This was the first time I have ever declined an offer or even been in the position to and it was extremely difficult. Has any body else felt this way? 

 I listened to the podcast about declining an offer probably three times in the last two days to try to help me. I had no idea I would have so much trouble telling the recruiter “I am declining your offer”. I felt bad, like I wasted the companies time by interviewing both on the phone and in person and then declining the offer.
I know by listening to the podcasts I should not try to influence the timing of the offers and that if you don’t have an offer then you have nothing.   But I felt good about my final interview at my number one company on Thursday and think I will get an offer from them next week. So, I played the odds and declined the offer 
Also, I currently have a decent job and I am looking for a career change but when I was on site for the interview I had a chance to talk to the other people interviewing and two of them have been out of work for over a year. I felt guilty because here I was, with a good job, just looking to change careers and these people are out of work. I think this had a huge impact on me during the interview process. 

RickMeasham's picture


I sure hope the gamble worked out!

From your post, I'm reading that you declined the offer because:
a) You had another company you'd rather work for who might also make an offer
b) You met some people who wanted the job but had been out of work for a year

Is this correct? While I understand (a), it's craziness. There's nothing whatsoever stopping you from accepting an offer and then declining it a week later if your preferred employer comes through with an offer. If that's how it played out then I think you wasted your own time by applying and attending the interviews.

As for (b), it sounds like you want to push the company into hiring a non-optimal employee just because they've been .. well .. non-optimal .. for a year. The company needs to hire the best person for the job, and that, for them, was you. If the people who were out of work aren't qualified or otherwise suitable for the job, they're still out of work.

The fact that you had difficulty declining the offer makes be believe you weren't really ready to decline it. By declining the offer, you've really decided that working in your current position is better than working for them. The third company doesn't figure into the decision.

Again, I hope the gamble paid off and you're now happily working in your new position and the preferred company. Let us know when you have a sec.

Rick Measham

Read my blog: Geek Herding - Explorations in the art of leading IT professionals

jhack's picture

Accepting an offer, then declining it a week later, may be legal, but it is not a good choice.  Your reputation will be sullied by the maneuver.  When you accept an offer, you should also call the other firms with which you've been interviewing and tell them you've accepted an offer (you did let them know when you got the offer, right?)

By Rick's logic, the fact that you had trouble accepting the offer means you weren't really ready to accept it. 

As for declining because others, in hardship, were also seeking the position...that's not a good idea.  They might not get the offer, either.  They might be misfits for the role.  And if you accept, you could let them know that your old position has opened. 

Good luck.

John Hack