When You Are Waiting for Another Offer

A more challenging scenario is when you have an offer from one employer, and you believe that another equally or more attractive offer might be forthcoming from another organization. In these cases, if you aren’t comfortable accepting the firm offer, you should attempt to bring the time windows for decision-making together.
One way to line up the time frames is to create a reasonable delay with the first employer who has made the offer. For example, you might ask for the opportunity to meet with staff at your level if you weren’t able to do so during the screening process.
However, be careful how you frame a request for extra time so that you don’t create doubt about your degree of interest.
I am very interested in this job and from everything that I have heard my background is an excellent match. I am a careful person and would feel most comfortable if I could speak with colleagues in similar roles (or shadow them for a day) prior to finalizing my acceptance.
Mention the Other Offer
Another approach is to level with the employer who has made the offer and mention that you have another offer pending. There is some risk with this approach, but if handled delicately, most employers will only view a candidate more favorably if they are in high demand.
I am so excited that you have offered me the opportunity to work with your firm. I believe that I can make a very strong contribution in this role and would enjoy the work immensely. I do have another firm that has been courting me, and I believe an offer may be pending shortly. Though I am strongly inclined toward your position, I would be most comfortable if I could make a comparative choice. Is there any chance that you could give me until next Wednesday to finalize my acceptance?
Be prepared to respond if they deny your request. You can say that you appreciate the consideration and will get back to them by the agreed upon response date.
Try To Get a Second Offer
Another way to bring the time window together is to approach the employer that hasn’t issued an offer yet. In this case, you might ask if they are in a position to expedite the process since you have received another offer. Again, you would need to word your request carefully.
I have received another offer, and they need to know my decision by Monday. I would prefer to work for your firm but don’t want to pass up this other job and be left with nothing. Is there any chance that you might arrive at a decision about my candidacy before Monday?
If you employ this approach, then you should be ready to respond if they say no. In this case, you might say that you will attempt to get an extension on the other offer.