How to Reject a Job Offer by Phone

It's important to not burn bridges when rejecting a job offer.
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When an employer offers you a job with his company, it is common courtesy to let him know whether you intend to accept the position. If you have not officially started working in the position, rejecting the job offer is simple. If you have already signed an employment contract, review the contract terms to see if there are any penalties for rejecting the offer after accepting it.

    Step 1

    Avoid waiting to let the employer know you are rejecting the offer. The quicker you let the employer know your intentions, the quicker he can hire someone else to fill the position.

    Step 2

    Ask to speak with the hiring manager responsible for offering you the job, instead of relaying your message to a third party.

    Step 3

    Refrain from rejecting the job offer by leaving a voice-mail message. If you receive the hiring manager's voice mail, it is okay to leave a message asking him to contact you. However, do not state on the voice mail that you are calling to reject the job offer.

    Step 4

    Thank the hiring manager for considering you for the job opportunity. Advise him that you won't be able to accept the job position. Feel free to offer him a reason for rejecting the job; you are not required to give him a reason, but giving a good reason helps. This is especially true if you ever want him to consider you for employment again.

    Step 5

    Advise the the hiring manager if you are interested in future employment. For instance, you may have some personal issues going on that prevent you from accepting the job immediately. Perhaps you want him to reconsider you for employment once your personal issues are resolved.


    • Even if you are declining the job because of some dissatisfaction with the company or the offer, keep your conversation with the hiring manager pleasant. You may well encounter him again, perhaps a few years in the future at a company with which you do want to work.

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