So last week, I went to an interview. The interview went well and I liked the company. However, it would require a 65 mile drive a day.

I was aware of this before the interview, but decided to go just to check it out and to learn more about the job. During the interview, I learned that the job is really a lateral move for me and while it might be more money, I'm not sure I'd make THAT much more to make the drive worth it.

After thinking about it over the weekend and talking about it with my wife, I plan on turning down the job if offered, But I thought it might be nice to inform them ahead of time, so they can focus on other candidates.

Should I pull out of a job running before they offer it to me?

  • 2
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    – jmort253
    Sep 22, 2014 at 0:06
  • I presume you have already considered moving to live closer to that job? (I've known some young-and-eager types who drove that far every day, but it would drive me crazy. Even with books-on-tape.)
    – keshlam
    Sep 22, 2014 at 1:49
  • Is there a question here? You decide not to take the job. In the time you wrote this question you could've sent them three emails saying you're out.
    – user8036
    Sep 22, 2014 at 7:00
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    Are you sure they wouldn't offer more money? Did you give an amount during the interview?
    – user8365
    Sep 22, 2014 at 16:02
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    It would have to be a lot more money to make that kind of commute feasible. See mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting Sep 22, 2014 at 20:37

3 Answers 3


If you've already decided to turn down the offer, then do it. In fact, it might work better for you - the company might decide they really want you and make a better offer to overcome the negative aspect of your commute. At the very least, they will thank you for being frank and not wasting their time further.

Just simply state that, while you were interested in the job, you've given it some consideration and feel that it isn't a sufficient step up over your current position for the extra commute time you'd be incurring upon yourself.

Don't mention money - chances are simply saying "if you offer me more, then I'll come" will backfire and they will move on.

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    +1. If you're not going to take the job, it's courteous to tell them that, so they can immediately move to the next candidate.
    – keshlam
    Sep 22, 2014 at 1:47
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    @keshlam - And it would be great if all candidates were informed when they were turned-down for the job. We could use more courtesy in the business world.
    – user8365
    Sep 22, 2014 at 19:14
  • @JeffO - agreed - which is why I make a point of doing just that
    – HorusKol
    Sep 22, 2014 at 23:25
  • @JeffO - bit of a chicken and egg... companies aren't going to turn down everyone else straight away if they aren't sure #1 candidate is going to join, or takes his time to decide. Sep 23, 2014 at 15:56
  • @JuliaHayward - I think JeffO's point (and mine) is that too many companies don't inform the other candidates at all. A courteous interviewer should tell people as soon as they are cut from the process. You're right that the company may keep a shortlist handy in case the #1 candidate declines, but as soon as he is hired the shortlist should be told the position isn't open instead of just ignoring them.
    – HorusKol
    Sep 23, 2014 at 23:28

If you're not trying to negotiate for anything (which it sounds like you're not), then simply turn it down promptly and politely and state your reason, like HorusKol recommends.

If you're still potentially interested in the job if you could only figure out a workable commuter lifestyle, then the sort of arrangements I've seen used are staying overnight in a motel on say Mon night and Thu night, leaving early Friday afternoon, by arrangement, maybe also arriving late Wednesday am. And/or some work-from-home on a day or two, or in exceptional circumstances when you need to be at home. This sort of arrangement is very common in London, where the commute on the M25 ringroad is notoriously awful and unpredictable esp. Monday morning, Friday evening. (Frankly it's boring and it puts a strain on your relationship and social life, so I wouldn't be in a rush to do it.) So if that would be ok with you (and your wife), run the numbers on it and ask your employer for a) that arrangement in writing and/or b) any extra compensation to cover it.

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    My office is 125 miles away from home: I come down for two/three days per week and work from home for the rest of it. I'm in a hotel right now. It works surprisingly well. Then again, I have no SO living with me, which would make a world of difference to my level of comfort with this arrangement. Sep 22, 2014 at 22:04
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: everybody's preference is different: basically it can be an option for no-kids couples, empty-nesters etc. I've also seen marriages fail because of it.
    – smci
    Sep 22, 2014 at 22:40
  • Yeah, so have I. Sep 23, 2014 at 8:51

Well it is up to you to decide whether you can do justice to the job assigned to you. But it would be good gesture from your end to intimate the organization well in advance about your decision of not taking up the job. As these kind of attitude of yours will help you to grow better & wiser with time.

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