So you've been offered a job you don't want any more
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After all the effort put into applying and going through the interview process, it's not easy coming to the decision that the role isn't one you want anymore. However, sometimes after learning more about a position, or the company and its people, it's possible to realise that the offer isn't what you're looking for.
When this happens, what is the best etiquette to follow for declining a job offer? Below, KLC Recruitment has gathered some pointers from our experience in the job-hunting world.
Sometimes a job isn't what you thought it'd be. Before turning it down, be sure of your decision.
Make sure you truly don't want the position any more
Declining a job offer is final, so taking the time to think your decision through and ensure that you're certain about it is essential.
Ask yourself a few tough questions around why you no longer want the job, and be honest in your answers. If it's simply that the offered salary isn't what you were hoping for, make sure you discuss this with the hiring manager. There might be a chance to negotiate a counter offer.
Once you have decided that you definitely don't want the role, let the company know as soon as possible so they can reach out to other candidates.
How to decline a job offer
Don't undo your hard work
Receiving an offer letter or email tells you that the hiring manager saw something in you that made them believe you would make a good fit for the company. You worked hard to build this good impression during the interview process, and how you decline the job offer can either solidify or undo this effort.
While you may no longer want the position, it's always wise to leave with a good impression. Retain your professionalism by making sure the job offer rejection gets to them in a timely manner and is genuine and polite.
When possible, pick up the phone
While responding via email isn't the end of the world, a call is a much more personal and thoughtful choice.
A conversation over the phone allows you to express your regret through your tone, gives the hiring manager to ask any last questions to understand your decision, and rounds up the interview process.
If possible, call the hiring manager to let them know you're declining the job offer.
Express your genuine appreciation
As a candidate, the interviewing process consumes a lot of time and effort. It's the same on the company's end.
Thanking the hiring manager and the company for the time involved, and for making you an offer, goes a long way to cementing goodwill despite your rejection of the role. Don't forget that out of everyone they interviewed, they decided that you were who they wanted on their team. Acknowledge that and let them know you appreciate the work put into the process. A good way to show you're being genuine is personalising your appreciation, and mentioning events that happened during the process.
Be prepared to let them know why
By the end of a lengthy interview process, especially one that's begun with a phone interview and then gone through several more cycles, it's likely you've built up some kind of relationship with the hiring manager involved.
A way to show your respect for this and the time that's been involved is by giving them a brief explanation of why you're turning down the role. Use this to express the thought that's gone into the choice, and make your reason clear and concise. Doing so is polite and respectful, and shows the hiring manager that you care enough to let them know.
Declining the job offer because you don't like the company
Occasionally, you'll get the feeling that a company isn't the right fit for you. Or you'll find that it's the idea of working with a certain supervisor that turns you off the role. It's important that you pay attention to how you feel on a personal level about the position, as these initial intuitions could grow into issues in the long run if ignored.
When deciding to turn down a job offer based on reasons like this, remember to remain respectful. Often, it's best not to bring up the details of why. Instead, let them know that it's not quite what you're looking for currently and that you appreciate their time.
The offer of staying in touch
While this comment may feel like a hollow one, what it's really doing is showing that you enjoyed the experience and that you are open to possible future opportunities. It also presents the chance to network.
When working in particular industries, communities can be small and intertwined. Ensuring that you leave a good impression even after turning down a position can put you in good stead later down the line.
If you'd like to know more about the interview process, and finding a job that's the right fit for you, contact KLC recruitment today. With experience on both sides, we're here to help you put your best foot forward, no matter the situation.
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