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How to Stall a Job Offer

by Lisa McQuerrey, studioD

Sometimes it's in your best interest to put off giving an employer a definitive response to a job offer. Maybe you need time to think about the decision, or are waiting to hear back from other potential employers before making a final decision. You can buy yourself time in a professional way by using a few different techniques. Just don't stall too long, or you could be left out in the cold.

Request the opportunity to meet others in the office, like potential colleagues and managers, a tactic that can buy you a few extra days.

Ask for the offer in writing. It will take time for the hiring manager or human resources director to put together all elements of the job description, write it and get it signed off on by the appropriate people. Even after you get the offer, if you have questions or concerns about the wording or the details, going back and forth with a potential employer buys additional time.

Ask for a specific amount of time to consider all aspects of the offer. If you have a family, it's an easier stall because employers understand it's a big decision that requires careful thought and consideration for several people. Ask for a week or 10 days to mull the offer.

Use your spouse as an excuse. If your job offer involves relocation, you can stall for time by saying your spouse needs to talk to her employer or consider her job prospects in your new city before you can provide a definite answer. This tactic can work in your favor in several ways, as it may prompt the employer to offer spousal relocation and job search assistance.

Say you need time to investigate the local housing market for relocation, or look into getting your house up for sale so you can move. This approach might encourage the employer to cover relocation expenses if they haven't already offered to do so.


  • Reassure the company that offers you the job that you’re very interested in the position, even as you stall for more time.


  • Don't take too much time or put off the offer too long, or you could run the risk of losing the job, especially if it’s with a small employer. If you’re waiting to hear from other companies you're interviewing with, having a solid job offer on the table is a good negotiating point for you when you call the other employers to follow up on the status of your application.

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

Photo Credits

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