How to decline job offers

You submitted you cover letter and CV, you attended the job interview - and you did well. But it turns out that you don't want the job after all. Perhaps you realised this at the interview, or perhaps you've received another offer. Either way, you want to turn down jobs offer.

Prepare in advance

It's vitally important that you prepare your response in advance. You should at least know for definite whether you will accept or decline a job offer if the employer should phone. This avoids sounding unprofessional, or worse - if you eventually accept the offer, make the employer think that you are hesitant or unenthusiastic about the role.

Don't leave them hanging

Don't try to spare the employer's feelings by giving a convoluted response. If you are going to decline a job offer, do it at once. Busy employers don't want to listen to your reasoning before you tell them your decision.

Always be polite

No matter what your reasons are for declining the job offer, do so politely and professionally. You never know, your paths may cross in the future. Remember that the world of business can be a small one and you don't want to get a reputation for unprofessionalism or abruptness. Always thank the employer for their time.

Explain if necessary

To put it bluntly, many employers don't want to waste any more time with you once you have rejected their offer. However, most will want to know your reasoning in order to improve the future recruitment process. Be honest with the employer - if you received a better offer elsewhere or decided that the role wasn't right for you, let them know.


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