McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching

How to ask for more time after receiving offer

Anonymous A

Hi everyone, am going into a number of final round interviews for different firms with a few weeks in between each of the final interviews - was wondering if anyone has had experience recieving an offer and successfully requesting for more time to decide? I imagine HR / the Partner who made the offer will immediately realise the candidate is pending other interviews and has not outright chosen their firm - is this potentially problematic in any way?

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Vlad replied on 03/13/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It's important to show the commitment anyway and they will always give some time. Although in some countries, time may become critical since companies may have dedicated starting dates related to international training or batches or immediate project opportunities. I had this problem with two of my offers.

But there still may be several strategies to get more time:

  • 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

Best!

Sidi
Expert
replied on 03/13/2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 50+ candidates secure MBB offers

I agree with everything said in this thread. But I would stress that it might make sense to name a concrete date by which you will make the decision. As mentioned, be transparent about being still in the process with other firms and use this as the framing for your own deadline.

Currently non-active expert
Expert
replied on 03/13/2018

Hey anonymous,

"is this potentially problematic in any way?" >> No, that would not be problematic at all.

If you were successfully in getting an offer, it's because the firm really wants to hire you and will do their best to captivate you to sign with them, which includes giving a reasonable time for you to think and to decide on whether you want to accept (or not) their offer. Besides, all consulting firms are aware that candidates are applying to firms.

If it happens to you, just asked them politely for some time for you to maturate your decision and, if possible, ask them to give you access to consultants so that you can make an educated choice.

Best

Bruno

Andrea
Expert
replied on 03/13/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

I would simply say that you are going through the interview process with multiple companies and for integrity you want to finish the interview with all of them given the time they invested with you to compare the different offers and make an informed decisions.

Hope this helps,

Andrea

Francesco replied on 08/31/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1700+) | Ex BCG | 850+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

the best strategy to follow in this case is to contact the other firms and try to accelerate the process with them. If you call them and explain that you have an offer and would be very interested to interview with them as well, they will likely accelerate the process. It happened to me after an Oliver Wyman offer with BCG, and manage to complete the whole process in 4 days instead of the usual 3-4 weeks.

This sometime will also have the additional benefit to decrease the number of interviews you will have to do. Some examples I know first-hand:

  • Once I received my offer from Oliver Wyman, I called the other companies I had in pipeline, to mention I had to take a decision soon. I ended completing the process with BCG with two interview rounds, instead of the usual three.
  • One of the people I 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.

In case it is not feasible to accelerate the process with the other firms, you have two options:

  1. Ask the company who presented the offer to wait more – usually difficult to justify and risky in terms of final outcome
  2. Sign the contract and continue the recruiting process with the other firms – you have to consider if this works for you from an ethical point of view

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Andrea
Expert
replied on 03/14/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

Please do not ask “what is the urgency” back to the HR/consultant who reaches out. That is not going to yield a productive conversation. Not a straight offer rescind, but a very likely “this is it” due to the confrontational nature of the question.