How Long Can I Consider a Job Offer?

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

A young man I once represented almost lost a job. He had interviewed with the firm on Thursday afternoon and received a job offer that day. He wanted to consider the offer until the close of business the following Friday … and almost lost the opportunity he ultimately accepted by insisting that he had “a right” to “consider it” until then.Job offer

From my client’s perspective, they understood that he was comparison shopping, had hired three people from the firm he was waiting for an offer from, were interviewing more people from there, and didn’t want to risk losing everyone.

This type of situation offers an opportunity to examine how long you have to consider a job offer once you receive one.

The correct answer is that you have as long as they will give you.

Most firms would like an immediate or almost immediate response. I don’t mean an answer in ten minutes. I mean an answer where you sleep on it. After all, in most cases, you’ve interviewed there several times, why haven’t you been thinking about it before now and able to make a decision?

And delaying for too long gives a message to the hiring firm of how you make decisions … or that you are shopping for another option … or just aren’t that interested.

The fact is everything you do on an interview is a reflection of you and how you will work with your new employer. A day to think is OK (truthfully, now, you’re not going to take a day off from work, sit in a chair in isolation and contemplate the job offer, are you), two days is often OK, and more gives the employer reason to feel hesitant about you and your thought process.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2006, 2008, 2016, 2020


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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