I'm currently on the market and my CV is opened to the public on multiple job search sites. I have sent my CV to multiple companies and some have found me online and contacted me. One of the companies though is a one for which I don't want to work.

The company has a bad reputation (acts of corruption, playing blame games with diferent providers when their solutions don't work etc) and I had three friends that at different moments in time worked there and all stated the following (biggest mistake of their lives, worst job they ever had, incompetent bosses, low salaries but long working hours, old technologies, bad methodologies etc).

I don't want to work there, I don't even want to go to the interview. My initial reaction was to say **ck off but luckly I resisted...

They will ask for a reason why I don't want to work there so how do I refuse the interview without saying what I really think of them?

  • 12
    You really can overthink some things - "No, thank you" is all that is needed.
    – Matt
    Jan 21, 2013 at 7:29
  • 1
    Why don't you want to say what you really think of them? Maybe it'll make them think.
    – pdr
    Jan 21, 2013 at 10:56
  • They don't need a reason. Simply say what jcmeloni stated.
    – DA.
    Feb 5, 2013 at 3:47
  • Besides "no, thank you", I don't see any problems saying you've heard a lot of negative opinions about the company without going into details. What's the sense in concealing this? Do you think they will feel bad?
    – sharptooth
    Feb 5, 2013 at 12:52
  • You can always say "I'm not interested in the position, please don't contact me further about it", and delete/not respond to further emails. Aug 30, 2014 at 21:06

6 Answers 6


Just a note, this question and this one are similar (but different circumstances). Those answers might be useful as well.

You can respond simply with an email/verbal:

No thank you, I am not interested at this time.

If they press you for details, simply say:

I'm sorry, but I prefer not to disclose that information.

Turning down a company asking you to interview with them isn't that big of a deal at all if done this way (even if you did care about working for them in the future, which you obviously don't).

Simply say "no thanks" and move on with your life and don't worry about turning them down. They aren't asking you to marry them after all.

  • 2
    Indeed, just say "no thanks." They're contacting people from CVs posted online - they expect that many of the people they contact will not be interested because they are not currently looking for a new job. They're not going to be surprised or offended to get a lot of "no thanks" replies. Jan 21, 2013 at 0:37

They can ask why you aren't interested in the interview. You are under no obligation to give them an answer (no matter how much they may pressure you into opening up about it), and the longer your response the greater risk you take. People talk to people at other companies, hiring managers change jobs, etc. - so you may encounter these same people at a desirable company in the future.

A simple "No, thank you. I am not interested in the position at this time" is all you need to say.


As noted by others, you can try just saying something such as "Thank you, but I'm not interested at this time." I believe most places will not press you further. However, if they do, you can respond with "Sorry, I really don't want to discuss this." or a similar statement.

If they really press for an explanation of why you don't want to interview with them, and you feel compelled to give some sort of explanation, I recommend telling the truth. It may be that they don't realize their reputation is poor and this will be the wake up call they need to start changing. Or, the person trying to get you to interview may know their employer's reputation, but has been unable to effect improvements, and this may help them start those changes. Admittedly, they may get upset, but remember you're just the messenger here. Also, I wouldn't expect change, but it is possible. In giving an answer such has this, I recommend that you avoid being rude. Say something like: "Unfortunately, your company's reputation as an employer isn't good and I don't believe I would enjoy working there. Thus, I don't want to waste your time in an interview."

Having said all that, I'm going to suggest that you consider interviewing with them anyway. It's possible that their reputation is undeserved (as a flip side to this, the worst place I ever worked was very impressive when I interviewed and advertises themselves as a prestigious and great place to work). They may like you enough to make an unbelievable offer. Both those scenarios may be far-fetched, but are possible. Additionally, practicing your interviewing skills has benefit for future interviews and is usually easier when you're not anxious about getting the job. This other question has more about interviewing when you don't think you'll be interested in the job. However, if that doesn't seem worth the time and effort, feel free to turn them down.

  • Okay, I know the chance of the downvoter seeing this and commenting are slim, but I'm curious what is objectional in this answer. If that's made clear to me, it would give me a chance to improve the answer.
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 21, 2013 at 18:01
  • 1
    There is zero benefit behind telling the company "I heard you guys suck" if pressed. This can ONLY backfire on you professionally and will never serve to be beneficial (because the context of the interaction doesn't require any explanation whatsoever).
    – enderland
    Jan 22, 2013 at 15:43
  • Additionally, interviewing at a place you KNOW you don't want to work is a huge waste of your time (the other question doesn't have a "I will never work for this company" vibe - the question is more "I don't anticipate leaving my current job"). If you want to get practice interviewing, at least interview with companies or for positions there is a chance you would be interested in
    – enderland
    Jan 22, 2013 at 15:45
  • @enderland: I respectfully disagree on both points, but thanks to the explanation. Also, I said to be respectful, NOT "I heard you guys suck".
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 22, 2013 at 16:49
  • 1
    @enderland: I agree there is only a small chance of personal benefit from telling the company they have a poor reputation. Thus, my initial suggestion is to say " ... I'm not interested ...", but I thought it beneficial to go beyond that. Even if you don't help yourself, you might help someone else.
    – GreenMatt
    Jan 25, 2013 at 17:38

If the goal was to keep your future job prospects open with a particular company, then you would want to make sure that your response to them was nuanced and diplomatic. But because they would have to make a radical overhaul to their business philosophy before you would even consider working for them, you don't have to agonize over finding just the right words.

You are looking for words that say no thank you, but I have decided to go in a different direction. In fact I would use those words exactly.

If they don't get the hint and keep trying to contact you, just keep deleting their emails.


Short and sweet is always best - "No Thank You" along with "I'm not interested in a position in your company" is a fine answer - and if you want to avoid temptation, send it by email.

If your only option is to phone and speak to a live human, and you get pressed, there's no reason not to say "Your company does not have a good reputation, based on my observations, I doubt I would be happy working for you." It's your call - you can also say "I'd prefer not to disclose this information", or "I'm simply not interested" and leave it at that. You certainly don't owe any explanation for an unsolicited request to apply! It would be the same thing as explaining to a telemarketer why they are annoying.

Figure that the person making contact with you is very indirectly connected to the policies and cultural norms that trouble you, so taking it out this person in a lengthy rant is going to do no good.


There are lots of ways to refuse an interview. However, why do you apply on it in the first place? You already know that the company has bad reputation and it was proven by your friends. You could just say that you’re not interested anymore or make an alibi that you have another interview on other companies and you don’t have the time to come on the interview.

  • 2
    "why do you apply on it in the first place?" - OP states that this particular company has approached him (due to his CV being available online), so he didn't apply.
    – 3N1GM4
    Dec 29, 2016 at 15:17

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