How Long Does it Take to get a Formal Offer Letter after receiving a Verbal Offer?

IBDgal's picture
Rank: Chimp | 8

Hi! I received a verbal offer from a BB. I would like to know how long do people usually have to wait in order to get the offer letter?

At what point in time, should someone contact the HR to follow up with the situation?

Also, if US students who will be working in Europe or Asia...do they have to wait longer compared to getting the offer letter within the states?

Thanks!

What time should I expect between a verbal offer and formal offer letter?

This question can vary a great deal based on the employer and how busy HR is at the given time.

User @PowerMonkey, an investment banking vice president, explained that:

PowerMonkey - Investment Banking Vice President:

My physical offer took about a month and a half to two months. I know people who have waited even longer. Generally different HR groups extend you an offer vs give you an offer letter vs do your training etc.

You should contact HR and determine how long till they send it and how they intend to do so. Its easy enough to do so under the guise of checking to make sure they have the correct address.

Some people receive their letter same day as @lou, an investment banking analyst, did.

lou - Investment Banking Analyst:

I was given the official offer letter, day of the call.

This can also vary based on whether the letter is coming in the mail or via email. You should clarify with HR when you receive your offer about whether you will be receiving a paper or digital copy.

What should I do if the offer letter wasn't received?

When given the verbal offer - you should check to confirm when you will receive the formal offer letter. If the date they indicated has passed, wait another week (in order to avoid seeming too aggressive) and contact your human resources contact.

If you were not given a date - check in after a month indicating that you just wanted to double check the address that you gave HR as mentioned by @PowerMonkey, an investment banking vice president, above.

Several users shared the advice that you should not stop interviewing until you have the formal letter in your hand.

2007Analyst:

Don't get burned by stopping all your processes and then having a "glitch" or something come up. There is no downside to continuing in the process until the written letter is in your hands.

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Comments (66)

Feb 1, 2008

My physical offer took about a month and a half to two months. I know people who have waited even longer. Generally different HR groups extend you an offer vs give you an offer letter vs do your training etc.

You should contact HR and determine how long till they send it and how they intend to do so. Its easy enough to do so under the guise of checking to make sure they have the correct address.

Feb 1, 2008

It varies quite a bit by firm, though I personally didn't have any that took more than a month.

I received two written offers the morning after getting verbal offers, but others took several weeks.

Feb 1, 2008

I received my verbal offer on Monday from HR, they then proceeded to confirm my mailing address by email. I told them I was heading to the states for a month afterwards so that I needed my contract soon, so they sent a courier on Friday to my address.
My friend at GS got her offer the same day, they offered her the job orally at 5, she had her contract by courier at 6.
Some buddies of mine at Macquarie got their contract by email two days after the offer.

(All of this happened in London)

Not all part of my contracts were sent to me, the medical stuff etc.. will be sent to my address the closer we get to my hiring date this summer. I just had the "I accept to work like a camel for the rest of my life papers to sign, as well as the I accept my salary and offer papers".

Remember, you will always be a salesman, no matter how fancy your title is.
- My ex girlfriend

Feb 1, 2008

It also varies by region. In the U.S., my experience has been that BBs typically mail offer letters the next business day or two after you receive the verbal offer. Maybe the fact that all of my offers were for NYC divisions. Friends of mine in Europe typically have waited longer.

Feb 1, 2008

Thank you for all the comments.

Feb 1, 2008

congrats.

do not do a thing - stopping your interview process elsewhere, etc - until you receive the written letter.

mine was fedexed to me two days after the verbal offer, for perspective.

don't get burned by stopping other stuff and having a "glitch" or something come up. there is no downside to continuing in the process until the written letter is in your hands.

    • 1
Feb 5, 2008

should've asked them when they gave you the verbal offer

Feb 5, 2008

i have a different experience.

i received my verbal offer before christmas, around the 20th. i did not receive the actual offer until last week, but they were in touch and had informed me they were still drafting it, etc.

i would second the advice on not doing anything. i continued interviewing, and did let other banks know i had an outstanding offer. when given other interviews/superdays, i just continued.

as soon as i signed (last week), i called the other firms and withdrew. i wanted my spot to go to someone else as soon as i was sure i was okay.

Feb 5, 2008

Been a few years now but I think I got all mine in a few days to a week or so. But this was for FT recruiting.

Personally I would push to get it in a few days, just make up some story about being out of the country/changing addresses etc. if you have to... it's important to get that sort of stuff in writing ASAP.

If it actually takes a month, watch out... all sorts of shady stuff could happen.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 29, 2016

I am facing the same situation with PwC. I got an interviewed more one and half month ago and I got selected for Sr. Advisory Role and they said they will make an offer soon somewhere around January first week, however I haven't heard anything yet. do you think they would have changed their mind? I don't know what to do.

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jun 4, 2016

@anonymousmonkey did you get your letter? i have been waiting for 5 months!

Jan 29, 2016

I was given the official offer letter, day of the call.

Jan 29, 2016

Over email i'm assuming?

Jan 29, 2016

What ever happened here?

Jan 29, 2016

Stop stressing out, you have nothing to worry about.

Jan 29, 2016

Heard good news this Sunday, thanks!

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Jan 29, 2016
ratan:

Heard good news this Sunday, thanks!

ratan they emailed you the written offer on a Sunday? How long did it take from when you got a verbal offer to when you got the written one? I received a verbal offer from a BB on Weds 11/19. I'm still waiting on my written offer.

Jan 29, 2016

I love how everyone on WSO assumes there is some sort of standard out there.

