One of the most exciting things in your professional life is receiving an offer for a new job opportunity and accepting it. However, sometimes you might second guess your decision, and decide the job is not the right fit for you. If that happens, you need to know there is a professional way for you to decline the job offer you already accepted. In this article, we are going to help you with that, looking into the following questions: What are the most common reasons for declining a job offer you already accepted? How to professionally decline a job offer you already accepted? And we are going to leave you off with a great template and an example to prepare you to professionally decline the job offer you already accepted. So, if you are ready, let’s dive in. Common reasons for declining a job offer you already accepted No matter how well you plan your file, it sometimes happens for things to be out of your control. Let’s take a look at the 4 most common reasons for declining a job offer you already accepted. Personal reasons One of the most common reasons for declining a job offer, even if it is your dream job, is something unexpected in your personal life. The possible reasons here are countless, but here are a few examples: Family emergency Sudden health decline Relocation to a different city No matter the personal reason, the employer would most likely understand that you turned the job down out of necessity. Unsatisfactory conditions In today’s job market, it is possible for the process to move along faster than you can digest it. In that case, you might receive a job offer just a few days after your interview, and before you had the chance to really think about it. And noone would blame you if you just accept it in the thrill of the moment. However, when you give it a thought over the next few days, you might find that: The position is not as great as it seemed when you accepted it The work environment does not suit your preferences The work shifts are not what you feel comfortable with You would prefer a flexible working time, but the company does not offer one The job would require you to relocate to a different city, but you are not ready to do so The company would disturb your work-life balance When considering these separately, they don’t seem like deal-breakers, but as long as they start piling up, you know it is time to professionally decline the job offer. Unsatisfactory compensation Even if you are perfectly satisfied with the job offer and all your future responsibilities in your role, there is still one potential deal-breaker – if the company can’t or is unwilling to provide you with a competitive salary. They might try to compensate with a great benefit package, but noone would blame you if you start doubting whether you should decline the job offer, even after initially accepting it. After all, no matter how much the job fits you, you can’t be expected to work with unsatisfactory compensation. Receiving a better offer from another employer If you are actively looking for a new job, you might find yourself in one tough situation – you have received and accepted a job offer, but then a better one comes along from another company you interviewed for. However, no matter how awkward it might be to decline the first offer for a better one, it is an absolutely valid move on your side. How to professionally decline a job offer you already accepted? No matter how hard it might seem to decline a job offer you already accepted, there is a way to do it professionally, and to do so, you need to follow just a few quick steps. Think it through before you act Before declining the job offer you already accepted, you need to be a 100% certain that you can’t or don’t want to take the job. Once you decline the offer, there is no going back, and the offer is gone forever. Declining the job offer you already accepted can also negatively impact your chances of being considered for future positions in the company. That’s why you need to carefully consider all the pros and cons of the situation, and only after that take the final decision and act on it. Carefully read your contact If you have signed any document regarding the job offer and your acceptance of it, you need to take a minute and carefully go through the documents. Some contracts state that you only have a specific window of time during which you can reject the job offer you have accepted. You need to consider this, and just to be safe – check with a lawyer to make sure you will not suffer any legal consequences of rejecting the job. However, if you have not signed any legal document, and have just received a verbal offer, you are in the clear. Do it quick Even though you should carefully consider the position and read any documents you have signed, you also need to act quickly. The sooner you notify your employer that you are declining the job offer, the better chances there are that they will respect your decision. Furthermore, they will likely need to find a replacement for the position you had an offer for, so they will really appreciate you notifying them early. Be honest and concise In this case, it is really important for you to make your reasoning for declining the job offer short and honest. Don’t go into too much detail, but make sure you provide them with the actual reason for your decision. However, you need to remember that you should never say anything negative about their company. Express your gratitude Last but not least, make sure you express your gratitude for being offered the position in the employer’s company. Make sure you outline everything you liked about their company, and overall keep a positive tone. You would want to leave things off on good terms, as you never know if you might want to work with them in the future. Template for professionally declining a job offer you already accepted And now, as promised, let’s check out a template for professionally declining a job offer you already accepted. Example for professionally declining a job offer you already accepted And