How much time to receive and decide on offer?

application process Delay Final Round Gap year internship MBB offer time to sign the offer
New answer on Oct 31, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 15, 2017

I have some questions about receiving and accepting/declining an offer. Usually for consulting interviews, you get the offer straight away after the final round, right? And then how much time do you get to decide for the offer? The thing is that I have a final and first round coming up, and the company I would prefer is the one I have the first round with.

Would be great to get your advice on this!

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replied on Feb 20, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

In the words of my mentor "an offer is valid until you consider it". Now, do not take that to an extreme but I would say that 3-4 weeks is perfectly normal time to have to consider an offer.

Before extending the time, if you feel prepared, I would ask other firms to shorten their interview time because you have another offer.

Techniques to extend time:

  • Be honest: tell them you have other interviews and since you already made plans you would like to complete them to be fair
  • Negotiate terms of offer: you can negotiate sign-on bonus, tenure (if applicable), start date
  • Personal reasons (if applicable): e.g. need to discuss with SO to make sure is right decision

Hope it helps,


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Content Creator
replied on Mar 18, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with Alexey; I would say option 2 he mentioned is particularly powerful not only to speed up the process, but also to reduce the number of interviews you will have to do. You will be indeed validated automatically by the fact you got an offer from another company – sometimes even an interview (assuming that the company you are still in the process with belives the other company is at the same level). In this way you may turn a problem in an opportunity. Some examples I know first-hand:

  • Once I received my offer from Oliver Wyman, I called the other company I had in pipeline, to mention I had to take a decision soon. I ended completing the process with BCG in just 4 days, and 2 interview rounds, instead of the usual 3.
  • One of the people I recently coached went through a first round with a MBB company and passed it. At the end of the interview they asked him if he was interviewing with other MBB and he replied he was indeed in the process with others. When they proposed him the final round day, he tried to put it off in order to have time to interview also with the other MBB. They ended presenting him an offer directly, without even doing the final. Of course, his performance was excellent in the first round, but they would have hardly done so without the candidate making clear he was in high demand.


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Anonymous replied on Mar 15, 2017

Hi Anonymous

Interesting question. Hope you will succeed in both options.

Right, you get an offer the same day after a successful interview and usually they give you from 1 to 3 working days to decide and to sign an offer. And here you have at least 3 options:

1. Ask them to wait for a longer period (difficult to explain why - in your situation)

2. Ask your preferred company to arrange a final round asap because of another offer in your hands but willingness to be with them (could work but risky)

3. Accept an offer and you will have at least 1-2 months before your starting day to fix another opportunity (if it works for you from the ethic side)

Best wishes


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Originally answered question:

Internship Offer

Content Creator
replied on Sep 08, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Several recommendations:

  1. Ask the company how much time you have to consider the offer. Note that It's important to demonstrate the commitment.
  2. Ask the other companies to expedite the process
  3. Try to postpone the offer from the first firm if you feel that you are out of time.

Here are some strategies on how to get more time with the offer:

  • Be transparent - you want to finish the process with all companies (And it's not about the particular company. For example, Bain was giving me an Intern Role while McKinsey gave me a Senior Analyst)
  • Ask for the time without explanation and if there is an urgency ask back why is the urgency
  • Time to learn more from employees: Given with what I've seen so far I am happy to sign the offer but I might need some more time to talk to people, visit the office and learn more about the company
  • Contract - Need time to check the contract details (it's not just about salary but also you can't have equity ownership as a consultant and you need to sell your businesses)
  • Refer to feelings - you can say that you don't feel comfortable making a fast decision and need some time to reflect
  • Family reasons - Need time to discuss with the partner


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Originally answered question:

Internship Offer

replied on Sep 07, 2018
Machine Learning Researcher @ Max Planck Institute

First of all - congrats on the offer!

Most companies will pressurise you to provide a response asap, but you have the upper hand in this negotiation. They have chosen you, and now it is your turn to choose them. Although the stanstard for providing a response in the industry is 1-2 weeks, from my experience, it is doable to extend this by 1-1.5 weeks.

Having said that, you should be tactical about how you handle this:

1) Tell the other firms that you are interviewing with that you have an offer from a competing firm, in order to bring forwards your interviews and provide a response on existing rounds asap

2) Find out the deadline for providing a response to the firm that has given you an offer already

3) Ask them to extend the deadline, in order to think through the offer / finalise the interviewing process with the other firms... Although you can be honest, try to keep them warm. You can also delay providing a response, by setting up a meeting with HR/ a team member to go through any questions that you may have on the offer

Good luck!

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Originally answered question:

Internship Offer

Anonymous updated the answer on Sep 07, 2018

Just tell them openly that you're in another recruiting process, which will probably take X weeks and you like to see what comes out of that. Maybe sweeten the cherry by saying your leaning towards their offer.

That's totally legitimate (nobody believes that they are the only company you applied to...) and they will probably be ok with it. After all, it's "just" an internship, you're not their CEO candidate. If they have a problem with it, they will tell you...


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replied on Oct 31, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Yes, you typically get the offer shortly after the final round. Unless the deadline is dictated by the school, it's typically a few weeks. And there is usually room for negotations.

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Usually 1-2 weeks to decide, good luck!

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Originally answered question:

Internship Offer

Anonymous D replied on Sep 07, 2018

Usually contracts specify when you have to make the decision. Didn't your contract have the date?

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replied on Feb 24, 2018

Hi anonymous,

Just spoke with a Swiss friend and he told me that you should be completely fine in getting such an extended period of a month, as far as you're able to come up with some sound and consistent arguments (examples in Andrea's post) - in the end of the day you should remember that they want you to work there! (the major caveat could be if you're applying to near from the September intake and the firms need to confirm the final composition of new hires!)



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Andrea gave the best answer


Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer
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