You seem nice, but this isn't the job for me
July 7, 2010 12:25 PM Subscribe
How does one gracefully back out of the job application process?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sending out a lot of applications lately. Some are for potential dream jobs, but some are just for gigs I think I'm qualified for that I'm interested in learning more about. Often, the job description is sufficiently vague or general that there's a lot I don't know about it unless and until they get in contact with me. Whenever I get a phone interview or other initial contact, I try to sound (and be) as enthusiastic and interested as I can. I don't want the search for a perfect job to be the enemy of getting an adequately good one.
It occasionally happens that after an initial phone interview, they explain more about the job, send a writing test, or otherwise ask me to interact with the product, and I figure out that I'm not a great fit for the job after all.
I don't really know how to back out of the interview/application process gracefully and without hurting feelings or burning bridges. I mean, I seemed enthusiastic during the first contact, so suddenly going, "Actually, no, nevermind" seems strange. I can't just say "Upon further perusal, I don't like your product." In the past, I've said I'm accepting another offer even when I'm not. I don't like to blatantly lie and I worry it could come back to bite me.
So what are the magic words to thank someone for their interest but not move forward with the process? Not my real name email address: firstname.lastname@example.org