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How to decline a job offer?

So, you’ve decided you want to change your job. From looking for an interesting vacancy and attending the phone interview to the face-to-face interview, you’ve put a lot of effort in to succeed.

Getting an offer does not imply that you have to take it. If it doesn’t match your salary expectations or other aspects that are important to you, you may need to turn it down.

Despite feeling you’ve wasted time, lost out on an opportunity, and have general anxiety about letting someone down, there is a way to approach this without burning any bridges.

  • Consider declining the offer over the phone. It adds the human touch and you can ensure that the relationship will stay there even after turning down the offer.
  • Prepare two reasons why you’re not taking the offer. Make sure the reasons are more about you than about them. (The “It’s not you, it’s me” approach works well here).
  • After having the phone conversation, confirm your decision in writing.

The most essential part is: Keep in touch. Connect with your interviewers online or send them a follow-up email.

You never know, your paths may cross in the future.

Callum McKenna is an Associate Director in the Finance Division at Harvey John.

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