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I recently moved with my husband and am in the process of trying to find a new job. I have been unemployed for about 3 weeks now, applying like crazy to jobs.

I have been interviewing with this company via webcam (even though they are in the area I live) and three days ago they offered me the position. I have never actually been to the office.

I could not shake my gut feeling telling me not to accept the position, so I let them know I would be declining. I did not give a specific reason, and now she has emailed me asking what the reason is so that they can work on that for future candidates.

I understand that they want to know, but I don't know how to explain "gut feeling" being my reason. I don't want to just cold not answer, but I truly am at a loss of what to tell them. My biggest reason of all and also the hardest to explain, I did not like the vibe of the company and simply have a bad gut feeling and do not want the role any longer.

Is there a professional and polite way that I can respond to them? I hate the notion of burning a bridge so I don't feel quite comfortable saying I just didnt get a totally wonderful impression that we would be a good fit for each other.

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    "not a good fit for my interests at this time" – enderland Jul 27 '17 at 22:50
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    really similar question here .. and also this one... – DarkCygnus Jul 27 '17 at 23:52
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    Possible duplicate of How to decline a job offer in writing – DarkCygnus Jul 27 '17 at 23:58
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    Is there any chance that a visit to their office would resolve your gut feeling? Could it be due to strangeness of being asked to decide on an offer without seeing where you would be working. – Patricia Shanahan Jul 28 '17 at 0:17
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    "I have decided to pursue other opportunities at this time." If pressed for more detail, repeat. Ad infinitum. – Jane S Jul 28 '17 at 4:41
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Just as a company who doesn't offer you a job isn't obliged to give feedback, I don't see that you're obliged to give a specific reason either.

If you do want to give a reason, I think it's perfectly acceptable to keep it vague.

Based on what I've learned during the interview process, I do not feel the position would be a good fit for me.

I would provide this feedback via email so as not to get drawn into a longer discussion, and tactfully terminate the discussion to prevent further follow ups with something like:

I appreciate your taking the time to consider my application and I wish you the best in filling the role.

And after that, I wouldn't respond to further communication, unless it's of benefit to you.

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Firstly, you're not obliged to give a reason at all.

People often forget that the interview process is a two-way process, especially when in your position of needing a job as soon as possible. You are assessing them as much as they are assessing you.

To be honest, I would be very reluctant to accept an offer from anybody when all interviews were done over webcam. I would have no insight in to the work environment. No insight in to the type of customer/client they deal with. I just wouldn't have enough information about them to make an informed decision as to whether I want to work there or not. This may be part of what you describe as 'gut feeling'.

If you do give an answer, try to isolate exactly what it is that you object to, and relay that as objectively as you can. Don't forget though, it's a small world!

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I'd suggest that you tell them that you don't feel you'd be a good fit for their organization. If they push for more, be straight with them and lay it down to gut feeling.

Too many people in the modern world ignore what their gut or heart is telling them because their head remembers some rules they once read in a magazine.

There's an oft-forgotten golden rule: As long as you're honest and genuine you can never insult or hurt someone. So just be honest with the recruiter. That's the best feedback they could ever hope for.

Besides, they sound a little shifty to me...

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    Honesty can hurt. I don't recommend lying, but sometimes it's better to say nothing. Sometimes the hurt helps. – WGroleau Jul 28 '17 at 5:52
  • @WGroleau Agree completely. If the truth is too painful, say nothing, but lying is a bad idea. – Mister Positive Jul 28 '17 at 11:39
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I would suggest you do NOT use the word 'gut feeling' or anything similar to that when communicating with them.

'Gut feeling' is not a fact neither is it professional.

Instead, you can say something like : " It was a pleasure meeting you, and your team. (If applicable) Based on my observation from our initial conversation and communication, I have realized that I am not going to be a good fit for your organisation."

I doubt they push any further than that.

  • "Gut feeling" may not be scientific or professional, but a bad gut feeling is definitely a good reason not to accept a position. – gnasher729 Jul 28 '17 at 8:54
  • @gnasher729, It is! as long as you don't voice it out to the company as the sole reason for rejection. – comxyz Jul 28 '17 at 8:56
  • Why does it matter if you voice it to them? What's going to happen? Nothing. – user9993 Jul 28 '17 at 9:05
  • That just shows how professional you are that your feeling and emotion become the factor to justify your decision. – comxyz Jul 28 '17 at 9:08
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    It can be what you think, it's just a matter of how you present it. "Gut feeling" might let the company (well, its representative) think that it's something they've done, or that there's a fundamental red flag that caught your eye. That's not necessarily true. Plus, it's kind of a familiar expression that I wouldn't allow myself to use with an interviewer, or even with colleagues I'm not familiar with yet. There are more formal ways of expressing the idea. – Sheldonator Jul 28 '17 at 11:44
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You're not affirmed with them, so you don't need to give any response. Ignore and delete their emails then move on.

They're not paying you, you get nothing by responding. The company is useless to you. Do nothing.

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    ...or you can show some respect and answer something generic like "not a good fit for my interests at this time" (thanks enderland). I see on this site much complain about recruiters never responding to encourage candidate to not respond. – le_daim Jul 28 '17 at 7:52
  • Just because the company isn't a good fit now doesn't mean they won't have something else in the future, or that recruiter won't end up at a different company you do want to work for later. Don't be remembered as the person who gave them a cold shoulder when you meet them again. A generic reply is sufficient. – Seth R Jul 28 '17 at 16:27

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