How To Ask for Time To Consider a Job Offer

Updated June 30, 2023

Once you've received a job offer, you may want to take time to consider it before committing to your prospective employer. Knowing how to ask for time in this situation can help you remain professional throughout the hiring process.

In this article, we explain why you might want time to consider a job offer and how much time you should ask for, and we provide steps for how to ask for time and examples to guide you.

Related: How To Accept a Job Offer

Why should you ask for time to consider a job offer?

If you want to ask for time to consider a job offer, you should have a good reason why. Having a reason ensures you're not wasting your time or the hiring manager's time. Keep in mind that you're not obligated to give them a reason why you need more time to consider their offer.

Here are some reasons why you should ask for time to consider a job offer:

  • If you're unsure about the position. If you have a gut feeling telling you you should hold off on accepting the job offer, give yourself some time to think it over. Asking for time is better than accepting a position you're not entirely sure of. Doing this helps you avoid changing your mind and declining the job after you've already accepted it.

  • If you're considering other job offers. If you're interviewing with other companies or have multiple job offers, ask the hiring manager for more time to make a strategic and well-informed decision. This allows you to analyze and compare each job offer which makes it easier for you to decide which one you want to take and which ones you want to decline.

  • If you want more time to research the company and the position. Even if you have a good understanding of the job and the company, asking for more time helps you ensure that you're ready to commit to the position. The extra time lets you do enough research, while also allowing you to consider what it'd be like to work for the company and the compensation package you were offered.

  • If you need to relocate. If the job requires you to relocate, you may want to ask for more time to consult with your spouse and your family. Since the move would affect everyone in your household, it's important to ensure it's worthwhile for everyone involved.

Related: Tips For Handling Multiple Job Offers

How much time should you ask for to consider a job offer?

Companies offer prospective employees varying amounts of time to accept a job offer. Oftentimes, the offer letter or email gives you a specific timeframe. Typically, two to three days provide you with enough time to consider the job offer. If you plan to ask for time, you can request for no more than a week. If you want to negotiate any part of the compensation package, consider a more conservative timeframe.

How to ask for time to consider a job offer

When you receive a job offer, you don't necessarily have to accept it right away. In fact, your prospective employer may expect you to ask for time to consider their offer. If you decide to ask for more time, it's important to be careful about how you ask so you don't insult the hiring manager or risk losing the offer altogether.

Use these steps to ask for time to consider a job offer:

1. Thank them for the job offer

Even if you don't know whether you want to accept the offer, reject the job offer or ask for more time, respond within 24 hours of receiving it. Make sure to express your gratitude for the opportunity. Thank them for the job offer and convey to them that you're still interested in the position and excited about the opportunity.

2. Ask about the deadline

Once you've thanked the hiring manager, ask if there's a deadline to respond to the job offer. Knowing how much time they're giving you ensures you don't risk them retracting the job offer if you fail to reply in time. It also helps you determine if you want to ask for even more time.

3. Ask for more time

If the deadline they provide you with doesn't seem like enough time, ask the hiring manager if it's possible for them to give you an extension. Make sure to only do this if you have a particular reason for asking for additional time, such as needing time to consult with your family or to help you compare your other job offers.

4. Ask questions about the offer

Apart from flat out asking for more time, you can also ask the hiring manager questions regarding the job offer. If they need time to get back to you, this gives you additional time to consider the offer. It also helps clarify any questions or concerns you have about the offer or the position. Make sure any question you ask gives you greater clarity about the compensation package in its entirety and that you're not just asking these questions for more time.

Related: How To Respond to a Job Offer When Waiting For Other Opportunities

Examples of what to say

When you ask for time to consider a job offer, it's important to keep the conversation positive in order to maintain a good relationship with the hiring manager. Here are some examples of what to say when asking for time to consider a job offer:

  • "Thank you so much for the opportunity! I look forward to working with your company and helping grow the business. I'd like to ask for a few days to consider the offer in its entirety."

  • "Thank you for the job offer! This is such a great opportunity with your company. I'm excited to bring my skills to your company while continuing to grow my career. I was under the impression that the job would not require travel, but I see the job offer states that I would need to travel approximately 20% of the time. Can you let me know why this has changed? I'm available to discuss this at your earliest convenience. Thanks again!"

  • "Thank you so much for your time and for the opportunity to work with your company. This is exactly the type of job I've been looking for. I look forward to putting my skills to good use at your company. Is it possible to have a few days to respond to the job offer? I remain honored to be considered for the position and I want to make sure I fully understand the job offer before making a major decision. Thanks again for the opportunity!"

Examples of what not to say

If you don't take the right approach when asking for time to consider a job offer, you may risk losing the offer altogether. Not only that, but it may negatively impact your relationship with the hiring manager. Therefore, it's important to avoid saying certain things when you ask for time. Here are some examples of what not to say when asking for time to consider a job offer:

  • "I'll get back to you."

  • "I'm not sure. I'll think about it."

  • "I thought the job would pay more."

  • "I don't know if I like the job. I'll let you know."

  • "I don't know if I want the job. I'll get back to you later."

  • "I'm not sure if I'm still interested in the position."

  • "I'm not a big fan of the position and the schedule. Let me think it over."

Tips for considering a job offer

When you consider a job offer, it's important to keep several things in mind in order to make a well-informed decision. Doing this improves your chances of finding success in your future position. Use these tips to help you consider a job offer from your prospective employer:

  • Consider what you're giving up. Before you accept a job offer, consider what you're giving up with your current position. For example, maybe you're giving up an easy commute or a higher salary for a job with greater advancement opportunities. Make sure to weigh both the pros and cons before making your final decision.

  • Fully understand the job offer. Make sure you understand all aspects of the job offer. This means understanding the benefits, vacation time and your salary or hourly rate.

  • Evaluate growth opportunities. Consider whether this new position presents you with new challenges and the ability to learn new skills. Make sure your new job comes with the possibility for advancement into another at the same company. Having growth opportunities makes it that much easier for you to achieve your long-term career goals.

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