Many find the prospect of turning down a job daunting, and worry about getting a negative reaction from the hiring manager when breaking the news.  You may need to turn down a job for a variety of reasons such as moving house, personal issues, or some are lucky enough to have received multiple jobs offers. Whatever the reasons, rejecting a role can be stressful. Here are 6 steps to follow to help you gracefully turn down a job offer.

1) Be Thankful

The most important thing to remember when turning down a job is to be thankful. Simply thanking a company for the offer and showing them your appreciation can make the experience much easier and can ultimately help to build a relationship with the company.  

2) Be Polite

It is essential that you are polite when you are turning down a role. The hiring manager has likely taken a lot of time and care to pick you for this position. Make sure that you remain polite while rejecting an offer as this can help you to maintain a good relationship with the company, which could be useful in the long-term.

 It can be very tempting when rejecting a role to be rude to the hiring manager, particularly if you didn’t necessarily get off on the right foot during the interview. Although you may feel great immediately after, in the long term this could seriously harm your reputation and potentially harm your career progression. Maintaining a friendly manner throughout will help to make turning down a job a more pleasant experience for both parties involved.

Unless it is stated otherwise by the hiring manager, it is important, when turning down a role, that you avoid emailing or texting your decision as it can suggest that you couldn’t be bothered to talk to them, or that they were not important enough for you to take time to speak to. Taking a couple of minutes to give them a call can go a long way in helping to build a relationship with that company despite rejecting the role. It is also generally considered good manners to call the company to turn down a role.

3) Respond Quickly

When you receive the job offer it is important that you respond as quickly as possible. Simply waiting it out and hoping the company get the message can harm your relationship with the company. After all the hiring manager will need to look for someone else and leaving them waiting can sever any ties you have with the company. However, it’s really important that you make sure you have made the best decision for you, and ensure you’re 100% sure you want to turn down the offer. After you have rejected the offer there is usually no going back.

4) Explain Yourself

When turning down a role it is helpful for you to give a brief explanation for your decision, this will help to demonstrate that you have taken their offer seriously. However, the explanation must be brief as, for example, a long story about how much better you think another company is can harm your reputation and relationship with the company. Generally, once a brief explanation is given, if the hiring manager wants more information they will ask for it, if not there isn’t necessarily any need to go into any greater detail and take up any more of your time or theirs - after all they have to go and find another candidate for the role. 

5) Timing Is Everything

To many the task of turning down a job can be daunting. One way to ensure the task is as painless as possible is to time the rejection right. Some jobs, for example if the position was in a restaurant, choosing to ring the company during their peak hours will not only cause more tension but generally make the experience of turning down a job more unpleasant for yourself and the hiring manager. If there is no obvious time when to contact the company simply give them a call and ask if it is a good time to talk and, if not, when it would be best for them for you to ring back.

6) Make Recommendations

Depending on the position it may be beneficial to recommend other potential candidates for the role; the company has spent a lot of time and effort on interviewing you so a little help in helping to fill the position could go a long way. However, take care when making any recommendations, although it can help the recruitment process bad or ill-judged recommendations could impact your reputation. Suggesting individuals who are unsuitable for the role can harm your future relationship with the company, therefore it is essential that these recommendations are relevant and beneficial for the company.