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5 Reasons to say no to a job offer

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When you are looking for a new job, especially if you are out of work, it’s hard not to feel like you need to take whatever you get offered. 

The pressure to find a new job can cloud your judgement and push you into making the wrong decision.  However, it is important to remember that you don’t need to take a job just because it was offered.

For our latest Quarterly Employment Monitor, we asked jobseekers to give reasons they would turn down a job offer. Let’s take a look at a few of them, along with other reasons it’s okay to say no when you’re offered a new role.

First impressions

The most common answer on the survey was ‘a bad first impression of the company’. This is a factor a lot of jobseekers ignore. You’re so caught up in the tension of preparing for the interview and making a good first impression that you forget that the recruitment process is a two-way street. Every placement needs to be a good fit for both parties, so don’t be afraid to assess your potential employer.


The same goes for your connection with the hiring manager. Many jobseekers will come out of an interview thinking ‘I didn’t like the interviewer’ but continue with the process as if they’re never going to meet that person again. If you get the job, you will have to work with that hiring manager every single day – don’t ignore the chemistry you (don’t) have with them.

Social Media chatter

In the past you could only find out about things like working environment, training and career progression after you started a new job; and only realise a mistake when it’s too late. Now, however, social media and sites like can give you an insight to a potential employer before you decide to take the offer. Make sure to review these channels as part of your research but be critical in your review of comments on any employer. Remember that unhappy employees are far more likely to post online comments than people who are happy in their work.

The offer isn’t right

Don’t assume that there is no room for manoeuvre in a job offer. If you’re not happy with the salary or conditions on offer you have every right to discuss them. It’s also perfectly reasonable to reject an offer that doesn’t meet your needs. Just make sure that you are realistic about how much you are worth and keep the conversation friendly – it’s no good getting the conditions oyu want if you’ve alienated colleagues before you’ve started.

It’s not the right job for you

Finally, don’t be afraid to change your mind on a job offer. You will spend around 90,000 hours of your life at work; it’s important that you want to be there. Assess each job offer on its own merits and make sure to consider the environment and culture as well as the salary and benefits. The perfect job for you is out there; don’t be afraid to look for it.

Read the full Employment Monitor.

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