I was just reading a question where a person who had excellent qualifications for their age was offered low compensation because other people in his age-group have similar compensation(I am talking about an age in which most people are fresh graduates). The candidate in question had already worked at a previous job and had had a decent salary, but the interviewers weren't prepared to pay what he expected.

That got me thinking: in such cases the candidate may think "enough of this BS" and want to walk out. Whatever he may have said to the interviewers, they wouldn't help realizing that the candidate wanted to walk out at one point, and soon did so.

My question is: will this have any significant impact on later interviews for the candidate? If so, what should his course of action have been then?

  • 2
    I think its a bit rude if nothing else, would you want the interviewers to realize halfway through you are unqualified and just leave? Not to mention even if a interview is going badly or I dont want the job anymore I just look at it as good interview experience. Practice never hurts.
    – marsh
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:56
  • You may think "enough of this BS", but you almost certainly won't say that and leave. The same with "I want to walk out of here". In practice, most people will find a semi graceful way to leave ahead of schedule.
    – Brandin
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:01
  • 1
    But you would typically not be offered a job + salary until late in the day or even later. If they tell you a range and it is under your range then just tell them. Let them decide to continue the interview. At most ask "is there is a reason to finish the interview?" Walking out is rude. People in industry talk.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:17
  • How would the company find out the candidate's age? Is his birthday listed on his resume?
    – stannius
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:48
  • 1
    Why would you want to work for a company, where your age is a significant prediction of your salary? Rather pass this offer to your grandpa and move on to another company. Mar 12, 2016 at 9:39

7 Answers 7


Like a lot of things in life, it's not what you do but how you do it.

The next time it is your turn to speak in the interview, address your concern. If their answer doesn't satisfy you, thank them for their time and tell them that this doesn't feel like an opportunity to you. They will either try to persuade you to stay or say something like "Sorry to hear that, I'll walk you back to the front and we'll turn in your badge and validate your parking."

Keep in mind that a lot of business communities are relatively small, and the story of any dramatic maneuver has a high probability of being shared within that industry.

  • 10
    Keep in mind that a lot of business communities are relatively small, and the story of any dramatic maneuver has a high probability of being shared within that industry. This is the precise concern behind this question.
    – cst1992
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:14
  • 2
    It takes time, effort, skill, and hard work to create a good reputation in an industry - a reputation that can go before you and open doors, garner recommendations from peers and managers, and generally make your career easier over time. It may only take one incident to create a negative reputation. It can be harder to overcome a negative reputation than it is to create a good one in the first place. Respect and professionalism will always be rewarded. Mar 11, 2016 at 15:15
  • @JohnOglesby I would expect a professional company to keep it confidential who has been applying to a position. I would require a lot more than a candidate walking out of the interview before I would consider it justified to not keep the name of the candidate confidential. So any consequences to the candidate's career would be limited to applying to the same company or to another company where somebody with first-hand knowledge of the event is now working. That said, I would still try to leave a good impression even if I don't want the position.
    – kasperd
    Mar 11, 2016 at 17:00

Cutting an interview short when you realize that the position just isn't for you is acceptable. How you cut the interview short is where lasting impact comes from.

To walk out on a positive note saying something like

I realize that this position just wouldn't be a good fit for me, so lets just wrap it up here. The company seems nice so I'd definitely apply again, just not for this role. Thanks for your consideration.

shouldn't poison the well. However silently getting up and leaving probably would.

  • 12
    How would you feel about yelling "Steve out!" and dropping an imaginary mike? Mar 11, 2016 at 14:47
  • 4
    If the company in question doesn't seem to be the kind of place you'd ever want to work at, I don't think that saying something like "so I'd definitely apply again" is necessarily appropriate. I would leave it at, "I'm sorry, but I just don't think we're going to be a good fit" and leave. Mar 11, 2016 at 15:52
  • @SteveJessop Be sure to pack a real mic in your bag for just such an occasion.
    – Myles
    Mar 11, 2016 at 17:41
  • 2
    @Myles: with an address label and sufficient stamps that they can just pop it in a post box to get it back to me. Mar 11, 2016 at 17:44
  • 2
    @cst1992 I think that's a dangerous question from both sides, so I wouldn't expect it to be asked. If it is, you can probably get away with being on the vague side. "I just don't think I'm a good cultural fit for your company", for instance. If they persist, well, they're getting kind of pushy and perhaps your opinion has been cemented. Mar 12, 2016 at 14:19

I've left a few interviews all over the same issue, money wasn't enough. Nothing wrong with it if you do it politely, it saves people wasting time on both sides.

Whether it will hurt future job prospects at that particular company depends a lot on the individuals involved. I would think not.

It shouldn't impact at all on interviews at other places, but again it depends on whether someone feels slighted and has a broad network in the industry. Even then it shouldn't be a problem.

Throwing a tantrum and storming out is another story.


Different perspective: Why would you walk out? This is a great learning and practice experience, even if the job is probably not the right one. There may be more information that's relevant down the line, there may be question and experiences that can help you in future interviews. Practice makes perfect and this is a good opportunity for that.

