Declining a Job Interview Without Burning Bridges

We’ve posted a ton of articles about how to search for jobs, as well as interview resources for once you get there, but what happens if you are offered an opportunity you’re not interested in? How do you politely decline without burning bridges?

Author: Donna Svei Source: Avid Careerist

With the economy shifting to a candidate-driven market, you might find yourself invited to a job interview that doesn’t interest you. You want to say, “No,” but you don’t want to shut yourself off from future opportunities. Thus, it’s good to know how to decline an interview in a win/win manner.

What Future Opportunities?

The invitation to interview provides you an open opportunity to forge a stronger connection with the person and the company that have reached out to you. Even if you don’t like the company, the job, or the person this matters because:

  1. Companies improve. The company that has “SELL” stamped on analysts’ reports today might be your object of desire tomorrow. Example: Apple. Great turnaround story!

  2. There’s going to be another job. While you don’t like the current position, the organization’s next opening might be a perfect fit for you.

  3. People change employers. Even if you don’t like the company or the job, the hiring manager, internal recruiter, or external recruiter might move to your dream company. If that happens, you’ll be so happy that you did something nice for them. Oh so happy.

How to Decline an Interview: Your Lines

You can keep this simple:

“Thank you for thinking of me. I’m pretty engaged at Company X, but I do appreciate hearing about opportunities. Let’s see if I can help you find any candidates.”

Then use one of these approaches (listed in order of value):

  1. Introduce the person to another great potential candidate(s). With your referral’s permission and enthusiasm, this can become a triple win.

  2. Give the person the name of another great potential candidate(s) but explain that you want your involvement to remain confidential.

  3. Ask yourself how you would source someone like you and share your best idea(s).


#Interviewtips #Tips #jobsearch #Interview #CareerAdvice #Advice

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