Rejecting accepted offer.


Hi Guys,

I was wondering whether anyone had any experience/advice regarding what to do if you’re wanting to rescind an offer that you’ve already accepted. I think I may be in the position where I need to do this, but I’m really worried about a.) pissing off the firm b.) any legal consequences c.) affecting my future potential with them.

Although it’s a legal contract, I doubt they’ll want to be taking me to court or anything because there’s nothing really in it for them; I’ve not accrued any skills or anything, and am not really that valuable to them.

Also, i’ve been told that recruiters in the same industry talk, and that it can affect ones “repuation” - does anyone know whether there’s any truth in this?

I’d appreciate any help as I’m really worried about the potential implications of this,




There are hundreds of other good applicants who will replace you. Graduates are 10 a penny. Don’t worry. If you were at CEO level then you need to worry about your industry reputation.
You must look after yourself and if you have a better offer, then be honest and tell the firm you are now going to decline. It will give them an opportunity to review things from their perspective. Maybe they could have worked harder to make you an offer you didn’t want to subsequently reject.
BTW why are you changing your mind?


Thanks for your reply.

Yea, I mean it’s just that I’ve technically accepted the contract and so I can understand why they’d get so annoyed about it - I’d have no qualms about just rejecting an offer without having accepted it beforehand! True what you say about being ten -a-penny though, and I believe they’re still recruiting into that dept, so the marginal cost of replacing one is pretty low. I suppose I just feel a bit bad as it’s obviously bad etiquette, but I guess that’s not good enough reason to start my career somewhere that I don’t want to be!

It’s nothing to do with the firm, in fact I really liked them - it’s just that I’ve realised I don’t want to be in the division that I originally applied for.



Mm. Do they have a division that would interest you and could they consider transferring your offer?
I hope you have another offer and are not going to end up with no job to go to? That is a bit risky in today’s economic climate.
I think you perhaps should talk to them. If they liked you enough to offer you a job then they may be keen to keep you, albeit in another division.



I agree with tutor, I don’t think they’ll mind too much. Obviously be apologetic and I’m sure they’ll understand. I would talk to them about your reasons though, they might be able to help as they obviously really liked you! I’m in a similar position although I was never officially sent a contract. I was told to wrote a letter of acceptance, which I did, but subsequently found another position which interested me more. Not sure if that means I have to tell them or not, as they still haven’t sent me the official contract.

I do find it difficult sometimes as all offers have to be accepted within 2-3 weeks generally, while applicants are still half way through other selection processes. It is difficult not to let someone down while still trying to do what’s best for yourself.

Good luck!

I’m sure it’ll be fine!


All the firms have to set timetables/deadlines for all stages of the recruitment process. For the vast majority, these deadlines work, but , as I have said before if the deadline for acceptance is causing issues, phone HR and usually they will extend the date without a second thought.
Try it. HR are human.


Yea that’s exactly it - the recruitment cycle is so long (in some areas) and it’s impossible to have all your offers at the same time, (assuming you’re lucky enough to get some offers!)

They do have a similar division, and that’s what I’m planning on discussing first, but I expect that it’s not going to be easy to make the switch. I would have to had extended my deadline by at least twice the original time given, so that wasn’t really feasible - but I agree, it’s always a good idea to do that if possible.

thanks for the help guys.


I’m in the same tricky position. Have verbally accepted an offer for a medium sized company in Manchester and am now not sure if it is the right company for me to train with. They have sent me a contract and I should return it shortly but still have 3 other interviews lined up. I am loathe to sign the contract and then decline but if this is the only offer I am going to get this year maybe I should not be so picky.
It is a difficult decision as I really don’t want to muck them about and feel that I cant extend the time any longer.
I realise that they would fill the position quite quickly, does anyone feel it is totally unethical to accept and then decline ?


I think you should just ring them and ask for a couple more weeks to think about it.
Threy’ll probably say “fine” without bothering. Thery know perfectly well that all graduates are juggling interviews and offers so don’t think you’re unique.
Don’t accept then decline. That just messies their numbers up.
This way they can keep you in the “waiting for reply” column of the HR spreadsheet.


Well I have accepted verbally, but not signed anything, do you think that matters? It has been about nearly 3 weeks since they made the offer so I wasnt sure I could stretch it out further.


Phone and talk now. Stop procrastinating. You’ll probaly find they’ve forgotten who you are!


@dy: I was just wondering how did you get on with rejecting the accepted offer. How did the firm take it? I am just curious because I have two weeks to accept an offer, but still got a couple of interviews lined up. And I might be forced to do something similar, although I really don’t want to.



in the same position too!!

but mine is with a top 40 firm so i am certainly going to reject it and pursue the others i feel will provide me with better value…

if you are certain that you want to do the ACA and the offer is form a top 10 - snap their hands off!!

2 weeks left seems a bit short - how long ago did you get the offer