now, let’s see the template in action with one great example. Takeaways We are all done, now you know how to professionally decline a job offer after you already accepted. Let’s go through all the important steps you need to take one more time: Think it through before you act – make sure you are certain in your decision, as you can’t change it back Carefully read your contract – if you have signed any documents, go through them carefully, or consult a lawyer to make sure that you will not suffer any legal consequences of rejecting the job Do it quick – contact the employer as soon as you have reached your final decision, they will appreciate you contacting them as soon as possible, as they would most likely have to find a replacement for you Be honest and concise – make sure you provide a brief and honest reasoning for your decision Express your gratitude – show the employer that you are grateful for the offer, and outline all the things you like about their company Check out our template and example for professionally declining a job offer you already accepted, and prepare your own whenever you need it.
Going through job interviews, you will encounter many different questions. One of the most challenging ones is the prompt from the interviewer “Sell me this pen”. You will most likely encounter it if you are applying for a sales position, but it might also come out of the blue. It might seem scary at first, but if you are well-prepared, you can nail it. In this article, we are going to help you get there by exploring the following questions: Why do recruiters want you to “Sell them this pen”? What is the best approach to “Sell me this pen”? And once we have these answers, we will wrap things up with some great example answers to get you started. So, if it all sounds good, let’s dive in. Why do recruiters want you to “Sell them this pen”? It will not be a surprise to you that the recruiter does not actually want you to sell them a pen, but rather to evaluate some critical skills for positions like sales and marketing. The question is not so much about the pen, so don’t focus on it. It is all about your approach. Your answers primarily shows whether you can sell, and what sales strategies you use. But that’s not all, recruiters also get some essential information about skills like: How convincing you are Your ability to think on your feet Your communication abilities The question might not be about a pen, but rather about an apple, or anything else around you, but the thing you need to remember is that you need to show your sales technique, rather than talking about the pen. Best approach to “Sell me this pen” Now that you understand why recruiter want you to “sell them this pen”, it is time to learn what is the best way to do so. You can nail your answer in just a few simple steps. Don’t decline to answer You might feel uncomfortable answering this questions, or you might not feel like showcasing your skill set, but refusing to answer is absolutely not an option. This question is as important for you, as it is for the interviewer, and you need to take it seriously. You need to show them that you are comfortable as a salesperson, and that you are willing to sell anything. Show you are optimistic and enthusiastic When you start your answer, make sure you present the product in an enthusiastic and optimistic matter. You need to ensure that both your voice and your facial expressions show that, as these are just as important as the words you are going to use. If you feel comfortable about it, you can also include some gestures to reinforce your belief in the product’s value. Consider the customer’s needs What you need to remember to nail your answer is that you would not want to sell a pen to someone who doesn’t want a pen. However, that does not mean that you should just give up. Instead, you need to consider the customer’s needs in order to figure out how they would decide they want it. To get the best out of your answer, you should first start with asking a few initial questions to get to know the customer and decide on the best approach. Here are a few questions you can ask to get you started: What excites the customer about the pen? Why would you be talking to the customer in the first place? What would be a deal-breaker for the customer? What are the biggest pain points for the customer? Once you have all that initial information, you can decide on a sales approach and figure out the best way to reach the desired outcome – buying a pen. Be prepared for refusals What you need to remember is that not every time you sell something, you would be able to finish the sale. And it is possible that the interviewer would choose to go in that direction, and say that they don’t want the pen. However, that does not mean that you should give up right away. There are a variety of reasons why they might not want the pen, including: They don’t know how much they need it They don’t understand the price structure, and think they can’t afford it They might not like the color or the design You need to make sure they understand it all, and always be prepared with similar options in different styles to offer. But, if after all that the customer still does not want the pen, you need to be prepared to take no for an answer. Create urgency One last trick you can use to convince the customer to buy the pen is to create urgency and tell them they have to act now, or the opportunity might be gone forever. After creating the urgency, you would also want to add in some special offer or time-sensitive deal, so that they have to act fast. Example answers for “Sell me this pen” And now that you know everything needed to “Sell the recruiter this pen”, it is time to check out some great example to get you started on your own answer. Example 1Example 2Takeaways We are all done, now you know how to nail your answer when prompted to “sell this pen” during an interview. Let’s go through all the important steps you need to take, to make sure you’ve got everything right: Don’t decline to answer – no matter how you feel about the question, you are being asked to “sell this pen” for a reason, and the worst thing you can do is decline to do so. Show you are optimistic and enthusiastic – you need to show the interviewer that you are happy to offer them the pen, not only with your words, but also with your voice and gestures Consider the customer’s needs – try to learn more about the customer with some initial questions, and pick the right sales strategy to get them to want the pen Be prepared for refusals – not every sale ends successfully, but before giving up, make sure you explain everything to the customer. However, if their answer is still a “no”, you should be prepared to take it Create urgency – try to intrigue the customer by offering them a time-limited deal, and also sweeten the deal with some special offer they would only get now. Take one more look at our example answers for “sell me this pen”, and prepare your own for your next job interview.
Do you enjoy being put on the spot and asked uncomfortable questions? Great, then you’ll love when the interviewer asks, “What could this company do better?” But, if you’re like most people, when the interviewer asks this question, you’ll be sweating bullets trying to think of a good answer. Let’s face it, they’re basically asking you to point out their company’s shortcomings. Some other ways they might ask the same question include: What do you think we could do better? What would you do differently if this were your company? How do you think you could improve our company if we hired you? Luckily, with some simple preparation, you can show you’ve done your homework on their business, understand the industry, and highlight your skills. Let’s see how you can plan a delicate and professional answer to hits those marks. In this article, we: Discuss why recruiters ask you, “What could this company do better?” Show you step-by-step how to answer this question. Include 5 examples of great answers to the " What could this company improve?” interview question. Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to prepare for your next interview or any other career steps you’re thinking about. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us to start navigating your career path with ease. Why do recruiters ask, "what do you think this company could do better?” There are two main reasons hiring managers ask this question. Both offer you an opportunity to impress them. First, they want to know more about you. They’re reading between your answer's lines to see what you’re like and how you might fit into their company culture. Depending on your answer, they may decide you have tact and excellent communication skills or that you’re condescending and full of yourself. Worded correctly, you can show genuine interest in their business instead of coming across as a know-it-all they don’t want on their team. Second, they want to know what you think of the company. After all, they’re considering hiring you because they believe you understand something about their business, so they stand to gain from your insights. What is the best approach to answer "what do you think this company could do better?” Because you’re being asked to point out flaws in the company you’re interviewing for, this question can be uncomfortable and a minefield. No sweat, right? Follow these simple steps to plan an answer that impresses the recruiter: 1. Do your research The only way you’re going to be able to put together a good answer is if you research the company in advance. You’ll need an idea of how they operate and fit into the industry to give an answer that impresses the recruiter. Look online or reach out to your network to gather information about the business’s products, revenue, image, goals, market, employees, competition and reputation. These areas will give you an idea of where they might come up short. 2. Be specific Use what you learned about the company to identify specific aspects about it you admire and others you’d suggest changing. If the recruiter asks you this question, they want you to give them a concrete answer, not beat around the bush with a vague one. 3. Consider the company values Companies operate differently from one another, and you want your answer to align with their values and goals. Because your personal mission statement will differ from their corporate mission, look into the company’s values to suggest improvements they’d actually be interested in. The reverse of this is also true, which is another reason to research the company. It would be best if you don’t make suggestions that go against the company values since that would be a red flag that you won't fit in there. 4. Start with a positive Lead with a relevant complement to frame your answer in a positive light. This shows the recruiter that you know your stuff and can give constructive criticism without coming across as one-sided and negative. 5. Be critical (to a point) Based on what you learned about the company, describe one specific thing about them you would do differently. But remember, you’re being judged on how you approach this answer, not just the content, so offer your insights without going on about them. 6. Bring it back to you Once you’ve answered their question, shift to how you could help make those changes. Moving the focus to you ensures you aren’t too negative about the company. It also puts you ahead of the competition by letting you pinpoint some of your strengths. Use this opportunity to tell the recruiter precisely what sets you apart. Answering this question is one piece of the puzzle. If you’re unsure about another aspect of your job interview, look over the best of our expert advice on the most common questions we get to ace your interview. Example answers to, "what do you think this company could do better?” These examples follow our steps of starting with something positive, moving on to moderate criticism, and then highlighting how your skills could help. Adapt these answers or craft one yourself that follows