How To Respond To A Job Offer Without Accepting?

You finally received a new job offer, but don’t want to jump at the opportunity immediately nor seem uninterested.

What to do?

There are certainly good reasons behind your hesitation, so you need to use some tactful ways to deal with this situation.

Here, you’ll learn how to respond to a job offer without accepting it most effectively and politely. See some samples on how to ask for time or how to decline an offer.

Why Do You Need More Time To Consider a Job Offer?

Once you’ve received a job offer, you may want to take some time to consider it and not just impulsively accept the first offer you get. It’s okay to ask for time to consider the offering, so having the reason why ensures you don’t want to waste the hiring manager’s time and your time.

employee thinks

There are a few reasons why you should ask for more time:

  • You aren’t sure about the job position – If you have some strange feeling or so-called gut feeling that tells you you should hold off on accepting the offer, take some time to think about it. It is better to ask for more time than to accept the job you aren’t so sure about.
  • employee thinks about offer

  • Other job offers – Maybe you have multiple job offers and need enough time to analyze and compare each offer, so you can make the right decision.
  • Research the company and position – With the extra time, you’ll have enough time to research the company and job position you are applying for.
  • employee and laptop

  • You need to relocate – If your job offer requires you to relocate, you should take time to talk to your family and see what is the best option for you.

How Much Time Is Reasonable To Ask?

Some companies require you to answer in a certain period, but if they don’t, you can ask for a few days. Ideally, ask for two to three days, but if you need more, don’t hesitate to ask for a week-long leeway.


However, it is important to keep in mind that the more time you delay your answer, the more you’re risking the chance to get hired.

Things To Think About When Considering Job Offer

It is very important to keep several things in your mind so you can make a decision that will be the best for you.

Consider what you’re giving up. Before you accept the job offer, consider what you are giving up with your current job position. You should weigh both pros and cons before making a decision.

making decision

Fully understand the job offer. It is crucial to understand all aspects of a new job position.

Think about growth opportunities. Does this new job position offer new challenges and the ability to learn new skills? Having good growth opportunities will help you achieve your long-term career goals.

How To Respond To a Job Offer But Not Accepting Immediately?

If you can’t decide immediately, whether the job was offered in written form or orally, you can easily and politely respond to a job offer by temporarily declining the job offer and asking for a short period of a few days before making a final decision.

  • Express Gratitude – It is always recommended to express gratitude for a job offer.  So start your email or speech with appreciative words. You can use a very simple gratitude expression, such as “Thank you very much for this opportunity.”In the back-end, some people are responsible for the hiring process, so show your courtesy.
  • office communication

  • Explicitly say that you need time – Mostly, employers already expect that candidates will ask for a grace period before they make the final decision. You can explain why you are asking for extra time – because you’re dealing with a big life decision. Also, you may notice some details in the job offer that you didn’t see coming. In any case, always use a polite tone throughout your response.
  • Ask about the deadline – It would be great if you could tell a specific timeframe and stick to the deadline. If you’re not sure whether you should ask for 2, 3 or more days, ask the employer if it’s urgently and when should you call back with your respond.
  • Ask questions – Before you end the conversation, ask about the company, company policy, job position requirements, etc. This way the employer will see you’re a conscientious person who won’t jump in any business before think over first so it’s normal you need some time.
  • End with a positive note – Always end your email or speech with some positives. Plus, don’t forget a formal sign-off message.


Examples Of What To Say

There are two simple examples of what you can say or write when you receive a job offer.

  1. “Thank you so much for the opportunity. I look forward to bringing my skills and knowledge to your company and helping to grow the business. I would like to ask for a few days to consider the offer completely. “
  2. “Thank you for the job offer and the opportunity to work with your company. I’m looking forward to being a part of your successful company. It is possible to have a few days to respond to your job offer? I want to fully understand the job offer before a final decision. Thank you again!”

How To Decline a Job Offer?

You got a job offer, considered it, and decided that isn’t suitable for you and your aspirations.

Now, you should inform the employer and this may not be the easiest thing to do.

Some of the good reasons why not to accept the job offer are salary and benefits package, if a company seems financially unstable or if the company has a high rate of employee turnover, etc.

You can write a polite letter and decline a job offer. That can help maintain a good relationship with the employer if you some time in the future decide to apply for another position in that company.

In that letter, you should express your appreciation for the offer and clearly state that you can’t accept the offer. You shouldn’t go into detail about why you’re deciding not to take the job.

woman and laptopp

Keep the letter/email short and polite. Here is an example:

  • “Hello (employer name)!
  • Thank you once again for allowing me to meet the company and the team last week. It was great to learn more about your company policy and the … position. I was thrilled to be offered the job.

    However, after much thought, I’ve decided that this position isn’t the best fit for my career goals at this time.

    It’s been a pleasure getting to know you, and I hope we’ll be able to collaborate again in the future. Please keep in touch!


    (Your Name)”

    It is very important to be professional with your responses, either positive or negative ones. In that way, you’ll leave a good impression.

    Final Verdict

    Sometimes it’s simply not immediately clear whether you should or not accept the job opportunity. In those cases, when you don’t know how to respond to a job offer without accepting it, you should take some time to think and inform the company about that. You have nothing to lose, just gain – professional impression!

    Melissa is a freelance writer with a Bachelor of Economy. She became one of the OfficeNeedle team members in 2020. Her expertise in business management lies in 6-year experience working in 3 companies which allowed her to improve her business skills. The knowledge she has received through her work, she presents in the educational articles helping many people who start or run a business. Her secret love is design so she writes also about office furniture and equipment.