Help! I have an offer deadline and I’m not sure what to do!

You’ve been interviewing for several jobs.

You just received an email from one of your top employers saying that they’re expecting to make a decision “sometime next week.”

Another employer has already offered you a position and wants you to make a decision by the end of this week.

Your interview with a third employer just went really well and it’s likely that you may be asked for a final round of interviews with them.

You want to have all possible offers at the same time so that you can make the best choice – but how can you leave one company hanging while you wait to hear from the others?

What should you do?

First off, take a breath. It’s a stressful time of the year with exams and holidays, but know that there are other students going through the same thing right now.

The most important thing is decide what position would be the best fit for you. There are many factors to consider when comparing job offers, including but not limited to travel, salary, security, responsibilities, and advancement. You must consider whether you see yourself being successful and enjoying the position and the organization before you accept it. If you aren’t sure about a job but you’re concerned about turning an offer down, realize that you would most likely be best to keep looking for a job that offers a better “fit” than accept a job just to have one.

During the busy recruiting season in the fall, it is reasonable to expect employers to allow at least three weeks for you to consider offers received. Inevitably, the phone call or email comes at a surprising time, but if you’re interviewing, expect those kinds of messages and prepare for them.

First, always be sure you know the date by which you need to make your decision. If you have no intention of accepting an offer, be upfront and let the employer know as soon as possible.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where a deadline is looming but you’re still waiting on another organization’s response, don’t be afraid to ask for an extension.   Recruiters that work with college students on a daily basis understand that you have many things going on right now, and needing more time to think about committing to an offer is not an unusual thing to ask.

Finally, once you have accepted an offer in writing, you should consider that you now have an official contract with that organization and you are then obligated to withdraw from all other job search activities. (For sample “Accept” or “Withdraw from a Search” letters, please visit:

Of course, the most important factor to remember is that everyone’s situation will be different. Come in to speak with one of our counselors and they can help you understand how best to evaluate your choices.

You can also view more information on deciding on job offers here:

Author: Robert Gannone

Robert Gannone is the Administrative Assistant for the Career Services staff working with the School of Engineering and Wharton undergraduates.