How Do You Respond to a Congratulations Email When You’re Still Thinking About the Offer?

Firms want to know that your joining but you’re not ready to commit. How would you respond to their email congratulating you on the offer (and implying that your joining) when you’re not ready to make that commitment?

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This is such a common scenario for people. I just, I know again, there's just so much that goes into a job search. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I want to help you deal with a situation that shows up a lot.

The question I received was, "How do you respond to a congratulations email from a potential new employer when you're still thinking about the offer?"

Well, I, when I worked in search, used to end my closing of the candidate, you know, when I present the offer and all the details and that sort of thing, by saying, "congratulations!" And I did that in order to see how the person responded to it. I didn't do it by email; I did it by phone.

And, in doing it by phone, I could hear the tone of voice and that would tell me whether or not the person was on board with joining. Now, remember as a headhunter. I worked on commission. I wanted to know this. And if someone said, "thank you," I knew they were closed.

Here we have an email that basically is probably from the hiring manager saying, "congratulations!" Looking forward to having you come on board," and you're still thinking about the offer. What do you do? How do you respond?

Now, some will say, you don't have to respond to anything. But if you're doing it by email, that's a signal that you're not on board. What you can do is respond by saying, "Thank you. I'm still waiting for the offer letter." Or, if you're not ready for the offer, just say, "thank you," and you haven't given a start date yet.

If they ask you, "When are you planning on starting?" Answer, "I'm not sure yet. I'll circle back to you." You don't have to go into a lot of detail. What you can say is, you know, Iwould discourage you from saying, "I'm still thinking about it," unless they start pressing you. If you've indicated that you're joining, and you're now having second doubts, that's a second thoughts. That's a different scenario. I'm not addressing that here.

This is just a situation where you have an offer, they're saying, and congratulations, and you're not sure. Go along with the conversation. Don't withhold and ignore it, because that tells them that they should keep interviewing and perhaps rescind the offer. What you want to do is just keep going along with the flow.

I'm Jeff Altman. Hope you found this helpful. My website is Go there. There's a lot in the blog that'll help you with your search, just like this video. Subscribe to my channel on YouTube by clicking the icon in the lower . . . in the lower right. And you can also watch my videos on Job Search TV, an app for Amazon Fire TV, Fire Stick, what have you, and other Amazon related platforms that use Android.

Lastly, if you're interested in one on one coaching, reach out to me through the website. Again, that's There's a button on the homepage that says "schedule," get on my calendar for a free discovery call or, if you're ready, because you've watched enough of me to sign up for coaching. I'd love to help you.

Have a great day and take care


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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