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.

  • 20
    "not a good fit for my interests at this time"
    – enderland
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 22:50
  • 1
    really similar question here .. and also this one...
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 23:52
  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How to decline a job offer in writing
    – DarkCygnus
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 23:58
  • 3
    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. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 0:17
  • 5
    "I have decided to pursue other opportunities at this time." If pressed for more detail, repeat. Ad infinitum.
    – Jane S
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 4:41

4 Answers 4


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.


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!


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...

  • 3
    Honesty can hurt. I don't recommend lying, but sometimes it's better to say nothing. Sometimes the hurt helps.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 5:52
  • @WGroleau Agree completely. If the truth is too painful, say nothing, but lying is a bad idea.
    – Neo
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 11:39

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
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 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
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 8:56
  • Why does it matter if you voice it to them? What's going to happen? Nothing.
    – user9993
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 9:05
  • That just shows how professional you are that your feeling and emotion become the factor to justify your decision.
    – comxyz
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 9:08
  • 1
    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. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 11:44

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