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I received and signed company A offer, while awaiting final interview with company B. So I told B that I received an offer from A but have not signed it and see if they could expedite the interview process - I told them I really wanted to work for them instead of A!

They have now decided to offer me the job, the terms are equally attractive compared to A, but I have decided not to renege on offer A. How should I decline the offer or what excuse should I use - timing issues? The hiring manager will definitely want to know the reason especially after all the trouble they went through to speed up the process. I would definitely be interested in working at company B at a later stage - so I want to end on a good note and perhaps stay in contact.

closed as off-topic by Jim G., gnat, Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings Dec 8 '14 at 16:39

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – Jim G., gnat, Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, IDrinkandIKnowThings
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10

"I decided to accept company A's offer - it was a better match for me"

Next time don't lie

5

I told B that I received an offer from A but have not signed it

What on Earth did you do that for? You dug yourself a hole, and now you're stuck in it.

At this stage, your best bet is probably to come up with a believable reason as to why you want to work for company A rather than company B; something like: "On further reflection, I decided to accept the offer from company A because they're a bigger/smaller(*) company, and that fits more with my goals at this point in time. Thank you very much for the effort you put in to speed up the process, and apologies that effort was unnecessary." (*) delete as appropriate.

And learn the lesson that telling fibs is a bad idea.

  • I don't believe OP fibbed. The timeline was probably like (1) OP received an offer from A. (2) OP told B about it (hurry up you guys). (3) OP got tired of waiting and signed with A. (4) OP received an offer from B. OP need not justify his decision to B. – emory Dec 9 '14 at 1:36
5

First, understand the following:
1. it's perfectly ok to decline a job offer. The hiring manager is used to that.
2. they must really like you if they decided to offer you a job. it shouldn't be hard to keep it that way.
3. don't come up with lies when you decline. it'll make you super uncomfortable and you'll reduce your chances of revisiting their offer in the future.

Now, I'd simply go, full of self confidence and let the hiring manager know that although the decision tore my heart I decided to go with the other party. I'd let them know I now signed with the other party and would love to keep in touch. I'd thank them for speeding up the process just for me.
I anticipate that the next thing they'll do is simply say a fainted thanks and let you be. You're no longer of interest to them, but you didn't screw up.

Good luck

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How should I decline the offer or what excuse should I use - timing issues?

Don't use an excuse - just tell the truth.

You didn't really know what you wanted at the time, but have since concluded that the other company is a better fit. And thank then for their consideration.

And, don't expect to end on a good note or stay in touch. It's probably not going to happen.

1

If you would really prefer to work for B, then tell A that you are sorry but you have received a more attractive offer. This will probably end your chances of working for A for a couple of years, but not forever.

In the future, I think you will find that simple honesty will work better in these situations. Once I was recruited by two companies simultaneously. One company gave me an offer a couple of days before I was to interview at the other. I told the first that I was waiting for the other offer to make a decision. Then I had two offers in hand. It was a difficult decision, both were attractive in different ways. Finally I accepted the second offer. The first company said that if it didn't work they would still want me. In this case, honesty worked to build valuable relationships.

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