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Asked by Nathalie on April 6, 2018

I'm currently applying to find either an internship or job for the summer and I was wondering how long I can wait to accept a position after an offer. I've already applied to some places and scheduled/had interviews but was wondering just how long I can wait considering I haven't applied to all of the positions that I am interested in. Is two weeks too long? What is an acceptable time?

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on April 9, 2018

You are smart to put so much effort into your future!  An internship can be the perfect foot in the door a great company.  Typically if an offer is made to you, the recruiter or hiring manager delivering the offer will also give you a timeline for your response.  If they don't, be prepared to ask for one.  You can say something as simple as, thank you for the offer, when would you like my response?  Or if you have a timeline in mind, ask for it.  Two weeks is a long time, especially for an internship.  They are likely working off a list of people and as a recruiter, I personally would move on to my next candidate if I did not hear back from a prospect in that period of time.  Making sure your intentions and agreed upon timeline is clear will be critical if you plan to delay so significantly. 

Have you ever heard the cliche...A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?  Well that rings true here.  An offer you've already received is tangible and potentially worth more than one you may or may not get.  So consider that when you delay acceptance or decline.  Also, follow up with the organizations you are waiting to hear back from to see if you are still in the running. 

It is also just fine to chase the job you really want!  So make sure you are always courteous and respectful when you are deciding your path forward.  You never know who you may encounter in the future of your career!

Get your applications in for the positions you are interested in, the summer is almost here!

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Answered by Makailyn, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on April 9, 2018

Hi there! During the job search, there are many different positions to consider and that can take some time. When you get to the offer phase with a company, they generally will give you a time-frame in which to get back to them regarding your decision on the offer. If the time-frame they have given you is too short and you would like more time, I would recommend asking for additional time to decide. Giving them perspective on why you need longer time (i.e. you have another interview coming up, you're waiting to hear a decision from another company, etc.) can help give them a picture as to why you need more time. Sometimes companies will give you the extension if you request it! I would say most of the time, companies are understanding and will try to work with you. Being transparent and honest with your point of contact is the best way to handle this situation especially if you require additional time. Good luck with the job hunt!

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