A really large company very actively recruited me, and is planning on flying me out soon, however, I don't want to interview and no one is answering the phone/email for me to cancel the flights/rental/hotel. Initial offer was pretty high, and some unexpected changes happened (including a significantly lower offer) which prompted me to call my original recruiter.

During that call, the original recruiter basically let me know that "Steph" (not real name), a hiring manager, had been very derogatory (explicitly saying I'm not worth it in an email) and campaigned to low-ball me, and succeeded... But still wanted to interview me. The original recruiter also revealed that one of the other recruiters changed who is credited with recruiting me, taking away the incentive from my original recruiter if I'm hired.

Between being low-balled, strong-arming, and political infighting, I signaled that I didn't want to continue interviewing. This resulted in being connected with a senior recruiter who convinced me to fly out, despite me saying repeatedly now is not the time for me. They sent me plane tickets and everything.

Obviously I'm burning a bridge because I'm simply not getting on that plane. But how do I let them know I think they really don't have their stuff together and that's why I'm not continuing? I don't want to burn the original recruiter either.

  • 11
    "who convinced me to fly out, despite me saying repeatedly now is not the time for me." That doesn't make sense. If you didn't want to come out, why did you agree to do so ?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 19:49
  • 4
    @Hilmar so you never agreed to something you didn’t actually want to do? Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 0:00
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    … although that’s maybe beside the point. The point is they are being manipulative. Manipulation is, in part, the “art” of getting people to agree or believe things they don’t. Saying “I don’t want to go,” wasn’t apparently enough. As far as sense goes, that’s what I’m trying to figure out in a confusing and unexpected situation, especially given the renown of the company. Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 0:07
  • It sounds like the company already burned the original recruiter when they decided to low-ball you and not give them credit if you were hired. There's no way they won't know that lowering the offer is why you're declining now. If they decide to blame the original recruiter anyway, then that would be because they have it out for them and there's nothing you can do about that.
    – BSMP
    Commented Sep 26, 2022 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


It's not your responsibility to "protect" the other recruiter, let them know what their shortcomings are, or engage with them any further. Simply tell them you're not interested and cease communicating with them about this particular job and interview.

It's doubtful that anyone's career is in jeopardy. I'm sure this isn't the first time this has taken place.

"They've been less than forthcoming, disingenuous, dishonest, and unprofessional but I don't want anyone to get in trouble so how can I take some measure of responsibility for this?"

This is not a thought that would ever enter my mind. I'd simply cease communicating with them. You owe them nothing.

  • "to cease communicating with them" or "to ghost them". Do you think it would harm the chances of working with the same people in the future? Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 8:04

There are several options here.

Option 1: The direct approach

"Due to changes in my circumstances, I am no longer interested in pursuing this opportunity and will not be engaging further"

Option 2: The Nuclear approach

Let them know exactly why you will not be attending and make vague references to Lawyers and discrimination statutes (Note - Would not recommend)

Option 3: The Tyre Kicker

Go on the flight, eat the free food, stay at the Hotel, have the interview and then afterwards say something like 'I don't think our goals are quite in alignment' or some other phrase and opt not to pursue it.

Option 4: The Ghost.

Block their number, Blacklist their email - if they send flight info to someone who doesn't respond, it's their money being wasted not yours.

My personal opinion is that if you are senior enough that they want to fly you out, then full-on Bridge Burning is probably not a good idea - in which case a polite declining of the Offer is probably your best option - let them know that your personal circumstances have changed (and don't offer any more) and that you are no longer interested.

  • If you have the time and it wont impact you, Option 3: could benefit you. Getting practice interviewing is valuable, it's a skill that needs to be used from time to time. Learning how different companies operate during the interview process(good or bad) can be a valuable for what to look out for at other companies, finally it is kind of like a mini vacation, enjoy your self. Watch out for high pressure tactics, DON'T SIGN ANYTHING, take lots of notes show interest, but always state you need to think about it/review your options Commented Oct 4, 2022 at 17:03

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