How To Ask For Time To Consider A Job Offer (With Examples)

By Jack Flynn
Jan. 17, 2023

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Summary. To ask for more time for a job offer, make sure to be gracious, polite, and have an acceptable reason, such as referring to other job offers you must decide between.

Before accepting a job offer, you may need to take some time to consider the job offer. It can be a big decision, so knowing how to ask for time to consider can help you remain professional throughout the process. .

Fortunately, this article will discuss how to maintain your professionalism while requesting an extension to your job offer, as well as outline a few valuable tips and tricks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Appropriate reasons to ask for more time include being unsure if the position is right for you, having multiple job offers, and considering the location of the job.

  • Make sure to ask about a deadline for a decision.

  • Trust your gut and don’t be afraid to negotiate.

  • Do not say “I’ll get back to you.”

How To Ask For Time To Consider A Job Offer (With Examples)

How To Ask for More Time To Consider A Job Offer

To receive a positive response from your potential employer, it’s important that you approach your request thoughtfully and carefully. Typically, you’ll be responding to the job offer in an email or phone call, so here are a few things you should include in your message:

  1. Thank the employer. Even if you’re unsure of your interest in the position, receiving a job offer is a positive and worthwhile response from a hiring manager. Therefore, you should start your response by thanking them for their consideration and the opportunity they’ve provided you.

    This courtesy is especially important if you still want the job opportunity to be available to you going forward.

  2. Inquire about a deadline. Asking about a deadline will not only give you a clear picture of how much time you have to decide but also give the employer the opportunity to choose a timeframe that works for them.

  3. Give an honest reason. If you need time to decide because you need to discuss the position with your family, prepare a move, or mull over other job offers, don’t be afraid to mention any of these reasons.

    If anything, stating these reasons will not only give you a higher chance of receiving the extension but also open the door for negotiation with the employer.

  4. Respectfully ask for what you need. If the timeframe you’re given doesn’t seem like enough, or you have more questions about the position, simply ask about these things in a respectful manner. After all, it’s better to ask for the time you need to decide than to agree to a deadline you won’t be able to meet.

Reasons for Requesting an Extension

While theoretically, you could request an extension for any reason you can think of, in order to be considered for the position going forward, it’s extremely important to outline your interest, gratitude, and professionalism.

With that in mind, here are some considerate and relevant reasons to ask for more time:

  1. You’re unsure if the position is right for you. If you just received a job offer and your first instinct is to question whether or not the position is right for you, you should listen to your gut.

    While you may not feel like this is a valid reason to turn down a job offer, remember that quitting later on or deciding to decline the offer after you’ve accepted will look much worse. Be upfront and honest about how you feel so you can give yourself more time to decide if the position will be a good fit.

  2. You’ve received multiple job offers. Though you might not always expect it, there can be times where you receive a job offer from more than one employer. In this situation, making the decision on which job you’re going to take isn’t always an easy one, and you’ll make the best choice when you have the time to consider every factor.

    On top of that, when employers are highly interested in you, they might even offer you a more competitive position when they know you’re considering other options.

  3. You’re dealing with a personal issue or emergency. Often, we can be hit with issues or emergencies we weren’t prepared for. For instance, if your mother is in the hospital, your wife has gone into labor, or someone has passed away, you could be far too busy and distracted to consider an immediate job offer.

    Take a step back and request for an extension; the potential employer will understand.

  4. The job will require you to relocate. If you’re currently living in Texas and your new job would require you to move to California, it’s okay to take your time and consider whether or not you want to go through such a huge life change.

    Especially when you have children or other family members who need to move with you, you’ll want to discuss the move with those individuals before you make your decision.

  5. You need more time to research the position. Asking for more time can help you get a better understanding of what the position requires and helps you ensure you are ready to commit to the company. This can give you time to know what it will be like to work for the company and who you will be working with.

How Much Time To Consider A Job Offer

Usually, most people request between 48 and 72 hours, or two to three days, to consider a job offer.

However, it can vary depending on the employer, so be sure to ask questions and confirm a deadline when you’re unsure of what would be appropriate. After all, when you confirm a deadline, you’ll be fully aware of the amount of time you have to consider your options.

Typically, most hiring managers will give you at least a few extra days to a week to decide.

