You aced the interview and yay, you got the job. The only problem is you found a job that is more suited to your career aspirations and would rather work there, or maybe after the interview, you realised that the job isn’t quite what you are looking for.
Now you are in this situation where you have to say no to the company that wanted to hire you. What’s the best way to turn down a job if you don’t want it? Isn’t it enough to just ignore the email that says you got the job or reply a simple thanks but no thanks?
Nope – don’t do all that. The thing is you may not want to work for the said company at this moment but who knows where your career might take you five years later. Or maybe the person who wanted to hire you at this company could very well be interviewing for your next! You don’t want to be remembered as the rude candidate who couldn’t be bothered to politely decline the job.
So what to do if you find yourself in a position where you need to turn down a job? Do these:
#1 First, make sure you really don’t want the job offer!
The last thing you want is to say no to the company only to think the next day that you made a mistake. Because once you’ve said no to a job offer, you can’t take it back and say you changed your mind. It makes you sound fickle and like you are fishing for different roles. Make sure to consider all factors on why you are saying no so you can be certain of your decision.
#2 Show gratitude
Nothing worse than an entitled candidate who thinks she’s all that! Remember that while you took a long time to prepare and go for the interview, so did the person who interviewed you. They had to go through tons of resumes before picking yours, arrange their schedule to accommodate your interview, and then spend time to interview you for the role. Make it worthwhile and show gratitude in your reply. Lead it with a sign of appreciation for example, “Thank you for your time in interviewing me and sharing the many wonderful opportunities that are available at your company. I truly appreciate the many insightful information you’ve shared. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I regretfully decline your offer.”
#3 Explain why you are saying no
You don’t have to go into details, but it will do you good to share the reason why you are declining the offer, especially if you are interested in keeping that networking door open still at the company! But be tactful! Say the reason is money. Instead of saying “because I am receiving more money in another company,” say, “I’ve received another offer with the opportunities and package that are more inclined towards my career aspirations.” Or maybe it is a personal decision, like wanting to stay home more to be with your family due to sickness. Say this: “Thank you for your offer but due to personal reasons, I am unable to accept the offer. I wish you all the best and once more, thank you for your consideration.”
#4 Don’t take forever to reply!
You need to act quickly and inform the hiring manager or recruiter as soon as you have decided to decline the job offer. Taking your time will only irritate the other party as it may be a role that needs to be filled in ASAP. Plus, it will not do you any favours in maintaining a good relationship if you hope to work there in the future!
Here's a sample of what the content of your letter should look like:
Dear Mr. Lee,
Thank you very much for offering me the position of Marketing Manager with your company. It will indeed be a great opportunity to be working for the company.
Unfortunately, I will not be accepting the position as it does not fit the path I am taking to achieve my career goals. It was a difficult decision to make and I thank you once again for the offer as well as taking the time to interview me.
I wish you all the best in finding someone suitable for the position.
Sincerely, Michele Gan
Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash