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daymare's avatar

If I get a job offer, how do I politely ask them how long I have to make a final decision whether I want to join them or not?

Asked by daymare (50 points ) January 28th, 2010

I recently have applied for multiple jobs. As a result, I have had a few interviews. All of them went well. Some of the companies I want to work for more than others.

If one of my second-choice companies calls me back to make an offer, how do I ask them “how long do I have to decide whether I want to work for you or not”? I feel like blatantly asking how much time I have to decide if I can work for them or not sounds too rude, like I am saying “I am waiting to hear back from other companies that I would prefer to work for before I make any final decisions with you.” and makes it sound like I was never interested in the job to begin with.

So how do I phrase this in a professional manner if an offer is made, without ruining my relationship with the company before I even start (potentially) working for them?

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12 Answers

Cheeseball451's avatar

Just ask them it shouldn’t hurt anything. It’s not liek your being raciest or anything.

Judi's avatar

I would say, Thank-you for the offer. Do you mind if I take a few days and discuss it with my family/ spouse/financial advisor/accountant/ Just someone. I wouldn’t mention the other irons in the fire.
its good to hear people are interviewing again.

LC_Beta's avatar

I would decide on a specific number of days that you would like to wait. For example, “Can I let you know by next Tuesday?” would be reasonable.

Jeruba's avatar

“Thank you! I’m so excited to receive your offer. This is a big decision for me. Could I have until Tuesday to think it over?” Then be ready to call the shot on Tuesday.

You are incredibly lucky to have had an offer, never mind interviews, never mind even getting a response to your applications in the first place, which is not the way it’s going for everyone right now. It’s hard not to jump at the first opportunity. You are wise to think it over, as long as you do it realistically.

[Edit] @LC_Beta, I was typing while you were typing. I guess we both like Tuesdays: it’s early in the week, but it gives us the weekend, right?

Your_Majesty's avatar

Say “I can’t today,I’ll call you back when I’m ready”. From that they’ll know if you never call back then it means you’re not interested anymore,therefore they can provide a place for other people for this job in case if you’re unavailable.

Ron_C's avatar

I’ve done this several times. All you have to say is “when do you need an answer?” If they say right away, it means that they are desperate and it’s a good time to ask for a higher starting salary. I ended up with 15K more the last time I did it.

You have to be prepared to answer if they say right now, sometimes it’s a pressure tactic, in that case, I probably wouldn’t take the job because they will continue to put pressure on you whether it is necessary or not.

What you don’t want to do is accept then change your mind later. It’s a small world and the word gets around.

YARNLADY's avatar

Maybe you just say yes, and then quit if another job offer does come though. That happened to me once. The job I was applying for was given to my friend, and then two weeks later they called and asked me to come back in for an interview. My friend told me she got a better job.

Cruiser's avatar

Just be to the point and ask them when they expect to conclude their interview process and begin their final candidate review process. That should tell you all you need to know your window of time.

Ron_C's avatar

@daymare , Cruiser is right, if you are looking for a job, the last thing you want to do is lie or trick your interviewer. That is a terrible way to start a relationship.

HankMoody's avatar

Often, but not always, the offer letter you get will have an “expiration date” of sorts on it (usually 3–5 days). I would be very careful with this. Of the other interviews, you say “all of them went well.” They may have also gone well for other candidates. Unless there is some reason to really look this gift horse in the mouth (poor salary, undesirable location, less desirable company to work for), I would act extremely interested and probably accept the position.

In the case one of your other jobs does in fact come through, you can say to the first company “I would never think of rescinding my acceptance, but this is an offer I had not anticipated” or something like that. Do not show too much of your hand.

WCierraA's avatar

Maybe i would say “is there a certain time or day were i can make my final decision”

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