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I am currently working in academia. In a "spur of the moment" consideration, I applied at a big tech company, where I am now in the interviewing process, having completed some screening questions and a first phone interview.

However, over the last weeks, I realized that I may want to stay in academia a bit longer after all. So at some stage, I will need to exit the interviewing process. I have not received an offer, but I would prefer to not continue wasting their (and my) time doing interviews when I am certain that I don't want to work there.

How do I do this politely in order to not burn any possibility of working for this company at some point in the future?

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How do I do this politely in order to not burn any possibility of working for this company at some point in the future?

Call them.

Explain that over the last few weeks you have decided you want to stay in academia at this point. Thank them for their time.

Call today so that you don't waste more of their time and so that they can move on to other candidates.

You may or may not have burned bridges with this company, but calling today will give you your best chance in the future.

These things happen. But in the future, be very careful with spur of the moment decisions when it comes to changing careers.

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    Agree with all of this. When you tell them, it might be worth specifically emphasising that nothing about them or the interview specifically turned you back to academia. It's just not right for you at this time. (Assuming this is the case, otherwise just keep quiet on the matter). – LoztInSpace Aug 7 '17 at 12:28
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    @LoztInSpace Its not you, its me and other cliches :D – Leon Aug 7 '17 at 12:51
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If you have not received an offer yet, this is most likely not to burn any bridges. You can even ask them to keep you in their database, and call you in a year if a similar position comes up. I would actually assume that if you specify that you want to continue education (if you do a PHD or master program) or research, they most likely wont hold it against you (and if they do, it it a safe thing that you dont want to work for this company).

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