Declining to continue Interview Process

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investingdad
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Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by investingdad » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:24 am

I'm looking for some feedback on the best way to decline a second interview without burning bridges or leaving negative impressions.

I spoke with a company a couple of weeks ago and came away from the interview process feeling pretty good with how things went. It's a company that I could see myself working for. In the mean time, things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search.

As it turns out, I made a good impression on the company I spoke with as they want me to come in for a second interview. I need to decline at this point but do so in such a way that if our paths cross again they'd want to talk to me. Also, my employer and the one I spoke with transact with each other as well (no conflicts of interest or anything like that), so it really behooves me to handle this as professionally as possible. When I interviewed, I was honest about why I was interviewing and did not know at the time that my current employment situation would do such a huge, positive about-face.

So I appreciate the advice on what to tell the HR person as they've asked when I'm free to come back in.
Last edited by investingdad on Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

mak1277
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by mak1277 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:27 am

Seems as simple as telling them that things at your current employer have changed. You appreciate the opportunity to meet with them but at this point it's best for you to stay where you are for [reason].

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rob
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by rob » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:28 am

I'm sorry but I have accepted an alternate position, so please remove my name from consideration (next time stop dragging your feet) - but without that last part :D
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

larryinnewyork
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by larryinnewyork » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:28 am

So I appreciate the advice on what to tell the HR person as they've asked when I'm free to come back in.

When you speak with the Interviewer, read what you posted here.
It sounded sincere and logical.

desiderium
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by desiderium » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:30 am

I would share your recent good fortune with the HR person. Who knows, they may want to interview you anyway. If they do, go for it. Competitive offers can only help you.

ResearchMed
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:05 am

larryinnewyork wrote:So I appreciate the advice on what to tell the HR person as they've asked when I'm free to come back in.

When you speak with the Interviewer, read what you posted here.
It sounded sincere and logical.
This ^

IMHO, you've already phrased it very well:

Something like,

"Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss [name of position] with you on [date]. I was extremely interested in discussing this further with you [assuming true?].
However....


"... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ..."

This would seem to work very well at both "almost new" and "current" employer, which is especially important if they interact.

IF "word gets back", then current employer will know they "almost lost you, but making the working conditions better made the difference".
And you aren't burning bridges at the new prospect, should things change in the future.

Congratulations on the promotion/raise/whatever-has-improved at your current job!

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dolphinsaremammals
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:07 am

mak1277 wrote:Seems as simple as telling them that things at your current employer have changed. You appreciate the opportunity to meet with them but at this point it's best for you to stay where you are for [reason].
This.

Not this, which burns bridges and is rude even with the last part not said:
rob wrote:I'm sorry but I have accepted an alternate position, so please remove my name from consideration (next time stop dragging your feet) - but without that last part :D

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Boglenaut
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by Boglenaut » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:12 am

investingdad wrote: It's a company that I could see myself working for. In the mean time, things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search.
I would just tell them what you told us above. It is honest, reflects positively on them, and also shows you are reasonable when working with your current employer.

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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by retiredjg » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:28 am

The HR person only needs to know that your situation has changed and you are no longer seeking a position at their place of employment.

It sounds like you want to communicate something to the interviewer as well. Would it be outside protocol to do that by email/note/phone? If not, then this part sums up all you need to say:
It's a company that I could see myself working for. In the mean time, things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search.

DDMP20
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by DDMP20 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:19 am

I think it would be perfectly reasonable to be honest with the company that you interviewed and tell them that things hvae drastically improved with your curent employer and you're no longer seeking employment. Thank them again for their time and consideration.

The thing is that no there is no one type of approach that fits all situations when dealing with potential employers, interviews, HR etc etc. What you may say to one person at one company may seem prefectly reasonable and professional to you and the person you're saying it to but another person at another company may take issue with what you've told them for some reason. People are funny like that.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by Epsilon Delta » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:28 am

Apparently a lot of people think employers are very thin skinned.

When I've been on the hiring side the only thing that would burn bridges* was not telling me when he was no longer interested. Stringing things along after that point would waste my time and could have a knock on effect on other candidates.

* Well I suppose he could swear at me, but let's assume some social graces.

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rob
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by rob » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:40 am

dolphinsaremammals wrote: Not this, which burns bridges and is rude even with the last part not said:
rob wrote:I'm sorry but I have accepted an alternate position, so please remove my name from consideration (next time stop dragging your feet) - but without that last part :D
I disagree... The question was looking for a professional way of turning down the interview. I deal with this a bit and I don't need a story when someone drops out. A business like response is certainly not burning anything when I hear it - although might make me wish I was able to move faster if I thought they were the right candidate.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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goingup
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by goingup » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:49 am

ResearchMed wrote: "Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss [name of position] with you on [date]. I was extremely interested in discussing this further with you [assuming true?].
However....


"... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ..."
RM
This. The tone is good and provides enough info so they'll understand why you're declining.

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hornet96
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by hornet96 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:00 am

Did your current employer get wind that you might be a flight risk? Seems like it might be more than coincidental that things suddenly and "unexpectedly turned for the good" at the same time you were interviewing elsewhere.

The reason I bring this up is that I've seen this happen time and time again. The employee stays where he's at, thinking things will finally get better, only to soon discover that the purported improvements were really just empty promises.