these basic rules. Example 1 – Updating outreach This answer is perfect if you’re interviewing for a role in marketing, HR, or any management level. It shows you’ve done your homework on the company and points the recruiter toward a valuable skill that makes you a unique candidate. Example 2 – Transition period There’s always a transition period when a company goes through changes. That’s a perfect time to show potential employers you have the soft skills they need to help them build a strong workforce. Example 3 – Sales Recruiters love to hear that you’ve used their products because it shows that the company is more to you than just a paycheck. This answer also demonstrates how your insights as a customer and employee offer them a unique opportunity. Example 4 - New to the industry Sometimes you don’t have years of experience to fall back on, but that shouldn’t limit how much you can impress a recruiter. This answer shows that despite being new to the industry, you’ve done your due diligence in looking into them. Even more, it shows you have the humility and confidence to admit when you don’t have the answer. Example 5 – Social motivation This answer demonstrates so many levels a recruiter will love to see. It shows your interest and knowledge in the company, your motivation to support its values and your interest in being with it for long-term growth. Takeaways Lean into specific opportunities to improve the company; the recruiter doesn’t want you to avoid this question with a vague answer. Research the company’s products, revenue, image, goals, market, employees, competition and reputation to craft an informed answer. Start with something positive, present a shortcoming, and then offer to use your skills to solve it. The recruiter is judging how you’ll fit into their team, so the goal is to sound knowledgeable without coming across as a know-it-all. Moderate your answer by moving quickly from constructive criticism to offering a solution. We’ve helped 1000+ people like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help in the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or negotiating compensation, we’ve got experts ready to help you strategize your next move.
Were you let go from your last job? Not sure what to say in your next job interview when the interviewer asks you about it? You’re not alone. We get this question a lot, so we’ll take you step-by-step through the best way to answer it. If you’ve ever been laid off or fired, you’ll probably need to explain that situation to a potential employer in the future. Because this can be such an uncomfortable question, and, let’s be honest, a deal-breaker, you need to prepare your answer. In this article, we: Explain why recruiters ask you about having been fired. Show you the best approach to answering when you’re asked, “why were you fired from your previous job?” Include 5 examples of great answers to tackle this tricky interview question. Preparing for your job interview is one of the most critical steps in reaching your career goals. Use our career counseling service to get ready for your next interview or any other career steps you’re thinking about. We’ve helped thousands of people succeed in their job search, prep for interviews, negotiate the details of their contracts, and otherwise hit their career targets. Get in touch with us if you want to do a deep dive on how to succeed in interviews or if you're curious about other ways to navigate your career path better. Why do recruiters ask "why were you fired from your previous job”? There’s no mystery here. There are two straightforward reasons why recruiters ask this question. First, to learn what happened Naturally, the employer wants to get the basic facts about what led to your termination. A good recruiter will want to get at least your side of the story before deciding whether you’d be a good fit for their team. In many cases, people are let go for internal company issues beyond their control, and almost as often because it’s a poor fit or some other valid reason. Recruiters are on the lookout for cases when a person was fired for something that reflects poorly on their character or work habits. Second, to see how you dealt with it A recruiter also wants to see how you reacted when faced with one of the most challenging situations anyone will ever face on the job. Some people handle it with poise and grow from it; others freak out, make a ton of noise, and point fingers. Taking responsibility for the situation, looking at ways to improve yourself in light of it, or doing other work to learn from it all demonstrate professionalism and personal growth. These are great qualities that a recruiter will be impressed to find in you! If you need to do a deep dive with an outsider who can be objective (but kind) about why you were fired and how you can learn from it, connect with one of our career counselors. We’ll work one-on-one with you to find the best path forward from a termination, no matter why or when it happened. The best approach to answering "why were you fired from your previous job?” There’s no way to sugarcoat it; of all the tricky questions that tend to come up in job interviews, this might be the toughest one. Use the following steps to plan your explanation for why you were fired from your last job. 1. Be honest The recruiter knows there are two sides to the story, and they really do want to hear yours; you wouldn’t be in the interview otherwise. This is your chance to show them your soft skills including integrity and honesty. Always be honest about why you were let go. There are so many reasons this might have happened, so give the recruiter the most objective explanation you can for it, and the rest of your answer will come naturally. And remember, just like you should research the company you’re interviewing with, they will look into you. There’s a good chance they may contact your previous employer to verify your story, so be sure you’re not making anything up or hiding any major details. 