18

I had a final interview with company A. They sent me a formal offer (contract and all), and asked how long I would need to make my decision. We agreed to another call in 7 days, which, I've read, is a respectable period.

Two days later, I received an offer from company B, which I prefer. I plan on accepting this second offer.

However, the 7 days agreed upon with company A are not up yet. How do I politely reject company A? Do I wait for them to call me, respecting the agreement to call (effectively wasting their time to recruit other candidates), or do I write up an email explaining that I've received another offer?

2
  • 10
    Do you have a written and signed contract/offer from company B in your hands or are you still in the interview process with them? In case you do - don't let company A wait for another 5 days, tell them asap that you chose a different route so they can continue with other candidates.
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 17:35
  • The interview process is over, but I have yet to receive the signed contract (and obviously sign it myself) and submit all the relevant paperwork (waiting for the papers from the proper authorities is out of my control). But I believe I have the job secured.
    – jayded-bee
    Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 17:37

5 Answers 5

54

Congratulations on your 2 job offers.

Step 1: Officially accept the offer from company B.

Step 2: After you complete Step 1, call company A immediately and let them know you are not accepting their offer. Make every effort to speak to someone first, rather than send an email.

6
  • 11
    I'd probaly do both, verbally and in writing.. and ASAP so company A can continue with other prospects.
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 17:38
  • 1
    @iLuvLogix: Agreed.
    – toolic
    Commented Dec 22, 2022 at 17:41
  • 10
    Don't do Step 2 until you have a contract from company B if I was you Commented Dec 23, 2022 at 19:39
  • 3
    @ScottishTapWater And very important - this contract MUST be signed already by the company. If not, then its just a piece of paper that is not legally binding. After you have a SIGNED contract from the company, then you have a job. Until that point, either side can pull their offer for whatever reason.
    – Chapz
    Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 16:19
  • @Chapz - That does somewhat depend on the country you're in... But it's certainly not a bad idea Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 20:20
16

Consider this question from the perspective of company A. If you were the hiring manager at company A and you had 2 candidates on the table, one of whom was slightly better than the other but both of whom were acceptable, and you wanted to hear back from your preferred candidate before extending an offer to the other candidate, would you prefer that your preferred candidate responded quickly to let you know of their acceptance or rejection of the offer, or would you prefer they waited as long as possible to let you know?

Answer that question, and act accordingly.

2
  • 4
    An excellent answer from company A's POV. but the OP isn't Company A. Commented Dec 24, 2022 at 4:05
  • Apparently 5 people missed the point. The point is "think about what would make the other party happy and do the thing that makes them happy. Be nice to people."
    – Ertai87
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 17:40
15

How do I politely reject company A?

First, you formally accept the offer from company B.

Then you tell company A something like "Thanks. I really appreciate the offer, but I've accepted a position at another company."

Simple, polite, and doesn't waste anyone's time any longer than necessary.

2

Letting them know before the call is a good thing to do; it lets them advance immediately to the next candidate on their list. If you have an E-mail contact that should suffice... though a phone call is more polite.

You don't have to explain your decision if you don't want to. "Thank you for your offer, but I have decided not to pursue it at this time" is quite adequate.

But you might want to say why, as a courtesy to help them improve their recruiting pitch.. especially if you think they might make a counter-offer large enough to change your mind (and you want to let your mind be changed). That last might be the one reason to consider calling them before officially accepting the other offer, rather than getting that nailed down tight before declining this one.

1

You can reject the offer as soon as you know you will not be accepting it. But if you would have accepted it except a better offer arrived two days later, I would hold off telling the first company until I had to.

The reason is simple, until your first day of work even an offer that has been finalized can still fall through. I have seen this happen too many times. It has happened to me, It has happened to family members, and I have seen offers retracted by my company to new hires. Companies change their mind, their budget changes, or the requirements change.

My advice is to keep looking, keep applying, and keep interviewing up until the first day of work. Rejecting an offer too quickly doesn't give you the full protection. I wouldn't string them along, or try and negotiate, but I would not be in a hurry to reject a quality offer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .