How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer?

If you are on job hunting spree, there could be a time when you are confronted with a similar situation as this in your career. After attending series of interviews in a row, holding positive hopes of the best job offer to come your way, sometimes you do get lucky, and perhaps your hard work did pay off. You have more than an offer letter from reputed majors. It makes you feel great initially, overwhelmed with excitement and happiness to have cleared different interviews and being able to access the freedom of choice.

Unfortunately, the allocated man-hours for the day do pose restraints to growth even for the workaholics. You tend to fall short of time finding ways to balance, both the personal and professional fronts of life. Plus, you are allowed only a brief time window to revert to companies with confirmation of acceptance of the offer and get onboard soon.

Here’s when you start deliberating on the pros and cons of choosing an offer over the other and finding ways on how to politely deny an offer without sounding harsh and arrogant. Below are some tips to help you turn down a job offer gracefully without ruining relationships:

  • Express gratitude and be thankful

It’s important to thank the hiring manager primarily for the time and efforts invested in sitting down for an interview with you. While you might question the need to thank the hiring manager since you believe it’s part of their job. Most times, hiring managers do a lot more than just shortlisting applicants and screening through CVs.

What goes unnoticed most times is there are many candidates shortlisted for a job role and pushing your resume higher-up to the senior management needs some amount of self-conviction and sound judgment.

Sometimes interviewers are willing to go an extra mile to push your CV and convince the higher-ups of your skills to be the best fit for the job role. They need to do the groundwork to position your personal brand in a positive light, among other potential applicants irrespective of the educational background and experiences you possess.

  • Show empathy, provide genuine reason for denial of the offer

If the interview process was long enough to have made it possible for you to build a rapport with the hiring manager of companies, it’s important not to leave them figuring out reasons for your denial of the offer. Do not spill the beans only a week prior to joining the new company. A recruitment manager never appreciates delayed communication.

Communicating at the eleventh hour only showcases your sense of irresponsibility towards your decision and actions. It can leave interviewers wondering about your current state of mind and dependability. Inform them much in advance about your reasons for denial of the offer. You cannot keep people waiting in anticipation of your acceptance. Pick and arrive at a choice, and stand by it no matter what goes wrong.

  • You can perhaps offer another referral for the open position

As you politely deny the offer with a note of thanks, if possible try helping the interviewer by connecting him to the next best fit in your professional networks. You can add the recruiter to your LinkedIn by offering an invitation to help him reach out to potential next best fits for the job role.

  • Stay in touch

As cliché as it may sound, staying in touch with hiring managers by exchanging pleasantries through time, goes a long way to helping build solid relationships at work and enhance your brand value. Even if you have made up your mind to deny an offer at this point, it shouldn’t build walls around you to not stay in touch with interviewers of the past. You never know when another exciting opportunity beckons in the near future.

Keep exploring new avenues and pathways in your career journey. It’s the experiences gained that matter, the potential opportunities offered to hone and excel in a domain area of expertise by those who believe in your potentials is more important than arriving at the destination in itself.



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