2. K.I.S.S. Maybe you’ve heard this before: Keep It Simple, Silly (or maybe something meaner!) While the recruiter wants to know what happened, and you want to tell the truth, nobody wants you rambling on, making excuses and explaining everything away. Present the basic facts and keep your answer as short and sweet as you can while still making sense. Don’t think you need to include every detail. And remember, there’s a difference between being honest and shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t offer information the recruiter didn’t ask for or doesn’t need - that extra detail might lose you the job. 3. Stay professional The word integrity keeps coming up. You want to show the recruiter you have the integrity to speak respectfully about your former employer. When you’re explaining what happened, staying calm and positive is important. Don’t say anything negative about your previous employer. Remember, the person interviewing you is reading into your explanation. They’re seeing whether and how you’ll fit on their team, and you definitely won’t if they hear you bashing your last one. 4. Emphasize the positive Showing the recruiter what you learn from past experiences is critical to turning this potential pitfall question into a goldmine for you. The interviewer will love seeing how you took responsibility for your part in the situation and used it to improve professionally. Start by accepting responsibility for any mistakes and explaining how you might have done things differently in retrospect. If it applies, either emphasize steps you've taken to keep it from happening again or work you’ve put in to overcome shortcomings in your training or experience. Showing the potential employer that you’ve turned a bad situation into a growth opportunity presents you as a valuable addition instead of a liability. And if you can build your answer using the STAR method, you can completely turn this question around and make it a win for yourself. 5. Promote yourself Turning this question around to highlight your positives is where we’ve been directing ourselves the whole time. Once you’ve gone over the basic details and presented yourself as self-aware and motivated to improve yourself, it’s time to take control. Practice pivoting the conversation to the value you present for the company. And to clarify, I mean literally practice this out loud in front of a mirror or to your bestie over and over again. On the one hand, pivoting the conversation keeps the focus on your past problems or shortcomings as brief as possible. On the other hand, it refocuses the conversation to how you’ll help the company because your skills and experience suit the role they need filled. We know this is a sticky question, but there’s no way around it: if you were fired, you’ll have to explain why. If you’re not sure about your answer to this question, contact us for one-on-one help planning and practicing your answer, it’s too important to leave it to chance. And if you have any other questions, we’ve put together the best of our expert advice on the most common interview questions to help you ace your interview. Example answers to "this question?” Example 1 - Taking accountability This answer tells the employer that you’ve acknowledged your role in the termination, reflected on why it happened, and learned how to improve your work habits from it. By taking responsibility instead of being defensive, you prove your professionalism and come across as a model employee. Example 2 - Promoting yourself Like we said, once you briefly explain why you were let go, turn the conversion toward the ways you’re a good fit for the current opportunity. This takes a bit of research on the company and role in advance, which you should be doing anyhow, but it will pay dividends if you can shift the focus to your positives instead of your previous shortcomings. Example 3 - Being positive This response heaps praise on your former workplace and shoulders the responsibility for the events that led to you being let go. You take accountability, but also show you were a committed employee, all while staying positive about your former employer. This level of respect for what turned into a bad situation shows that you’re the kind of employee they can trust to make positive contributions in the workplace and who’ll work toward positive interactions with them going forward. Example 4 - Show how you learned from it Offering concrete examples of how you’ve worked to improve the problems you encountered in your last role proves that you’re a motivated and ambitious employee. These are desirable but not-so-common characteristics that the recruiter will love seeing in you. Example 5 - Being the bigger person The reality is that not every work environment is a good fit for every employee. Recruiters know this, and they’re always looking to make sure there’s a good fit between their company culture and the people they hire. Showing the recruiter you accept responsibility for your part in a situation that was caused by something out of your control demonstrates strength of character. Takeaways If you were fired from a recent job, chances are you’ll be asked about it in your next interview. This can be a very uncomfortable question, and it’s critical you prepare and practice your answer in advance. Recruiters want to see that you’ve taken responsibility for your part in the termination and learned from it. Always be respectful and positive where you can about your past employer - never be negative or disrespectful about them. Keep your answers short and to the point, and explain what you learned from the situation. Turn the conversation to your selling points as quickly as you can once you’ve explained what happened. We’ve helped 1000+ people just like you find success in the hiring process through our career counseling service. Whether you need help on the job search stage, prepping for interviews, or while you’re trying to negotiate your compensation, we’ve got experts who are ready to give you advice and help you strategize your next move.