Saying no is a dicey business. Most people don’t know how to turn an offer down. Either they clam up or choose to be obnoxious. These are of course not conscious choices. Like everything else there is a way to resolve this dilemma
There could be a number of reasons for rejecting a job offer. Make sure you have a valid one because it is not easy to score jobs these days. Once you have made up your mind about rejecting an offer, you might not consider looking back again. You may not even care to inform them. My friend who graduated two years back went a step further. She had been hunting for a job for months and this one company left her with no response for a long time before finally offering her the job. By then she had found another more lucrative option. So she was nasty to the hiring manager who gave her a call. Six months down the line she decided to apply to the same company for a different position as her current job did not turn out to be all cushy. You need no rocket scientist to figure what happened next.
You do not want to land up in a similar situation. Go through our list of dos and don’ts to keep your options open in the future.
• Be honest but tactful: Do not try to sound apologetic and cook up lies just to make the situation less embarrassing. The company would appreciate a direct and honest answer. However, do not sound rude and arrogant. Be careful not to demean the company or its culture. They could have been your employers. Diplomatically state your reasons for not accepting their job offer. Your answers should not in any case belittle the company.
• Do not keep them waiting: Be courteous enough to let your prospective employers know at least ten days in advance of your joining date. They should be given a chance to fill your position. Ask them if you could be of any help. This attitude will convey your respect for the company and mark you as a professional.
• Be firm: In case you are rejecting the job offer because of issues like salary, benefits or job responsibilities and job title, then try and negotiate with them before rejecting the offer. However, if you are sure about not joining their company then you should be firm in your answer. Do not give anyone false hopes. Do not make them negotiate unnecessarily just to see if they give in to your demands.
• Praise the company: Again do not exaggerate or lie. Honestly mention a few things about the company or about the way the interview process was conducted. You should tell them that you were impressed and would love to work with them in the future if it is feasible for both sides.
Write an email later, recap your experience with the company, thank them for their time and wish the company well. Do not be overenthusiastic while interacting with them and certainly, do not decide on sharing your excitement with them. Remember, you would have liked to be treated well and informed in time if the company was rejecting you.