What Are Some Good Reasons for Turning an Offer Down?

Two blurred businesspeople shaking hands in the background with a focus on a tablet, pen, and glasses in the foreground, symbolizing an offer rejection.

What advice would you share, especially for those who might be desperate for a new job but don’t want to make the wrong move?

Almost all hiring managers are turned off by prospective candidates that have shown frequent job changes, so the first reason to turn down an offer is that you have been in your current role less than 2 years or have had a series of short tenured positions. If your tenure in your current positions has been sufficient, then, your focus should be around the relative fit of the new job vs. the old job. 

In evaluating fit you need to answer two questions:

  • Does the new offer from the new organization fulfill your needs better than your current role? You need to be honest regarding what your real needs are that include more than compensation and include opportunity for personal growth, the type of organization culture that enables you to perform well, …
  • Does your offer as an individual fulfill the new organization’s needs better than your current organization?  You need to dig deep during the interview process to understand the true expectations of the new role and the skills required to execute in the role.  Additionally, determine if your “style”, the way you like operate and get things done is a fit for their culture. 

If the answer to either of these is NO, it’s a good reason to turn down the job.  Obviously, if the offer doesn’t fulfill your needs you should turn it down.  However, you should also turn down the job if your offer is not a fit for what they need.  This is especially true for the cultural fit element that is difficult to evaluate but is the main reason for job changes that fail.

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