How to Turn Down a Job Offer

By: Anna

Chances are good that newly employed people are sometimes offered more than one position at a time and have to decline an offer. This definitely is not a bad problem to have but it can be difficult and uncomfortable to deal with. There are several reasons why people turn down job offers, but some of the main reasons are: the money, the work itself, or the people at the company.

  • Google the company: it is always a good idea to Google the company you are interested in and read reviews and references from reputable sources.

You may want to turn down an offer because you received another offer at the same time, you discovered things you did not like about the company or management team, or you realized the company is overall not a good fit for you.

Keep in mind that the interview process is an opportunity for each party to evaluate each other. That’s right, you get to evaluate them, too!

Things you should do when turning down the job:

Always show appreciation.

Always express sincere thanks for the people you interviewed with and thank them for their time.

Once you have made a decision, let the company know as soon as possible.

If you wait too long to inform a company on your decision, the company may miss out on another candidate whom they are considering. Just as companies wish to know your decision as soon as possible, you as well wish to know as soon as possible if you received the position or not.

Tell them about your decision with a phone call, if possible.

How you communicate your decision with an employer says a lot about you. Speaking over the phone shows professionalism while emailing may give the employer the impression that you are afraid to speak over the phone with them.

Let them know what you liked about the company

Mention specific positive things about the interviewing experience and the employer. Speaking positively about a company shows that you had true interest in working for them and that they didn’t waste their valuable time interviewing with you.

Leave the door open.

If you still have interest in this company but this particular job was not a good fit then keep the door open for the future by saying something such as, “I hope there may be opportunities for us to work together in the future.”

Be honest about your reason for turning down the job

Hiring managers wish to know the real reason a candidate is turning down an offer, because it gives them an opportunity to possible revise offers to be competitive and get the candidate they want. If you turn down an offer due to pay, tell them that. You never know they might revise what they had offered you originally.

Things to remember:

  • Don’t accept multiple offers
  • Don’t be brutally honest
  • Don’t bad mouth the company
  • Don’t ignore the offer
  • Don’t lead the company on if you’ve already made a decision not to accept the offer

Read Anna’s other posts

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