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Interview Tips: How to decline a job offer (sample scripting provided)

Decline a job offer? But ‘what’? Yes, declining a job offer is a thing and that thing happens. But why and how would you do something like this?


Why: Here are a few scenarios that could lead to declining a job offer


  • The job description says one thing, but the company is saying something else, and you do not like what they are saying.
  • You accepted another job that was in the pipeline while you were interviewing.
  • The pay or other benefits did not align with your expectations. They literally paid (with) peanuts.
  • You realized that the company culture does not match with what you are looking for.


How: Sample scripting and talking points below:


You have no interest in the job or the company

Thank you for your time during the interviewing and exploration process. I learned a lot about the position, and after lengthy consideration, I determined that the position would not be a good fit for me. I wish you luck finding a suitable candidate for this role.


You do not like the position, but love the company

I would talk to the HR person via a phone call and explain that the position seemed like a good fit at the time, but further into the process, you determined it was not what you were looking for. You would like to express gratitude for the time invested during the process and ask if there are some roles that contain xyz, as you feel you would be better suited for those types of positions. Perhaps you can send your resume to someone else in the company.


You found a job during the interviewing process

Thank the company representative, as you would in each case, and explain that you had interviewed for a job, and they just presented the role to you. The position aligns with your skills on your resume, and you are going to accept the job. You would like to connect on LinkedIn and maintain a relationship.


The other company is paying more money or related

If one company is paying more versus the other company, you can ask for a discussion on compensation. I would say that you really want to join the company, but you feel your experience and other factors suggest that the amount paid should be higher. Try not to dig into a specific number, but ask for some leeway and see what happens.


What not to do

We seldom state absolutes, such as you should never do this or always do that. In this case, we have one suggestion: to tell the company contact that you are thankful for their time and try to be diplomatic about why you do not want their job. You never know if the job you just accepted at the other company turns out to be a wrong choice, and you do not want to burn that bridge.


I hope you learned something about how to decline a job offer, and please share this article and if you have any questions, feel free to email us at


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