Asking for Additional Time or an Accelerated Offer Timeline

It is very common for students to receive multiple interviews on various timelines. Every company has a different timeline for scheduling interviews and responding after interviews. Occasionally, you will receive an offer from one company while still waiting on another company.  After employers extend an offer of employment, they generally request an answer within a specific time period.  College of Engineering policy specifies that this time period should be no less than three weeks.  Most employers are aware of this policy, but some may not be and they may ask for a decision in less time.  You should provide a response as soon as you are certain of your answer so the employer can continue with their staffing plans.   If you need more time before making a decision, do not hesitate to ask for it.  Employers understand that this is a big decision and they want you to be comfortable with your decision.  You may need more time because you are waiting for an offer from a preferred company, or need to consult with family or Engineering Career Services about the offer.  Companies will usually accommodate your request because they have invested significant time and money in identifying you as the best candidate and will not want to lose you.  If their schedule will not allow for a delay, they will tell you.

The worst thing that you can do is accept a position and then change your mind.  When you tell an employer that you accept the offer they will inform other candidates that they were not selected for the position.  If you renege, you may have also caused them to miss an opportunity to hire one or more other well-qualified candidates.  Reneging on an offer is a bad reflection on you and on ISU.

If you are struggling to make a decision or are feeling pressured by a company to make a quick decision, please make an appointment with Engineering Career Services.  We know how important this decision is to you and will help you evaluate your options. Below you will find examples of ways to ask an employer for more time to consider an offer. Also below is an example of how to ask an employer for an accelerated offer timeline if you have a strict deadline to respond to another offer.

  • “The interviewing season at Iowa State extends through the month of October and as such I request an extension until early November.  This will allow me to fulfill my interview obligations and analyze my offers.  I am very interested in working for your company but want to make sure that your position is the right one for me.”
  • “I really appreciate this offer, but I would like a little more time to consider it.  I have learned from Engineering Career Services, that the College’s policy is for employers to give students a minimum of three weeks to consider job offers.  You likely weren’t aware of this policy, but would it be possible for you to extend my deadline to meet this policy?  The policy can be found online at  Again, I am grateful for the offer and inclined to accept it, but need more time to solidify my decision.”
  • “I am very excited about this offer, but this is a major transition and I would like an additional week to discuss this with my family.”
  • “I have a previously scheduled interview, and it is important to me to honor this commitment.  In order for me to make the best decision, I would like to have until (enter date) to make a decision.”
  • “Dear Mr./Ms. ______,  Thank you again for the opportunity to interview on (Date of Interview) for the position of (position title).   I found that my interest in the position has grown even stronger from our conversations.   I wanted to let you know that I have received an offer from another company and have been given a deadline to respond.  Since I prefer your position, I am hoping to receive an offer from you before I am forced to make a decision on this other offer.  Would it be possible for you to tell me how likely I am to receive an offer from (Company Name) and when I might expect to see the offer?  If you can do anything to expedite your offer process, I would really appreciate it.Thank you again for the interest you have shown in me as a candidate and for your time.   I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Sincerely,(Your Name)”

The Employment Process Menu


Step 1: Understanding Employers and the College Recruiting Process

    -Maintain a Positive Attitude

Step 2: Determine Career Goals and Skillset

Step 3: Identify Preliminary Target Employers and Industries

Step 4: Develop Effective Marketing Materials

Step 5: Search for Specific Employment and Research Target Companies