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A job offer is a sweet fruit borne after putting the hardcore efforts in submitting applications, replying to emails, communicating on the phone, taking tests, filling questionnaires, attending interviews, taking follow-ups, and conducting negotiations. Therefore, whether the recipient is a first-time job seeker, an early professional, a mid-level professional or an experienced professional, a job offer gives them the excitement that knows no bounds.

The happiness gets doubled when people get employment in a foreign country that is highly developed, such as the USA. Innumerable job opportunities for international students in the USA compel people across the world to pursue higher studies and a career in this country. Irrespective of the nation or industry, citizens, immigrants, and non-immigrants alike feel relief after securing a job.

However, the distressing journey that begins with searching for jobs doesn’t end for some people even after landing a job offer. Most of you would be able to relate to a situation where you wanted to turn down a job opportunity after spending a considerable amount of time chasing it. You might have gone against your will and accepted the offer, but a wise step is to listen to your heart and move on.

Is Rejecting a Job Offer a Right Decision?

Though the most obvious step to be taken after receiving a job offer is to confirm the acceptance through a phone call, an email or a physical document, candidates who don’t wish to accept the opportunity should convey rejection at the earliest to avoid causing any inconvenience to the prospective employer. It’s perfectly understandable that candidates, especially those who are new in the job search market, feel a little hesitant to turn down a job offer.

But, you need to realize the fact that you cannot deliver the performance or gain satisfaction while being employed on a job that you don’t like. So, rejecting a job offer that does not appeal to you is not just the right decision but one of the best career moves. Job hunters who have never landed a job offer or worked at a professional workplace might not have a clear idea of the signs that suggest rejection as the ultimate option.

Therefore, we have curated a list of reasons that you can consider to be enough for determining whether to refuse a job offer or not. Continue reading the blog post to know these reasons in detail.

Before making the final decision, you must confirm that the other job offer is perfect for you as per your objectives for career and personal development. Feeling discontented with the job is one of the top reasons for leaving a job. So, you need to ensure that it does not happen to you.

What Leads Candidates to Refuse a Job Offer?

The following are the reasons why you should refuse a job offer even if most of the aspects are favourable to your present and future needs.

1. Unsatisfactory Remuneration Policy

In the case of many job seekers, the primary cause behind searching for a job or switching a job is to get an attractive salary and benefits package. Even job seekers, for whom it is a secondary cause, treat remuneration as one of the major factors while evaluating various job offers or comparing an existing job with different potential job opportunities.

Consider all the components of a compensation plan, viz., base pay, commission/bonus, travel allowance, food allowance, perks, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, etc. If your job entails selling products or fixing appointments with clients on incentive or commission basis, you must ensure that the criteria for earning through variable pay are not too strict or impractical.

A discrepancy between the salary mentioned in the job posting and salary discussed during the interview or salary finalized during the interview and salary specified in the offer letter is a warning signal that should be taken seriously. In such a scenario, you can ask for more clarity to figure out whether it’s a lack of effective communication or honesty.

The fact that the proposed salary is higher than your previous or existing salary does not conclude that the salary is the best you can get. You need to check if it matches the industry standards. If your remuneration package is low, inquire about the timing and frequency of increment. You should not feel worried at all if you have to decline a job offer due to salary.

Decline a Job Offer

2. Job Role and Responsibilities

Just like uniformity in compensation, uniformity in the job role and responsibilities should also be present throughout the selection procedure. While some recruitment advertisements state duties to be fulfilled by the employee hired for the position clearly, some may not. The possibility that even though the job title or position is the same as your previous or existing job, the duties and tasks may vary significantly always exists.

So, it is in your best interest to gather maximum knowledge about your role and responsibilities by reading the advertisement and asking the interviewer. If the employer or hiring manager cannot provide straightforward answers to your questions, you must not join the organization even if you receive the offer letter.

In case, you find that the job title or designation mentioned in the offer letter differs from the one discussed during the telephonic and/or personal interview, you must obtain additional information. If you are not ready to learn new skills or tools required for conducting day-to-day activities, you should reject the job opportunity.

