I am curious to know whether dealing with offers for postdoc positions has a different norm/etiquette than dealing with job offers. I have applied to many jobs and have also been applying for a few advertised postdoc positions. I have a few phone interviews scheduled, so there is a possibility that I might end up with an offer but I am wondering what to do if I get an offer for a postdoc position before I know the outcome of some of the job searches where I do have a realistic chance. From previous posts in this wiki it seems that in the case of a job offer, if you are waiting on another offer, it would not be appropriate to tell the SC and that you can hold an offer for up to 2-3 weeks. What about for postdoc positions? Can you tell them openly that you are waiting to hear back from another position or should you also try to delay giving a response to the offer if you need more time without disclosing that you are waiting for another offer? For job offers, I have also heard that you are not supposed to accept the offer immediately and should first ask to see the details before making a decision. Is it appropriate to do this for a postdoc position (especially if you are unsure if you will end up taking the position) or do they expect an immediate reply for these positions?
I would treat the postdoc offers similarly to potential job offers. Now, for postdocs they might expect a little faster response than 2 weeks, but you by no means have to answer immediately. They should send you an offer letter and give you a little bit of time to address any details. But if you take longer than a week to do that for a postdoc, it probably will be ovious to them that you are considering other potential offers.
I see the difference as a postdoc is known to be a temporary thing. Thus, things like spouse job prospects and housing, which are big excuses for delaying a job offer, are probably less important in these cases than for a permanent position.