making the offer, even if you are going to decline at last. 

To make your request, it is important that you express your appreciation for the opportunity. Thank the person(s) in charge of the offer in a professional manner. Reiterate your interest in working with the company before making your request. Also, make sure that you sound positive all the time.

Options for Getting The Time You Need 

If you need time to think about a job offer, there are a few ways to ask for it. Here are the most professional options: 

1. Ask About a Deadline 

Ideally, there should be a deadline for candidates to respond to a job offer. You need to confidently show the hiring manager that you understand that this is how it works and use the time to make up your mind whether to accept, counter, or decline the offer. If the deadline given by the company is too short, ask if you can get an extension in a polite manner. 

2. Ask Questions 

There are relevant questions you may ask in order to understand the job offer better and buy yourself some extra time to make a decision. It works better when you are communicating via email with a busy hiring manager. Ask about the entire compensation package (salary, benefits, vacation, retirement plan, and perks). You can also ask about when they really need you to start so that you can transition from your current work.

3. Negotiate

Negotiating with a potential employer is another wonderful way to get more time to think about an offer and make an informed decision. You shouldn't be petty about it, however. Many aspects of employment are negotiable, and you should definitely ask for things you know will make you feel more comfortable at the job.

Mistakes You Must Avoid

Some mistakes can cost you a good job offer when your intention is only to think about your options. Being rude or abrupt, asking for too much extension, and expressing doubt about your desire to work with the company can be dangerous. Here are a few statements you shouldn't make:

  • I’ll get back to you.
  • I’m not sure if I really need the job. I’ll let you know. 
  • I’m not sure. I will think about it. 
  • I thought the job would pay more. 
  • I don’t like the position or hours. 


You don't have to accept or decline a job offer immediately. You can think about it, and it is not wrong to ask for time to think it through. However, it is important that you do it the right way, and that is what this post is all about. We hope it helps you get the time you need to think things through and get the right job for you.

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