I have been working at my company for a few years now and recently I've decided to pursue other opportunities so I have been actively applying to jobs.

Recently a company I applied to extended me an offer. However, the issue is I actually didn't end up really liking the team I interviewed with. They seemed very unprofessional and not very passionate about the work they do and when asking them questions about the company, it seemed they were very out of touch. The manager was probably the only person I liked.

I've read a lot of answers about rejecting an offer professionally, but they all mention having a competing offer so the typical response of "accepted another opportunity" wouldn't be very honest of me. My gut feeling is I would rather work where I am and keep searching rather than take the offer. The other issue is I really don't want to burn any bridges because this is a reputable company so in the future I may want to reapply (although perhaps not to this team). In this situation, is it okay to be honest and say you simply did not feel you and the team were a good fit or would that be insulting? However, I also feel it might be insulting to say I just want to explore other opportunities.

One other option, is I could ask the recruiter if there are other teams I could apply to because it isn't the company I have an issue with -- it's the team.

2 Answers 2


When you don't want to give out negative feedback, but also don't want to outright lie about it, the standard approach is to provide intentionally vague statements, that is, the truth but not the whole truth. For example:

Dear John,
Thanks for extending me an offer to work at < Company Name >. I am afraid I have to decline this offer as this work does not align with my current career preferences. I look forward to an opportunity to work together in future.

Working with other teams in the same company in the near future would be trickier. They would certainly want to know the exact reason why you declined the offer from the first team. They wouldn't want to spend additional time interviewing you again when there's a risk of you declining the offer again, possibly for the same reason. Hence, they would want to evaluate if they can address your concern (and care to do so) before they invite you to another interview.

Another alternative might be to apply separately to other job openings with the same company, but it is likely that you would be asked about the previous offer at some point in the interview. However, depending on the company size and work culture, they may just not care that you declined an offer from another team.

Applying to the same company a couple of years from now shouldn't be much of a problem, they wouldn't care to dig deep into the details that far back into the past. They might ask why you declined the offer, but you can just give them a diplomatic response like the above.


You can still be honest without throwing the blame on the team you interviewed for.

Something like:

After considering the interview I am not convinced I would be a good fit in the team, therefore I decline your offer and wish you good luck in your search.

could work.

  • If you are going to go that far , then why not "I am not convinced I would be a good fit in that particular team team, but would be open to speaking with others"?
    – Mawg
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:37

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