Should You Ever Say “No” to a Job Interview Offer?

job interview offerSo, you’ve received an job interview offer. Now what?

Of course, the obvious answer is to accept enthusiastically. And then you realize what a full-time job it can actually become to go on interviews (the Q&A prep, the last-minute manicure, the new dress because your old staple is at the dry cleaner’s), so you start to feel the need to pick and choose.

Yes, in most cases you should accept a job interview offer. But here’s how to prioritize, and even say “no,” when things become overwhelming…

Make Sure You and the Hiring Manager Are on the Same Page

For my first job interview after graduation, I flew to New York City, put on my best blazer, and went to an indie label that (I thought) housed my dream job: I had discussed a social media manager position with the owner during the months leading up to graduation. Once I arrived, it became clear that I was interviewing for an internship that paid $8 a day, which isn’t exactly fruitful in New York City.

It’s easy for information to be lost when it’s passed down from top management. So make sure you know exactly what you’ll be discussing. If you’re looking for a full-time job, confirm that it’s not a freelance position. If you have management experience, confirm that it’s not entry-level. The last thing you want is an expensive plane ticket that leads you nowhere.

Address Any Other Concerns About The Interview Offer

If you’re clear on the position but still feel on-the-fence, you can buy yourself more time to think by asking questions. If you have salary requirements or are curious about the company’s parental leave policy, it’s totally OK to ask for that information upfront. This new data is an open door to reconsider. Back out now, and save time on both ends, not just yours.

3. Ask Yourself, “Do I Want This Job?” 

So you’re clear on the title and important job duties. Still, go back and give the job description another good, hard read. After all, it may have been weeks since you applied.

After your review, ask yourself: “Do I really want this job?” If not, don’t accept the offer to interview. Simply say your circumstances have changed and thank them for their consideration.

You want to be a thorough as possible in your job search, but many things change between the application and the interview. Not every interview offer is a priority.

Sometimes you just have to say “no.”


For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.





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