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I'm in the final stages of perusing a new position, and expect an offer some time this week. However, I was just contacted by what I think to be a much better company.

How long is standard for an employer to be willing to wait for a response from a job offer?

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    Which country are you in? The answer may vary by country. Also, specific employers may have their own deadlines. Safest is to check directly with the employer who is making the offer. May 12 '14 at 16:11
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about regulations or agreements that are company-specific and don't have universally applicable answers.
    – gnat
    May 12 '14 at 16:21
  • @gnat How long does an employer typically give to think about an offer? Can you ask them to think about the offer for longer? How much longer? If they didn't give a time-frame, how long do you have? Can you ask for a time-frame? - These are all pretty universally applicable. May 12 '14 at 20:09
  • @Dukeling I used to negotiate time-frame quite often
    – gnat
    May 12 '14 at 21:16
  • Hey ctote, and welcome to The Workplace. The best questions here have answers that will solve the problem. Even if X is the standard, the company you are asking to wait may be unwilling to wait X, or may be willing to wait 10X the 'standard' time. Knowing what the standard is won't help solve the problem of getting them to wait. Can I suggest an edit to ask how to request more time to make a decision to a potential employer? Thanks in advance!
    – jmac
    May 15 '14 at 3:50
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You generally have a couple of days to give them an answer.

If you have another potential job that you are close to perhaps getting an offer on (have already interviewed), you can call that 2nd job, tell them you have an offer from another company, and ask if they can expedite the process, because you do like them better. If they really want you, they will often try to do that. If you don't get a competing offer in that couple of days, you will then have to decide whether to go for the solid offer or turn it down in hopes of an offer at the 2nd company.

For a potential job that you haven't started the process on, or haven't yet had an interview for, you will have to decide: do you want the sure thing, or do you want to wait and try for the other job.

You can't make them wait a week or more for you to decide. They want someone who wants the job, and the longer you want to wait to decide, the less it appears you want the job. It is also unprofessional to take the job, and then continue looking for a job, being willing to jump from the first new job before or shortly after you start.

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