To all candidates: I might sound like a broken record but this lesson continues to prove essential as candidates continue to make the same error.
Candidates should not take more than 24 hours to review an offer and make a final decision about whether or not they are accepting it. Of course there are extenuating circumstances (the candidate has questions regarding the offer and is awaiting the client’s answers; the candidate is suddenly called out of town due to an emergency, etc). As a general rule though candidates should respond to the offer promptly– even if it’s to decline.
There are multiple reasons why candidates should reply to an offer promptly–
1) Often there is a backup candidate who would love the job, so taking a lot of time to make a decision affects other people’s chances at pursuing an opportunity as well as puts the client in jeopardy of losing multiple candidates
2) Even if the candidate wants the job it might appear that he or she is pursuing a counter offer– which is a turn off to the client
3) It might appear that the candidate is not that excited about the offer so, even if he or she accepts, a lot of momentum and enthusiasm has been lost and by that point the client is not so excited about them joining the company.
The bottom line is candidates should not drag their heels when reviewing and responding to an offer. It is really quite simple at the end of the day– you either want the job or you don’t… So take a day to think about it and decide either way so everyone can proceed accordingly and get on with it.