3. Qualities of the Hiring Manager

Numerous studies have proved that a large part of the workforce in all kinds and sizes of organizations quit a job on encountering problems due to their manager or supervisor. You cannot ignore the fact that the success you can achieve in your new job depends notably on your higher authorities. If your manager, department head, team leader or supervisor has an amiable personality, you can work smoothly and share all your problems.

But if they have an unpleasant personality, you will face difficulty while discharging your duties and sharing your concerns. If you get a chance to meet your prospective manager at any stage of the recruitment process, try to decipher his personality from his way of interacting. If you feel comfortable and relaxed, it’s a positive sign. But, if you feel uncomfortable and nervous, you should give the job a miss.

You can find out existing employees who currently report to your prospective manager or supervisor for understanding the approach followed by him. Don’t ask direct questions, like “Is the manager strict?” or “Does he approve sick leave easily?” You should ask indirect questions, for example, “What are how your manager helps you to improve?”

If they find it hard to give some positive comments about their manager, you should look for other opportunities, especially, if you are not capable of dealing with difficult people. Having a manager who adopts a rigid approach towards working conditions, workplace systems, or performance evaluation can affect you badly in both the short run and the long run.

4. Unfavorable Terms & Conditions

Whether it’s a part-time job or a full-time job, you need to abide by several terms and conditions throughout your employment tenure. These terms and conditions are laid out in your offer letter, and at times, employers or hiring managers verbally inform the prospective employees as well. You should go through your physical or digital offer letter to know the rules you have to follow and the privileges you receive.

Generally, the terms and conditions of employment include the work hours and timings, types and numbers of leaves you will be entitled to, paid time off (PTO), holidays, vacation, dress code, timing and frequency of performance review, and reasons for termination. The way you feel about these terms and conditions will affect your level of commitment after you join the organization.

If you are not happy with the number of leaves or if you find the work timings unfavourable, you should think twice before deciding to join. Many times, potential employees come to know during the interview process that they might have to work overtime as the business is in its initial phase of growth or a particular project has to be delivered within tight deadlines.

In the past decade, it has been observed that employees in different parts of the world have started placing huge importance at workplace flexibility and work-life balance. If you are one of them, you need to find out in advance whether you will be allowed to work off-site during personal emergencies.

Decline a Job Offer

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5. Little or No Scope for Growth

Every individual aspires to grow their career for earning more monetary rewards and respect than before. Therefore, you need to ask about the prospects for growth during the interview itself. Some professionals seek vertical growth, whereas others seek horizontal growth. Irrespective of the growth pattern you wish to adopt in the future, you should have an unambiguous idea about your career graph.

The growth can be in terms of job title, salary & perks, and responsibilities, authority & accountability. You need to know which skills and software you will be able to learn in the future for improving your performance or securing higher positions in the company. You should also try to understand how the activities performed and the tools used can help you in your future endeavours.

You should be informed about a clearly defined career ladder before joining the organization. If you receive vague answers, like “don’t worry about it” or “it depends on how things go” on asking questions regarding scope for growth in the job, you should steer clear of the organization.

6. Beliefs and Reputation of The Company

You will be able to create a mutually beneficial association with an organization only if its goals, values, and ethos resonate with your personal goals, values, and beliefs. Having values and passion on the same lines as the organization can boost your efficiency remarkably. In the opposite case, you might not be able to show complete dedication towards your work.

We have explained this point with the help of an example – If you observe high moral standards, you will not like to work for a company that sells substandard or inferior quality products. Similarly, if you are an environmental enthusiast, you might not be comfortable working for a company that puts zero efforts into reducing their carbon footprint.

The vision, mission, and goals statement might be published on the website of a business, but no one can guarantee that it’s true to the core. Though the company might have enjoyed a great reputation earlier, if its current reputation is shady, you should stay away from it.

