I am expecting that I will get a call from my interviewer (who will be my future manager) that they want to hire me. I had two meetings there (company B) but just want to get information on how this company solves the issue. I was not interested since I got the verbal acceptance from company A which pays more and is bigger and better.

I would like to decline their offer of company B in a polite way, but I am waiting for the contract from the better company A. But I

How can I say in a polite way: " Thanks for the offer. I am interested, but I got another offer that I want to take. But we can still be friends, maybe I need your research institute someday later, or we'll see us at conferences."

How do I handle this right?

  • Any reasonable employer knows that you are looking most likely for jobs in many places and will accept the best one that accepts you. Some employers are not reasonable, you don’t want to work for them.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 10, 2022 at 6:09

4 Answers 4


It's not Rude, it's also not necessary.

I have had this happen where I had multiple competing offers. The first thing is that you tell them both:

"Thank you very much for the offer, I will review it and get back to you within 5 working days/end of the working week" - depending on location and work culture, that may even be 2 weeks to accept the Offer.

They do not need to know you have a preferred option that you are waiting on.

If the other offer comes through and you are happy with it - you can let them know that at this time you won't be going ahead - or if you are unhappy, you can use it for negotiation.


Yes, you can say that other companies are interested (if you want).

But do not say that you've made a final decision yet. Because you really haven't.

Without a signed written contract in hand (plus an employee manual) and without a firm a starting date, you don't have anything yet. Do not assume that you have.

And if they ask for more details, do not give them, and be very vague. After all, if they made offers to competing candidates, do you think they would tell you about them? No, of course not.

  • Usually they do. At least here in western europe. I have heard the sentence "we are interested but we have other applicants that we want to hear out too. We will let you know in xyz days" several times. It's nothing unusual or bad. It's a normal application process. Oct 10, 2022 at 10:38
  • @elPolloLoco, Yes, but what I mean is that they won't say: "We've just made an offer to someone, but you're our back up candidate just in case things fall through with him." In other words, they won't give you those kind of details. Oct 10, 2022 at 19:14
  • ah okay. yes that is true of course Oct 11, 2022 at 8:27

How do I handle this right?

I would suggest 2 things:

  1. Don't say anything to company B about the possibility that you may reject an offer from company B while, in reality, you don't have the official written offer from company A yet.

    This way, if company A can't finalize their written offer, you can potentially still get an offer from company B.

  2. Wait until you get the official written offer from company A, then you can decline the offer from company B in any polite way that you want.

There are 2 types of offers:

  • A verbal offer is nice to have. But, it is not the official offer.
  • The official written offer is the only offer that truly counts. Nothing is for sure until you get the written offer.

FYI: On this site, there are a number of people who have said they get the verbal offers, but then unfortunately the official written offers are never finalized and sent to them.


It is not rude to say so, as long as you phrase it properly (like you did!)

However, I think the best option is not to mention the presence of any other company so that you do not get yourself into an unwanted detailed conversation. Just let them know that you will share your final decision as soon as possible. Meanwhile, you will still have 2 open options that you can go for if one of them goes wrong.

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