Jumping ship without drowning (a.k.a dropping out of a job interview after you’ve been job hunting forever) seems ludicrous, and after all, you’ll probably earn a bad reputation on the job market if you decline that offer, right?
A lot of job seekers find themselves applying for who-knows-how-many jobs, and perhaps they get invited for interviews at a variety of companies. Suddenly, they have more than one job offer on the table.
The problem is this: At one point or another, they’ll have to turn one of those positions down, and that’s much easier said than done.
If you’re in this scenario and you’ve been offered a job you just cannot accept, here’s some advice on how to politely say “thanks, but no thanks”.
Give fast feedback
No matter which industry you’re in, to businesses, time means money, and they don’t want to waste it. Don’t keep job offers on the line for days, waddling back and forth between your options. If you’re thinking of dropping out of a job interview, do it and get it done. Leaving a position open for a prolonged period of time just because you’re indecisive is plain rude: you don’t want to be bitten in the butt later on along the road because you couldn’t hurry up and make that call.
One of the first things you should do when turning down a job offer is to thank the hiring manager for his or her time. Remember that the recruiter didn’t just randomly call you in for an interview; it probably took him or her hours to sift through the masses and select you as a potential candidate for the job.
Leaving a hiring manager in the dark about why exactly you’re declining the position isn’t cool, but you also don’t need to write a book about ALL the reasons you’ve decided not to take the job. Keep your explanation brief but honest. Something along the lines of: “After careful consideration, I have decided to take up a position at another company. Thank you for the opportunity, but the position is not fit for my skills and career goals at present.”
The job market isn’t that big, even more so if you’re in a very specific industry. When declining a position, giving pleasantries before signing off and tapping out is always a good idea. Remember, you’re trying not to burn bridges here, so why not make a statement such as: “It’s been great getting to know all of you. I hope to cross paths with you again in the future.”
Even though you’re absolutely positive that there’s no way you’ll ever accept a certain position, dropping out of a job interview still feels awful. But everything happens to us for good reason, and this is all part of the process in which you’ll finally land the job of your dreams!