The process of looking for a new job begins with finding who-knows-how-many interesting job offers, sending CVs, lots of interviews and exams, but ends with an important decision to make. During the process you and the company will get to know each other, and in the process you may no longer be interested in the job, or maybe a more attractive offer appears and you will have to know how to say no to a job offer.
How to say no to a job offer
At some point in your career you will have to decline a job offer, but you must learn to do it in the most elegant way possible. Maybe tomorrow that company may become the ideal place to work for you, so you should say no without closing the doors to the future.
Answer the right questions
Do not rush and take your time to think it over. Analyze the pros and cons of the job offer, keeping in mind that your selection criteria must be flexible: the ideal job does not exist.
What bothers you about the offer is not negotiable? In the future, can conditions improve? Keep in mind that salary may be higher over time, and while you demonstrate your capabilities the tasks assigned to you may be more aligned with your interests.
The first interviewer may have made a bad impression on you, but maybe he won’t be the one you work with later. Perhaps it would be worth asking for an interview with your future boss and having a more precise idea of how your work environment will look like. You can also clarify your doubts with him.
Do not be misguided by a first impression. Go deeper and perhaps you will conclude that you should not say no to a job proposal that may be good for your future.
Find the moment to say no
The company that interviews you is spending time on you, so you must make your decision in a reasonable amount of time. But as in any negotiation, you cannot run out of options.
If you still have interviews at other companies, listen to all the proposals before rejecting a secure job offer. You can even take advantage of the fact that you have several proposals to renegotiate your contract with an interested party, too.
In short, take your time, be smart and respect your interviewer and his time.
Explain your decision
Saying no to a job offer is not a bad thing. When you decline a position, explain your reasons to your interviewer. If he/she understands you and values your aspirations, he/she may think of you in the future for a position closer to your skills and aspirations.
The interviewer can even recommend someone in his network who is looking for someone of your profile area. This exchange of professional favors between people who manage human resources is very common and will be good for you.
If you are going to decline a job offer, try to do it directly, in person or over the phone. The employer is much more likely to remember you if you do so, rather than using email or text messaging. After saying no, try to keep in touch with the company to find out its new needs and news.
Learning how to say no gracefully is a useful skill while seeking for a job offer. Don’t feel guilty, don’t hesitate or be afraid to explain your reasons. Remember that your future depends on your decision: the first offer at hand is not always the one that suits you best.