I don't know if this might be the case in your situation, but is worth thinking about.

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8foot7
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by 8foot7 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:01 am

I would be honest about your good fortune, but also see if they want to continue interviewing. Could be worth some $$.

investingdad
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by investingdad » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:17 am

hornet96 wrote:Did your current employer get wind that you might be a flight risk? Seems like it might be more than coincidental that things suddenly and "unexpectedly turned for the good" at the same time you were interviewing elsewhere.

The reason I bring this up is that I've seen this happen time and time again. The employee stays where he's at, thinking things will finally get better, only to soon discover that the purported improvements were really just empty promises.

I don't know if this might be the case in your situation, but is worth thinking about.
Nope, no chance of that at all. I'd rather not post too much information but I can categorically state that the things that have changed for the good affect quite a few people, not just me. The workplace environment was never bad, but there were unknowns. Those unknowns have now been fully resolved, announced, and approved at the top levels of management. We've effectively moved into the free and clear.

minneapples
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by minneapples » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:18 am

I would also consider saying (if it is true; it seems from your post like perhaps it is) that you have a very favorable impression of the company (insert specifics here) and would certainly welcome an opportunity to work with them in the future if the timing or circumstances are right.

I once turned down a cold call for a job interview/application with the director of an employer that I think very highly of, but the position was not the right fit for me at the time or for my long-term professional development. That was the thing I really tried to stress -- I'm flattered you would think of me, I'd certainly welcome the opportunity to work with you in the future, in a position that was a better fit for my expertise. The director seemed surprised but also pleased that I knew enough about the company (niche industry) to know what would or would not be a good fit there, and I certainly hope I didn't burn that bridge!

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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by KlangFool » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:31 am

goingup wrote:
ResearchMed wrote: "Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss [name of position] with you on [date]. I was extremely interested in discussing this further with you [assuming true?].
However....


"... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ..."
RM
This. The tone is good and provides enough info so they'll understand why you're declining.
goingup,

<< ... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ...">>

I would not say this since it might be considered as releasing proprietary information.

<<Work condition had changed that I am no longer pursuing a new position. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search. As for the detail, I am not at a liberty to discuss.

KlangFool

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nisiprius
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by nisiprius » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:13 am

I think the essence of courtesy here is the act itself: letting them know... as early as possible so they can get on with scheduling other candidates... and that within very broad limits the exact form of the words used is not hugely important.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:13 pm

KlangFool wrote:
goingup wrote:
ResearchMed wrote: "Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss [name of position] with you on [date]. I was extremely interested in discussing this further with you [assuming true?].
However....


"... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ..."
RM
This. The tone is good and provides enough info so they'll understand why you're declining.
goingup,

<< ... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ...">>

I would not say this since it might be considered as releasing proprietary information.

<<Work condition had changed that I am no longer pursuing a new position. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search. As for the detail, I am not at a liberty to discuss.

KlangFool
Ah... I interpreted the wording to be specific to OP, and not the company itself.

But your point is very important.

If there is ANY reason that someone could interpret these words as "about the company itself" (such as, it's the reality!), then - and even "just in case" - how about something more like:

"... my current work situation has changed in a positive way, and I am no longer pursuing a new position..."

It probably wouldn't hurt to include something along the lines above about "... perhaps at some future time..."

Question: IF a much better offer came along would you consider leaving current job? (Just in case this actually happens...)

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Watty
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by Watty » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:36 pm

I agree with just telling them what you posted.

Since they have close contact with your employer they will likely soon know of the changes if they don't already.

epitomist
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by epitomist » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:46 pm

Why not go on the second interview and see if your good fortune turns even more positive?

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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by Fallible » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:45 pm

epitomist wrote:Why not go on the second interview and see if your good fortune turns even more positive?
Agree. It seems there would be nothing to lose by doing so.
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by fposte » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:15 pm

goingup wrote:
ResearchMed wrote: "Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss [name of position] with you on [date]. I was extremely interested in discussing this further with you [assuming true?].
However....


"... things at my current employer took an unexpected turn for the good. The issues that were driving me to look outside not only resolved, but resolved in a completely unexpected and positive way. As of this time, there's no reason whatsoever to continue my job search . ..."
RM
This. The tone is good and provides enough info so they'll understand why you're declining.
This sounds a little lengthy on the personal to me, but I agree with nisiprius that the point is to notify them ASAP rather than with the perfect wordage. And I can assure you that I've never, when hiring, paid a whole lot of attention to the wording of a withdrawal from consideration, and they happen all the time. This isn't standing anybody up.

anonyvestor
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by anonyvestor » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:45 pm

I would not go for a second interview, but let them know promptly.

I might add that the your own work environment has opened up new opportunities - just so they don't get the impression that you were not sincere in your interest in the new job, but only fishing for leverage with your current employer.

obgraham
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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by obgraham » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:56 pm

I don't see how any of these longer explanations would be risk free.

I'd prefer just "my circumstances have changed, and I thank you for your consideration".

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Re: Declining to continue Interview Process

Post by frequentT » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:09 am

Whatever you say, surround it with lots of compliments and praise for target company, its business, and all of the people that you spoke to. Be sure to write thank you letters to all the key people you encountered. Many of these folks will be industry contacts, or even colleagues in the future. Become a believer in the 'small world theory'. People or friends of people you meet often recycle back into your business life :happy

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