I'm currently job hunting. A few weeks ago I got a call from one of the jobs I applied to inviting me to an interview. The job was at a startup (I couldn't find very much information about them, the website isn't great), and I was alright with that because the position seemed interesting.

After I showed up, I realized the company was much smaller than I anticipated (just the original 2 founders), but they are in the process of hiring a few people.

I went through two rounds of interviews with them, and they are in the process of drafting an offer for me. However, I am not so sure I want this job anymore, just based on the following:

  • I see a major flaw in their testing protocols that I think will cause problems with the product that they're currently advertising. I already have experience in this technology and that is the reason for why I think they will run into huge problems when they move to non-ideal environments.
  • It being a startup, I anticipate the typical work days will not just be 8 hours and I want to have time for hobbies and life in general.
  • Lack of certain job stability as one might have with a larger corporation, I don't even know if I will have vacation days
  • They want me to start part-time before my anticipated starting date. I said I could, but honestly it would be so much easier if I didn't :)

Anyways, I'm looking for some suggestions on how to decline this offer without it seeming like it is their fault, or I don't like their company. I'm not sure if I should mention the testing protocol flaws either?

  • Why don't you find out what they really expect instead of assuming the worse?
    – user8365
    Aug 5, 2015 at 2:50
  • 2
    Why do you want to decline preemptively? Why not wait for the offer and then bring up these points before accepting? e.g. if you've reconsidered part-time and decided that you really need a full-time position to start, then you could say that before accepting. If they're not willing to give you a full-time offer, then there's no need for you to even decline.
    – Brandin
    Aug 5, 2015 at 5:36

2 Answers 2


"Hello xxx,

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to interview me for the [Engineer] position at [Company Name]. After interviewing with you, I don't feel that this is a good fit for me, but I appreciate the offer and would like to keep in touch in case any future opportunities arise. I wish you much luck and success in your interviewing process and with your company!"

Always thank the person for taking the time for the interview. Write a follow-up letter after every interview, whether you want the job or not. This will keep a good impression of you in their minds.

Interviews are a two-way street, and they will appreciate the fact that you are doing this now instead of 6 months down the road when you decide to leave and cost them much more time and money.


Politely send the HR an email stating that you are no longer interested in the position. Make sure you thank them for considering you for their employment. Make sure you let them know clearly why you have declined the job offer so that in future if you decide you want to work for that company they will know that you are polite and respect them. Likely hood is that they will try and get you to change your mind by offering extra perks. At this point you thank them further and state you have an offer elsewhere that suits your situation best at this point.

  • what kind of HR are your talking about? She told that there are only 2 people (cofounders in that company) Aug 8, 2015 at 7:12

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