You’ve been hunting for the one perfect job. As luck (and your skills) would have it, you have more than one offer on the table. But, there’s only one that you can say yes to. Which brings you to the problem of saying no to the rest. Luckily we’ve got you covered.
- Let the appreciation show
Your interviewer has probably put in a lot of time and effort to interview you, all while putting a lot of other work on the backburner. If you’ve got an offer from them, it’s obviously because you made the cut.
A warm and sincere thank you will therefore go a long way in cementing your acquaintance with them. For instance:
I appreciate you taking the time to consider me but I’m afraid that I will not be able to accept this opportunity. I am, however, immensely grateful to you for answering all of my questions about the company and the role.
- Give them a reason – a good one
If you’re declining an offer, it is simply respectful to tell your interviewer or hiring manager why. An outright ‘no’ would irk anyone. Be brief, but be honest – your sincerity will definitely reflect in your response.
Something that would fit the bill may be:
After much deliberation, I have decided to accept a position at another firm. I hope that our paths may cross at some point in the future.
- Stay in touch
The world is a small place – that of the work world, even smaller. It’s always best to end on a good note. Reference something you discussed, or simply wish them all the very best for the future:
I am sorry to inform that I will not be able to join you for the position of <position>.
It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you. Thank you again for your time and support, and I wish you all the best.
For those of you that have hopped onto the startup bandwagon, here are a few things that you should keep in mind additionally, given the close knit nature of the startup ecosystem.
- Pay your interviewer a visit. A letter to the founder or investor, in such a scenario, might seem uptight and overly formal. Explain to them in detail why you are unable to accept their offer.
- Refer a friend or an ex-colleague you think is better suited to the role. You’d be helping out a friend and perhaps a prospective employer (at some point in the future)!
- Make sure you provide feedback on your interview and your initial impressions about the firm. If there’s anything else about their hiring process that you think could be improved, don’t forget to mention that as well.
Remember to frame your response thoughtfully – turning anything down, especially a job offer never feels great. And be happy about the job you are saying yes to – your frame of mind is half the battle won at the new workplace, but that’s a story for another time!