How do you politely decline a job offer?


Quick Answer

To politely decline a job offer, promptly phone the hiring manager, thank her for the offer, and explain your decision in a straightforward, professional manner. Then call each member of the organization you met with, and express your appreciation for supporting your candidacy.

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Full Answer

  1. Promptly phone the hiring manager

    Job offers should be declined within one week. Companies are hoping that you accept the offer. The rejection of the offer sets them back in the hiring process. Prepare your explanation for declining the offer beforehand. Make sure to express what you liked about the company and opportunity and the fact that you were invested in the process through the offer stage. Decline the offer by email or voicemail only if talking to the hiring manager is impossible.

  2. Phone all the people you met with

    Be equally professional when explaining your reasons for declining the job to the other members of the organization you met during the interview process. Keeping in touch with these individuals builds your professional network, which could pay off with another job offer in the future. Occasionally, candidates who decline one job are ultimately hired for a different job with the same organization.

  3. Learn from the experience

    Ask yourself why the job was not right for you, and use the answer to better qualify job opportunities in the future.

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