Is it that terrible to sit through another two or three conversations and hone your interviewing skills? What other urgent matter would be more important ?

  • I was thinking in terms of unpleasant experiences, but it seems this scenario is different. Unpleasant experiences as in the candidate thinking 'this company seems to be a cheapskate/worthless/any other adjective, and I don't think I need to continue the interview'.
    – cst1992
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:07
  • That's even a better learning experience. If you can ace an interview in a hostile environment, you have a better chance at acing it when it really matters.
    – Hilmar
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:09
  • As I thought, a different scenario.
    – cst1992
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:12
  • I think it might be best to simply answer the OP's question and allow each person to make up their own mind whether they want to leave an interview or not.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:17
  • 1
    Re: Practice: Excusing yourself from a crappy interview is good practice in refusing to people-please.
    – brian_o
    Mar 28, 2017 at 19:28

Personally, I would never walk out of an interview under any circumstances that did not involve a family emergency.

If it seems like it is not a good fit, continue anyway, ask more questions of the company, and just relax. It's a chance to hone your skills at interviewing if nothing else. At this point, the candidate can push the envelope a bit, and even inquire about other positions should they feel him unsuited for this one, but never ever walk out.

I witnessed one fellow being interviewed who walked out who was blacklisted from the company after that.

Never just walk out.

  • I usually do very well in technical interviews for jobs I don't really want. The usual whiteboard "freeze" doesn't seem to happen when I'm relaxed. I was surprised by a generous offer from one such interview, and ended up taking the job... but I didn't stay very long (about 2 years).
    – James Adam
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:31
  • 1
    @JamesAdam I have the same issue. If I don't want the job, I can breeze through the tech, if I do.... not so much. Mar 11, 2016 at 16:00
  • @JamesAdam How were you able to cope with the job and the company if you'd decided you didn't want it? Were your reasons behind not wanting the job different than 'this is not a good fit, I won't enjoy this job'?
    – cst1992
    Mar 12, 2016 at 5:42
  • @cst1992 The job just did not seem that interesting. However, competition for software jobs is pretty cutthroat, so I didn't have any other option at the time (and I'd been job hunting and interviewing for close to a year by the time I got that offer -- I was tired of job hunting). Despite what you hear on the internet, there is not a shortage of good developers.
    – James Adam
    Mar 14, 2016 at 13:00

There seem to be a few other options that wouldn't be quite as unprofessional.

The interviewer is saying that at the end of the process, the offer isn't going to match the interviewees expectations. If that isn't going to be acceptable, then it's okay to end the interview right away. "Walk out" is a bit or a harsh way of putting it, even if effectively, that's what the interviewee is doing. As the interviewee, I would clarify the rough terms being offered, and politely decline. I would then transition to say that the company was still interesting, and that if something open up in the future, maybe when my skills and experience matched their expectations for a different role, I'd be interested in talking again. I'd keep it very friendly, shake hands, and leave them with the impression that I was someone they'd like to speak with again. This way you've established a relationship, and negotiated part of the next interview.

Just walking out isn't a good negotiation technique in this case. It does have its place--but not here, precisely for the reason you mention: there will not be future interviews. It's nice to think of movies where someone effectively spits in the face of the interviewer, and ends up getting the offer. If this does happen, it doesn't happen for low level positions or future engagements. "Hey Bob, remember that guy who just walked out? I wonder what he's up to...". Walking out shows that your highly desirable value will go elsewhere. If they don't see your value now, walking out is just saying you're an unprofessional jerk, they'll throw your resume out, and the bridge will be burned.

  • 1
    It it's a money issue, I agree; however, I am not sure you can negotiate culture. Mar 11, 2016 at 15:55
  • Yes, but it might not be a cultural issue--there may simply not be a reason for the company to pay for this role what the interviewee believes he can get elsewhere. Even if the culture is broken, you're talking with a person you may cross paths with again elsewhere. Your reputation is yours, it doesn't hurt to protect it even assuming the company is a lemon.
    – jimm101
    Mar 11, 2016 at 16:10
  • I don't disagree, but I maintain that there are ways to end an interview before the interviewers are ready for it to be over and still be polite about it. Mar 11, 2016 at 16:21
  • I don't think I argue against that? I just think that there's a gentler landing than cutting it off. I wouldn't continue the interview for the current position, but I wouldn't just leave without doing some relationship maintenance.
    – jimm101
    Mar 11, 2016 at 17:13

Define "Walk out"? If you leave in a huff, word might get round that you're stroppy. If you get to the point where salary is mentioned and they don't offer an acceptable response to your proposition that experience counts as well as age, there's no problem with saying "Thanks, but no thanks this time".

  • "word might get round" - this world is big enough, that this doesn't happen Mar 11, 2016 at 17:24
  • The professional world where you are qualified to ask for a decent salary is rather smaller though. Mar 12, 2016 at 0:28
  • 'Walking out' in this case means any kind of interview ending which leaves a bad taste in the interviewer's mouth, possibly premature.
    – cst1992
    Mar 12, 2016 at 5:45

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