Skip to main content

How long should you wait for a job offer?

If you feel like you’re being ghosted after have been promised a job offer, here’s what you should do.

How long should you wait for a job offer?

You have an interview or two for a position you really want, and everything goes well. It's a regular lovefest between you and the hiring manager, and your heart skips a beat when you're told, "We'll have an offer to you by the end of the week." 

Eeeek! As the week goes by, you keep your phone glued to your hand as you anxiously wait for the offer to come in. But what should you do when that week goes by, and you still haven’t received an offer? Do you sit by the phone and wait, or throw in the towel altogether?

Neither, says career counselor Robin Ryan, author of 60 Seconds & You're Hired! Instead, she says you should continue your job search until you receive and accept a formal job offer. "Even if you're certain an offer is coming, do not stop job hunting," she says. "These things have a tendency to fall apart."

Because it’s important to understand that the whole job search process can take some time, and you really can’t ask to expedite the hiring process, Monster spoke with Ryan about why the offer might get delayed and the steps you should take when you feel like you’re being ghosted about a job offer.

Poof! There it isn't!

A number of things can delay a job offer. Some are tied to how large a corporation is and how elaborate the hiring chain of command is. If you're applying to a Fortune 500 company, the process, as a whole, may take longer than at a small startup. However, job offers can fall apart at anytime—and at any size company.

"A hiring manager may be stalling you while an offer is out with someone else for the same position," Ryan says. "You also may be promised a job only to learn that the funding for the job is no longer there." She reminds job searchers that mergers, too, may kill a position's creation or eliminate an established job altogether.

Keep in touch

Don't wait too long to follow up after an offer fails to materialize. "Contact the person who said you'd be getting an offer no more than a few days after you were to receive it," Ryan says. Ask about its status, such as, "Where are you at with this?" or, "When will this come through?"

Ryan adds, "If you're told that the process is going to take a bit more time, ask, 'Are you talking weeks or months?'"

“If you are being stalled, it's risky to wait on an offer,” Ryan says. “If it doesn't come through, and you haven't been searching elsewhere, you're going to get really depressed."

Hold or fold?

If you feel that your job offer is stalled indefinitely, you may be tempted to try to force a potential employer's hand by saying that you have another offer when you don't. "Never bluff," Ryan says. "Many companies—especially larger ones—will call you on it, and tell you to take the other offer."

Although it may be awkward, Ryan suggests informing the recruiter, "I'm continuing to interview, but I'm still very interested in this job." She urges candidates to try to find out what is really happening with the position and get a commitment from the company.

If the offer does vanish, Ryan reminds workers to remember, "There's more than one dream job out there." Continue your job search and land your dream job on Monster.


Back to top