Jan 29, 2016

Wait, I'm actually curious about this as well, do you have any insight

Jan 29, 2016

same

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Jan 29, 2016

for me its been about 3 weeks since they gave me a verbal offer. They said they were still hammering out the details and when I shot them an email last week they didn't really say much. It's a smaller MM firm, so the whole internship thing isn't really a standardized process for them, but I'm just wondering if I have any cause for concern right now

Jan 29, 2016

Send another email. You've already received the offer and the probability of them rescinding your offer due to your diligence is small if not zero, just don't harass them with 20 emails a day or something.

Jan 29, 2016

Had issues like that when I was starting as an off-cyle analyst at a BB. Took the douchebags at least 2 weeks to finally mail me something because they had to wait for a final approval from someone who had been out of the office. Had to get HR to write me up an "offer and acceptance" email so I could provide proof I actually had a job. By far the worst HR system I've ever had to interact with. But, the bank itself was sht itself, so it all kind of fit.

Jan 29, 2016

Generally received mine 2-3 days after I got the call.

Jan 29, 2016

HR is often incompetent and lazy. They didn't send out my official offer letter until my soon-to-be boss paid them a visit call tomorrow if you don't have anything by then. All someone has to do is stop by "Brenda's" office and tell them to send it out.

Don't sweat, they've already given you a verbal offer, they're not going to change their mind now.

Jan 29, 2016

They are still talking to you, so give them some time. Don't be to pushy and maybe email HR in a few days. You can do it under the guise of verifying that they have the correct mailing address and ask if they need you to send any additional information.

Jan 29, 2016

I interviewed with a team 2 weeks ago and the MD said he will most likely extend an offer. I still haven't heard back from them though. How should I go about managing my expectations?

Jan 29, 2016

i would call HR again and explain the situation. make sure to note that you have received offers elsewhere but you are committed to accepting theirs, all you need is the paperwork for insurance.

Jan 29, 2016

I would definitely, absolutely call HR again and also email the VP he spoke to. If the company is interested enough to give your friend a verbal offer, the HR department won't think of it as "pestering." He needs an official answer so that he can make other decisions based on correct info!

Jan 29, 2016

He called and the letter should be on the way!

May 3, 2016

i have this same problem now. perhaps worse as i only got an "oral" offer by phone from HR. this is with a BB

    • 1
May 16, 2016

shit i refused a Goldman Interview :(

May 21, 2016

It took me about 6-8 weeks to receive the letter. They had said it would take 3-4 weeks. (I was informed before most others.) I was in communication with the VP who interviewed me and let him know every few weeks what was going on. The VPs who work there have a lot more sway to get HR to act than you, as a prospective employee, do.

Don't worry if it's taken a while. If they're hiring a big batch of people for first-year analysts, they have a lot of internal crap to deal with. Head counts, background checks, reference checks, and a thousand other time-wasting compliance requirements. Just stay in touch and make sure that your hiring manager is aware of your situation.

Apr 4, 2018

I just recently got into a similar situation myself, but with a boutique consulting firm (which actually just got acquired by a bigger Consulting Firm). HR gave me a verbal offer 2 business days ago, saying that a written letter should come in the coming week (which is this week). HR also told me that the President signed off on the decision already. (I know this because HR was waiting for the President sign-off before giving me the verbal offer).
I'm not in panic mode yet but would like to hear from the good people of WSO who might have had experience with boutique consulting firms before. Is long wait for a written offer usual for smaller consultancy? When should I start feeling panic?

Thanks everyone.

Apr 4, 2018

They probably realized you're Canadian.

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    • 3
Apr 4, 2018

Job is in Canada

Apr 4, 2018

Don't worry. I received a written offer 2 weeks after a verbal offer for a summer internship. For the same BB, I received a verbal offer immediately after my internship ended. Took almost 2 months before I received a written contract. They were just really slow.

Good thing about receiving a verbal offer is that you keep applying to job postings and keep interviewing until you receive and sign the offer letter.

Apr 4, 2018

Been a month now, they said they were following up with HR a week ago

Apr 4, 2018

Definitely nothing to worry about. Given all the bureaucracy at BBs and the formal processes HR has to go through, I'm not surprised they haven't followed up with a written contract. Just be patient, and keep in touch with your key points of contact if necessary.

Apr 4, 2018

Tell them what your deadline is and that you have already extended it. If they dont give you an offer by Friday then you have to determine what to do. There is nothing you can do on your end. You can always accept the extended offer and then renege if you get the other one.

Apr 4, 2018

Thank you. I just didn't want to be annoying and contact her again, but I guess I will for one last time to give her my deadline. Thanks!

Apr 4, 2018

You verbally accept offer 1 and hope offer 2 comes in [in writing] before your offer 1 start date.

Apr 4, 2018
pplstuff:

You verbally accept offer 1 and hope offer 2 comes in [in writing] before your offer 1 start date.

I'm clearly so new at this whole getting a grown up job thing here.. how do I go about accepting the offer "verbally"? The guy emailed me the whole offer package (benefits, etc) and told me to sign things and send back so not sure how I would go about accepting it verbally.

Apr 4, 2018

agreed on the verbal offer for #1. I would check on thursday with the HR of the other firm what the status is.

Do you have any contacts at the firm your waiting on? They might be able to provide some insight, or push things along.

Apr 4, 2018

I do! Should I contact that manager, rather than contacting HR again?

Apr 4, 2018

They'll either email it to you in PDF or send you a paper copy via courier.

Congrats!

Apr 4, 2018

Probably a PDF copy via email in addition to a couriered hard copy. You could probably just ask them outright over the phone when you'll get it/if they can send you an electronic copy. Grats on the offer!

Apr 4, 2018
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