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I recently got my first job and I have accepted the offer. Another employer who had previously put my application on hold wants to interview me now. How can I politely turn down the call for interview? I had genuine interest in working for the company but somehow things didn't work out earlier but now I am already taken.

  • Just to check, did you contact the second company when you received the first offer? Companies that are interested will generally fast-track you through their process so you can compare their offers if you notify hem of another offer. – Lilienthal Apr 29 '15 at 8:59
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Just tell them the truth — this is a very common occurrence and people drop out all through the process due to other offers.

In person or over the phone, just say something like, “I really appreciate the offer to come in to interview, but I’ve just accepted another role and I don’t wish to waste your time. I’d love for you to keep in touch in future, though.”

They’ll rarely actually do this (i.e., proactively get in touch), but that’s just politeness and a way to keep the door open.

Smarten it up a little for an e-mail or letter and you’ll be fine.

In exceptionally rare cases, you may get a little heat from a recruiter. Don’t worry for a millisecond about anything they say — in real life you have to do something particularly bad to get black listed from a company’s application process.

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    Generally getting heat from a recruiter for turning down an interview like this is more of a reflection on the recruiter than on the candidate. – David K Apr 28 '15 at 14:22
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    Since this is your first job, this might be an opportunity for you to recommend a particularly sharp colleague. They'll probably not want to hear about it, but it doesn't hurt to offer. – Spehro Pefhany Apr 28 '15 at 20:09
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    @SpehroPefhany: If by "colleague" you mean a current co-worker, that might not be the best idea. Your employer might not appreciate you helping to recruit fellow employees for other jobs. – Keith Thompson Apr 29 '15 at 1:00
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    @SpehroPefhany: Right, he probably hasn't actually started the new job yet. – Keith Thompson Apr 29 '15 at 2:54
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    This is probably quite rare (depends on where you are), but you might get a lot of heat from the recruiter. Happened to me once (basically they threatened to sue me if I don't show up). Don't worry about that at all - they're just mad that they're not getting their commission. – vesan Apr 29 '15 at 5:28

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