Falling share prices can be a sign of inefficient management, overdue loans can be a sign of financial crisis, and public outrage can be a sign of unethical activities or irresponsible behaviour. You should conduct a little bit of research about the company by speaking with former or existing employees. You can connect with the employees of a business through platforms like LinkedIn.

7. Hostile or Toxic Work Environment

While minor and subtle differences between the two workplaces should not be complained about, a major shift in working conditions and workplace environment can harm your productivity. The workplace environment can be broadly categorized into different types, for example, calm, casual, loud, fun, and more. The environment created at any workplace is a result of a multitude of internal and external factors.

From physical objects, such as furniture and lights to intangible aspects, like workstation set-up and management structure have an impact on the workplace environment. If your work involves creativity and imagination, you might require a peaceful environment. If your job is stressful, a noisy environment might help you forget stress for some time.

You can still consider working in an organization where the environment is widely different from the one you have experienced in your previous organization. But, you should never accept a job in an organization where the workplace environment is unfriendly, hostile or toxic. Try to assess the workplace environment before joining by observing the open & closed spaces, lighting, cleanliness, staff’s mood, and so on.

Toxic Work Culture

Image Credit – LinkedIn Pulse

8. Distant Location or Excessive Traveling

The location of the office plays a major role in the decision to join a new company as no one wants to waste a significant amount of time commuting to work every day. If the company you wish to join is located far away, you will have to spend time and money on commuting. On top of it, you will feel tired after reaching both office and home. Experiencing fatigue daily can take a toll on your professional as well as personal life.

While visiting the company for an interview, note down the distance and the time required for commuting. You should also check the public transportation options to determine the fastest way of reaching the office. If you don’t mind spending the time and cost involved in commuting every day, you should accept the job offer.

But, if you don’t feel comfortable, you should search for jobs in organizations that are located at a relatively small distance. Just like excessive travelling for reaching office seems burdensome, excessive travelling for performing the job duties also seems burdensome to many people. Inquire whether you need to travel frequently as a part of your job before accepting the offer letter.

9. Low Employee Retention Rate

Resignation is a common phenomenon in every company, but too frequent resignations indicate fishy circumstances. If you notice that the organization that has offered you a job publishes advertisement for the same job vacancy repeatedly, it can be a sign of a low employee retention rate. Employees quit the organization by experiencing unhappiness, discomfort, chronic stress, or hostility.

You can read the reviews of former employees on credible websites, like Glassdoor. You can even ask the former employees’ reasons for their resignation. Even though your job offer might be lucrative, you will not be able to work for a longer duration in the organization, if it doesn’t formulate and implement the strategies for retaining employees.

10. A Much Better Job Offer

Having another job offer which is much better in terms of job title, role & responsibilities, compensation package, or organization’s reputation is an extremely valid reason for rejecting a job offer. If the training plans, promotion opportunities, performance evaluation methods, or any other aspect seems convincing to you, you should not delay in accepting that other job offer.

Comparison on Scales


You should weigh all the pros and cons to select the best job offer possible and avoid making a regretful decision. If you cannot take the decision, listen to your gut instinct. Unless you are in a severe financial crisis, you should not accept the job offer that doesn’t excite you. If an offer letter has a date by which you need to respond, you should inform about your acceptance or rejection before or on that date.

Send a professional email for declining a job offer. Make sure that your email does not contain any grammatical errors. You should show gratitude to the employer by using sentences like “thank you for believing in me” or “I feel grateful for the chance you gave me”. State the reason for rejecting the job offer without sharing too many details.

If the reason is related to the negative point of the organization, for example, an unprofessional work environment, it’s best not to disclose it. If the reason for rejection is another job offer, you can keep the door open for future opportunities by mentioning “I will look forward to working with you in the future”. You can also refer someone you know for the vacancy. You should not spoil your relationship with the company or placement agency.


Written By
Abrons Dilan is a public relation executive at OPTnation. He is PR strategist and writer, with extensive professional management experience in the public and private sectors.

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