Examples of What to Say

With these tips in mind, here are a few examples of professional messages to send to your potential employer:

Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you. While I look forward to putting my skills to good use at your company, I see that I would need to move states in order to pursue this career. In light of that, I’d humbly request that I be given a few days to respond to this job offer, as I’d like to discuss the potential move with my family.”

“Thank you for this opportunity! I look forward to working with your company. Can you tell me about the deadline for this offer? I have a few questions pertaining to my benefits once I initiate a full-time schedule that I’d like to discuss at your earliest convenience. I want to understand the position fully before making this decision. Thanks again!”

“Thank you for considering me for this position. I look forward to offering my skills and expertise to your company. Currently, I’m reviewing two other job offers at the moment, so would it be possible to have a few extra days to respond to this offer? Thanks again for this opportunity!”

Additional Tips to Keep in Mind When Considering a Job Offer

Though requesting an extension can feel nerve-wracking, here are some additional tips to aid you as you write your message:

  • Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling when you first receive a job offer, you should trust that feeling. After all, respectful declining a position, or at least taking the time to analyze it before deciding what to do, is a lot better than accepting the job and then declining in a few days or quitting shortly after you start.

    When considering the offer, always trust what you feel is right for you.

  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate. While you should avoid coming across as disappointed or dissatisfied with the offer, you should also feel comfortable discussing your needs. If you feel as though there’s a portion of the job offer that doesn’t accommodate your needs, don’t be afraid to ask questions and negotiate with the employer.

    For example, if you were told you weren’t going to work morning shifts but were offered a position with two morning shifts per week, you could inquire about why there was a change.

  • Be confident. You’d be surprised how far confidence can get you. When communicating with the hiring manager, find the confidence to make it clear that you know you’d be a valuable asset to their company. Doing so will give you an edge when discussing your needs.

  • Take the time to consider every factor. Even if you might be nervous about asking for more time, you should ask for what you feel you need. Allow yourself to research the potential employer, mull over your options, and emotionally address how you feel about the job offer. The worst thing you can do is try to rush a decision.

What Not To Say When Asking for More Time

There are some things you shouldn’t say when asking for time to consider. Here are examples of what not to say:

  • “I don’t know if I want the job, I’ll get back to you.

  • “I’m not sure if I’m still interested, I’ll let you know.

  • “I thought the salary would be more.”

  • “I’ll get back to you.”

  • “I’m not a big fan of the schedule and hours. Let me think on it.”

Any of these statements might cause you to come across as nonchalant and ungrateful, which will risk the employer declining your extension request and throwing away the opportunity altogether. Always do your best to keep the conversation positive and negotiable so your window of opportunity stays open.

Why You Shouldn’t Delay

Speaking of a window of opportunity, be sure to respond to your job offer as quickly as possible, whether or not you’re unsure of your interest. After all, job offers aren’t usually open-ended, and you don’t want to risk losing it because you procrastinated or didn’t communicate effectively with the hiring manager.

Respond to the hiring manager as soon as you receive the offer, even if you’re simply asking questions or requesting more time to respond. Ignoring the hiring manager could cost you the position.

Asking For Time To Consider A Job Offer FAQs

  1. How long can you delay accepting a job offer?

    It is standard to wait between 24 and 72 hours to accept a job offer. At the very most, you should not wait more than a week to make a decision. You will have to discuss with the hiring manager and come up with an acceptable deadline. It is good practice to at least give yourself 24 hours before accepting the offer, even if you know you want the job.

  2. Will I lose my job offer if I negotiate?

    You will not lose your job offer if you negotiate reasonably. It is possible that outrageous or inflexible demands may lead to a rescinding of your job offer. However, for the most part, when a company offers you a job, they are serious about you as a candidate. This means they are willing to at least consider negotiation.

  3. Should I accept a job offer while waiting for another?

    No, you should not accept a job offer while waiting for another, at least not right away. Be honest with the hiring manager and ask for as much time as possible to consider the offer. If the other job doesn’t get back to you within that time, then you will have to make a choice whether to reject your first offer and wait, or accept the first offer and remove yourself from consideration from the other job.

    Technically you can accept the first offer and then back out if the other job gets back to you. However, this is not professional and can hurt your reputation moving forward.


  1. Harvard Business Review – 15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

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Jack Flynn

Jack Flynn is a writer for Zippia. In his professional career he’s written over 100 research papers, articles and blog posts. Some of his most popular published works include his writing about economic terms and research into job classifications. Jack received his BS from Hampshire College.

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