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Decline a Job Interview?

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  • Apr 16th, 2011 9:45 am
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Sr. Member
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Dec 18, 2008
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waterloo

Decline a Job Interview?

I've heard of people declining job offers. But, how would I decline a job interview in a professional manner?

The reason for me declining this job interview is that I accepted an offer elsewhere (which I am unable to work at two places at the same time) and secondly the location is quite far - 1.5 hours from where I live.

Some people here will suggest to attend the interview anyway. But, I don't want to waste both of our time. At the same time, I might be interested to work for them next year. But, now it's not a good time.
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Deal Addict
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Apr 1, 2006
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I had the exact same thing happen. I accepted a position and another company called me the next day wanting to interview. I didn't get a chance to call them and withdraw my application, plus it was over three weeks since I originally applied.

Just tell them you accepted another position. You're wasting their time if you're going and don't even have any intentions to work there. I'd be annoyed if I was a manager and I took my time and a colleague's time to interview you for an hour and you weren't going to take the job anyway. It's capitalism, they didn't win you out.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
12845 posts
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Just call them (no email) to say that you have accepted a position elsewhere and will not be able to attend the scheduled interview. Then thank them for their time and consideration.
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2008
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waterloo
great advice

I will let them know that I'm unable to attend an interview but will be open to new opportunities in the near future
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Feb 24, 2004
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Smog wrote:
Aug 24th, 2009 11:48 am
I will let them know that I'm unable to attend an interview but will be open to new opportunities in the near future
No, don't tell them you're open to new opportunities later.. that means you're unsure of the job you just accepted and would jump later.. Just tell them you humbly withdraw your application as you've accepted another opportunity and thank them for their consideration. Make it short and sweet.
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Dec 7, 2003
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fly wrote:
Aug 24th, 2009 11:55 am
No, don't tell them you're open to new opportunities later.. that means you're unsure of the job you just accepted and would jump later.. Just tell them you humbly withdraw your application as you've accepted another opportunity and thank them for their consideration. Make it short and sweet.
I agree with Fly here, saying that you'll be open in new opportunities in the near future makes you sound like you have no loyalty. Which, to me at least, doesn't look good since it may lead them to believe you would pull the same thing with their company.

I had a couple calls for interviews after I accepted my current position (a few as I was working, which felt a little awkward). I just thanked them for considering me for the position, but told them I accepted another offer already.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 23, 2003
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loyalty is for people who will never get anywhere or have a achieved a level of 6+ figures and they're fine where they are. say you've already been signed and tell them until when if you're on contract. if not, say you've signed and tell them you thank them and so forth,etc etc.

business is business. you're in it for the money or you're not in it at all. Loyalty doesnt mean you have to be a slave to the same company for 50 years. "thank you" doesnt pay bills. Advancements are also made, usually, faster when you jump and upgrade your own position. Same with raises.

most if not all jobs gotten are because companies have you in their indexes for example and know of your last contract;s expiration date. but thats the industry i work in. dont know what you're into. do what benefits you the most.
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Jul 12, 2003
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I declined a second interview once. They mention about salary during the first interview and I got lowballed, so not really interested to go further anyway.

I got his voice message and ask me to go for another interview sometime next day, I just sent him an email poltely and said I'm no longer interested in that position. He did reply back to me and ask if I know anyone interested for the job, let me know.
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Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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grego9198 wrote:
Aug 24th, 2009 5:09 pm
I agree with Fly here, saying that you'll be open in new opportunities in the near future makes you sound like you have no loyalty. Which, to me at least, doesn't look good since it may lead them to believe you would pull the same thing with their company.

I had a couple calls for interviews after I accepted my current position (a few as I was working, which felt a little awkward). I just thanked them for considering me for the position, but told them I accepted another offer already.
I don't think it is about loyalty. In our industry, most half decent Managers have a roster of 5 or 10 people that they could call when a position opens. If it works out great; if not, then too bad.

Similarly, anybody who has a job should be talking with others/networking so that they have a number of companies interested in them at all times.
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Dec 7, 2003
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I probably should've asked the OP whether this position was one that he already has experience in or a contract position or an entry level position. If it was a position that requires extensive training. I thought that by telling the 2nd company you're willing to jump ship within a year might signal that you might do the same to them thus giving the impression they might waste time training you only to leave. That was my thought process, I guess cause I'm fairly new to the working world (I've been out of school and employed FT a little over a year now.)

The company I work for hired me under the assumption that I would be with them for a few years considering that to learn all the aspects of the position would take about a year.
Newbie
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Apr 23, 2009
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I would totally do the interview, just for practicing. You could still refuse the job offer if you actually got one.

Well alternatively, just say you had accepted another job offer. Thanks for your time. Honest, short, and simple. Tell them as soon as possible so that they could find another candidate.
Sr. Member
Jan 10, 2008
999 posts
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Toronto
es-jeruk wrote:
Aug 25th, 2009 9:44 pm
I would totally do the interview, just for practicing. You could still refuse the job offer if you actually got one.

Well alternatively, just say you had accepted another job offer. Thanks for your time. Honest, short, and simple. Tell them as soon as possible so that they could find another candidate.
The OP just said... he does not wish to waste his own time either. It's like visiting open house when you have no intention of buying a house. Yes, it's nice, gets you something to do. However, it may simply make you feel worse!

You may find out what you have is lousy compared to the others. Remember, grass always looks greener elsewhere. Why torture yourself then?
Sr. Member
Jul 11, 2008
760 posts
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Toronto
Just be nice and professional about it, but keep it short and sweet. Thanks for your time and consideration but at this point I am pursuing other opportunites/received another job offer etc. Just don't burn bridges
Newbie
Jun 1, 2006
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0
Smog wrote:
Aug 24th, 2009 10:28 am
I've heard of people declining job offers. But, how would I decline a job interview in a professional manner?

The reason for me declining this job interview is that I accepted an offer elsewhere (which I am unable to work at two places at the same time) and secondly the location is quite far - 1.5 hours from where I live.

Some people here will suggest to attend the interview anyway. But, I don't want to waste both of our time. At the same time, I might be interested to work for them next year. But, now it's not a good time.
What's the new job your accepted? Congrats btw.
Newbie
Aug 28, 2009
8 posts
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Winnipeg
First off i would like to say congrats on the new job. As for your question i just had this happen to me yesterday. I applied for maybe 5 different jobs at the beginning of the month and had 2 call back right away. I was offered the job at my first interview and said yes right away. I ended up getting offered the 2nd job as well but had to decline. I just said "Oh i'm very sorry but i have been offered a position with another firm and have accepted." People understand. I then got 2 more calls about 3 weeks after originally applying and was asked to come in for an interview and I said the exact same thing to them. They understood as well and one of them even apologized to me for not getting back to me sooner and said that if i was ever looking again just to call and they will keep my resume on file. Don't feel bad about telling them you have already accepted an offer. If these people really really needed you to work for them they would have called you sooner, and i'm sure in todays economy they have other people lined up (and that other person will be thankfull you declined).
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