So, How Long Is Too Long To Consider A New Job Offer? We Decode The Timeline

Let's face it, applying for jobs is the worst. First, you have to make a resume that's interesting enough for employers to even look at, then you have to go through the process of actually interviewing. This step can take weeks or even months, depending on the job you're applying for. You're most likely to have two to four interviews, but if you're going for a high-level position, you're likely looking at way more than that. It's a stressful process, but it's all worth it the day you find out you landed the career of your dreams.


It's exciting, knowing you're wanted for a position you've worked so hard to achieve, but what if you need some time to think about it? Maybe you have another offer or you're waiting to hear back from a company you're more interested in working for. It's a common issue, and many employers will give you the opportunity to think it over. That being said, you don't want to leave them waiting too long or they might retract their offer and give the position to someone else. So, how long is too long to consider a new job offer? Let's talk about it.

Ask for a deadline

Once you receive a job offer, it's crucial to respond to the employer in a timely manner, no matter your decision. You don't want to wait more than one business day to reply. This is basically a notice letting the company know you've gotten their offer, which demonstrates good communication skills. If you aren't sure how long is too long to consider the offer, ask when they'd like to have an answer. After they've given you a deadline, you can coordinate your timeline, should you have another offer on the table.


Typically, an employer will give you somewhere between one to two weeks, but again, it depends on the company and the volume of competition. In some cases, they may only give you a few days to give an answer. This can make the decision much more difficult if you're waiting to hear back from another company. However, there is one way to navigate the situation.

Contact other companies you've interviewed with

If you've interviewed at another company that you favor more than the one where you've received an offer, contact them as soon as possible. Let them know you have an offer from another job, but you're prioritizing their company over the other. Not only does this make you look desirable, but it should help move things along on their end (if they're a decent employer). They understand the importance of timeliness when it comes to accepting a job offer, so they may speed up the hiring process to accommodate you. 


Remember, you aren't trying to pressure the company into making a decision. All you're doing is giving them a heads-up on your deadline. It should be noted that even though you've contacted them and they've acknowledged your deadline, it doesn't always mean they can accommodate you. Due to scheduling or other conflicts, they may not be able to expedite the hiring process, leaving you to make a difficult decision. Do you accept the offer you currently have, or turn it down and hope the undecided company chooses you?

Be careful about bluffing

Telling a company you have other job offers on the table probably sounds like a great idea. It makes you appear desirable and in high demand. However, bluffing doesn't always work out in your favor. If you're using it as a tactic to speed up the hiring process at the company you're prioritizing, be prepared for it to backfire. That employer may tell you they aren't able to make a decision within your timeline, so it's best you take another offer, and they'll move forward with their hiring process without you.


In the event you don't have other job offers, you've just eliminated yourself from possibly getting the one you want. The only time you should really bluff is when you are absolutely sure other employers you've interviewed with are going to offer you the job. You might sound desirable, but on the other hand, a company may just blow you off.

Really consider declining one offer for another

Say you got an offer from company A, but you've been on hold waiting for company B to make a decision. Company A gives you a deadline of three days, but company B is unable to accommodate your request to expedite the hiring process, so you ultimately decide to take company A's offer. A few days later, company B contacts you and offers you the job. Now what? This is the position of your dreams, but you've already accepted the job at company A. Is it okay to change your mind?


The short answer is yes but proceed with caution. You don't want to burn any bridges with company A, and telling them you've changed your mind on the offer may do just that. If working with company B is in your best interest, you should likely go ahead and take the job. And be speedy and gracious when letting company A know. Just make sure you've considered all possible outcomes before confirming with both parties.