How to Decline a Job Offer After an Interview


Turning down a job after an interview can be an uncomfortable experience. As an applicant, you're not looking forward to that conversation, since you're not sure how the hiring manager will react. Still, whether you call, email or write a letter, do it tactfully and professionally. Otherwise, you may burn bridges with a manager whom you may encounter again.

Respond Right Away

  • Call the hiring manager as soon as you've decided, so he can move on to other candidates. Don't leave a voicemail or send an email message saying you're not accepting. This approach is more impersonal and suggests you're taking the easy way out, says Forbes magazine. Once you talk to him, confirm your decision by sending a follow-up email or letter.

Provide a Tactful Explanation

  • Use common sense in phrasing rejections. For example, if you got a better offer or the salary seemed insufficient, tell the hiring manager so. If you don't want to relocate or think the offer doesn't fit your current career objectives, offer a sentence or two along those lines. Consider giving an in-depth reply if the process was more extensive, but keep your focus positive and avoid emotional language.

Keep Your Signoff Upbeat

  • End your response with a line or two about aspects of the company or the process that seemed appealing. If you liked the company but not the job, offer to keep in touch about future opportunities. For example, you might say, "Thanks for your time and support, and I hope that we cross paths again in the future." Thank the manager for his time and sign off.

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