Now normally I would assume it always makes more sense to ask Y for quicker results, since it seems generally easier for a company to give you results sooner than it is for a company to extend a deadline they already set.

HOWEVER, there are a few specific circumstances in my case and I want to know if they change the situation.

  • Company X, which hasn't gotten back yet, is my #1 choice and I desperately want to work there.

  • I have informed Company X about my other offer deadline twice now. Once when I scheduled my final interview with them, and a second time in my "thank you" email which I sent after the interview. In that email I also asked when I'd hear back, but never got a response.

  • I have heard absolutely nothing back from Company X since my interview four days ago. I know it's only been a few days (like 2 working days), but I let them know about this deadline twice already.

  • Company Y's deadline is in two days.

Whatever I do, I think it's best to do it tomorrow, since I'd rather not ask for a deadline extension from Y on the day before it's due, or demand that X tell me their decision with one day's notice.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this situation? I could do nothing and wait it out, hoping that Company X will honor the deadline I gave them twice (though they never indicated they would abide by it). But since I want Company X very much I don't know if that's a good idea.

  • 2
    I think you've mixed up X and Y a few places. Your title says you're waiting on Y. Your body says that you're waiting on X. Assuming that the title is correct, when you scheduled your final interview with Y, what did they say about your deadline with X? Nov 18, 2015 at 3:25
  • You're right. In the body, X is the company that hasn't gotten back, Y is the one with the offer deadline. I fixed the title to correspond to that. I mentioned to "interview company" that I had a deadline with "offer company" when I scheduled the interview. In the response in which the recruiter told me when to expect the interview, she made no mention of the deadline. She also hasn't responded to my "thank you" email post-interview, which also included the "I have a deadline soon" info.
    – bob
    Nov 18, 2015 at 5:08
  • @bob I've edited the title but in future please do so yourself: your correction only swapped X and Y in the first part of the question title, not the second, making it even more confusing.
    – Lilienthal
    Nov 18, 2015 at 11:03

2 Answers 2


Company X

Unfortunately, even though company X is your dream job, you may not be their dream employee. I'm not trying to put you down, it's just the way it is - most of us are not unique, or irreplaceable.

It's crucially important for you to hear back from X, but it's in their interest to keep looking for the best employee.

I've been in the situation you're in, and also contacted the companies in question - a couple of times I was politely rejected. In my opinion, a reply -even a non-committal one- is a pretty common courtesy. The fact that they haven't bothered is possibly an indication that you should not hold your breath.

Company Y

Now as far as company Y goes, asking for an extension is indeed a bad idea. Why? Because it sends the message that they are not your top choice. That you're there because you're desperate, and that they should not count on your loyalty.

Instead, you can try to stall for time. This might be a good time to negotiate the offer.

  • Worst case, they refuse to negotiate.
  • Best case, the offer is sweetened enough that even losing out on X is no longer so painful.

Try this:

Dear Y, I was very happy to receive your offer of employment. I am enthusiastic at the idea of joining your team! Before I sign, however, I wanted to discuss some of the terms of employment. Would a slight pay bump be possible, by any chance? Barring that, would you consider offering a signing bonus, or a few extra vacation days? I look forward to hearing from you! Respectfully ...

This is written just off the top of my head - I actually saw a masterful example of such a letter posted on this site, and would Google a fancier version. You could even try waiting for their initial reply and then asking for a signing bonus if they refuse - it works well as a delaying tactic, because these things typically take a day or so to hash out.

Why not both?

This is sort of a sleazy move, but I am a firm believe in guarding your own interests. After all, most companies will do so without hesitation, so you don't have to feel too bad about it.

You could always accept the offer of Company Y, then simply quit if an offer from Company X is brought forward.

You actually won't be hurting Company Y too much, because they haven't actually spent too long training you, and hey, stuff happens. You can say that you just don't feel that the company is a good fit, and say your goodbyes. No (major) harm done.

The added advantage is that since you actually have a job, you could now bargain for better terms with Company X knowing that you have a safety net.

Whatever you decide to do however, there is one thing which you should avoid at all costs: sounding desperate. Stop spamming Company X's mailbox. At this point they know what your situation is - just wait for their reply with dignity.

Good luck!

  • Thanks, good advice. For the record, I haven't spammed either company -- in fact, I've only sent one email to either, and that was to X thanking them for the interview and inquiring when I might hear back. It's also only been 2 business days since the interview, so there's still time to hear back -- just not very much of it due to my offer deadline!
    – bob
    Nov 18, 2015 at 6:46
  • @Bob - I was just covering all the scenarios, good luck, hope you get your dream job!
    – AndreiROM
    Nov 18, 2015 at 14:04

It would be a good idea to ask for a deadline extension from Company Y.


Four days isn't a long time for an interview reply. The time taken for an interviewer to get back with the results of a successful interview would range for anywhere between 7-10 days.

However, you can call up the interviewer personally and ask for the result of the interview, as well as explaining your situation. They would definitely understand and would try to get back to you quicker.

So, ask for a deadline extension from Company Y (for a week), and call the recruiter of Company X, personally.

If the recruiter doesn't respond within another 5 days, then it means that they have stopped pursuing your candidature, and you can start your negotiation process with Compan Y.

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