How to Reject Second Round of The Interview?

Hi Guys,

I had 2 jobs interview, job number 1 had offer me a job and i already accept the offer. Job number 2 i had passed the first interview, now they call me in for the final round of interview. But i already had accept the offer with job number 1 and i dont want to disapoint them so how do i politely reject the interview?

Thanks in advance :)


  • +175 votes

    Tell them that you have accepted another offer and are no longer in the market. Thank them for their time and apologise for not being able to take things further this time round.

    • +4 votes

      they already know that i already had an offer but still want me to go for the interview to see how its goes

      • +47 votes

        Just tell them "No"

      • You got to learn to have tough conversations. They'll appreciate you not wasting their time.

        And stuff them, they're HR who are notoriously unhelpful anyway.

      • Is the first job a much better opportunity or would you also be happy with the second company? It seems like they like you and might make it worth your while, would it be worth at least going to the 2nd interview and see what they have to offer?

        • The first job is the same as the second company, but the first job i have a friend whos work there and help me with the interview and finally got the job. Second job i did the interview and i think they like me and they definitely offer me more money than the first one.

          • +36 votes

            @at91: I would go for the 2nd interview.
            Also its not always good to work with friends, eliminates future complications if they arise, and you get more money from the 2nd job. From my experience I keep my job strictly professional. In/out/enjoy your time.

            • @Steakz:

              Also its not always good to work with friends

              Or friends get unhappy because they helped, you accepted then went elsewhere.

            • @Steakz: ^ This, especially if they know you had an offer and still want you to go, and are likely to pay you more.
              The fact you don't want to go is a good example of why it isn't good to be helped to get a job from a friend - you are reluctant to make choices to better your income / career as you don't want to seem ungrateful/upset your friend for getting you the job. However yes its awkward now you've accepted.
              Will be even more awkward if you surpass your friend / get a career advancement and they don't etc.

              Wouldn't you prefer to get a job in your own right because they like you rather than your friend helping you?

            • @Steakz: Yep. In/out of Susan from accounting. Definitely enjoy your time.

      • +20 votes

        Thank them for their application to be your employer. There were a number of strong candidates. So, unfortunately on this occasion you have not been selected. They will get your message.

      • Yeah I had a similar situation where the job paid much more and wasn't on a yearly contract. I told them the truth that the benefits of the other job I had accepted were better(not mentioning the pay difference or any specifics) and thanked them for their time, saying that I didn't want to waste their time by doing the interview and wishing them luck in finding a suitable candidate.

      • The recruiter is using you to get the questions from the employer to train his other prospects.
        He just wants the commission.
        No company will want you to just come to an interview if you have accepted another offer

    • First response is the correct professional response regardless of anything said under here. It's business and everyone will just move on. You have no obligation and if you've already made up your mind you're doing everyone a favour.

  • Did you clearly tell them that you had accepted another offer. That is different from saying you have another offer.

    • yes i did say i have accepted the offer

      • +3 votes

        Have you got the paperwork that has formalised the 1st offer?… and is the 1st offer your preferred choice. You may want to keep your options open until everything is official (written confirmations).

  • The company has been let down before by successful, experienced potential employees like yourself, during the interview process. Probably many times. It's a competitive market for employers too, and this is what happens.

    You letting them down in this instance is nothing new. They will be grateful for your words rejecting the offer (MrHyde's comment) because you are worth their time.

    You must be strong and know you are not disappointing them. Making a decision is tough, but stand behind your decision.

    Well done and good luck with your new position.

  • tell them there are many sales events you see on ozbargain which is more important

  • Do you even want to attend this interview? Seems like you do.

    Else you would know how to say no to something you don't want.

  • You have already accepted a role with another organisation, let the 2nd business know that you have taken up another opportunity and thank them for their renewed interest.

    It doesn't look good if you go to the other interview and try and play each business off against each other.

  • 2 choices
    Attend the interview for experience and curiousity. It can be good since you know there is nothing on the line. It may be they can make you a better offer.
    Or be honest with them. "I appreciate the opportunity and the enthusiasm to interview me, but I already accepted the other offer and wouldn't want to waste your time any further"

  • I am in Perth and working for an organisation that is just above the KKK as an employer of choice.

    We have candidates apply and then pull out after and before an interview all the time.

    We appreciate their time and honesty as it saves our time and energy to focus on another round of advertisements or other candidates.

    • +4 votes

      I am in Perth and working for an organisation that is just above the KKK as an employer of choice.

      I never knew you worked at Maccas…

    • I am in Perth and working for an organisation that is just above the KKK as an employer of choice.

      Hey at least the employee benefits are quite good working for the government :P

  • +5 votes

    Go and do the interview:

    1. You can never have enough interview practice.

    2. They might really like you and make you an offer that will cause you to post sth along the lines of: How do I cancel the first offer that I have already accepted?

    • I did the first interview and this is the final interview, i think they will offer me a job with higher paid but i have to do after-hours on-call roster compare to the first job.

      • Politely reject again, and tell them you are not available anymore and state conducting an interview that leads nowhere is a waste of time for both sides.

  • Are you canadian?

    Just say "sorry, ehh"

  • Learn the lesson that every tradesmen has to learn when operating a business:
    When you don't want to do a job, you don't say no. You just quote very high.

  • Send an email thanking them and saying you won't be attending. Don't answer their calls after that.

  • Say you will attend if they will cover your 21/22 ozbargain platinum membership renewal.

    Win win

  • I would go to the interview and see what the opportunity is. Without going, you have no idea what you are turning down.

    Worst case, you get interview experience. Best case, possible networking and great role.

    • -2 votes

      The first job is the same as the second company, but the first job i have a friend whos work there and help me with the interview and finally got the job. Second job i did the interview and i think they like me and they definitely offer me more money than the first one.

  • +2 votes

    MSPaint.exe diagram

  • Tell them you don't do second interviews, so we'll just have to part ways.

  • +6 votes

    But i already had accept the offer with job number 1 and i dont want to disapoint them so how do i politely reject the interview?

    I used to think that once I'd given my word (such as accepting a role) then not break it - even if I changed my mind about what I wanted. And that made me take some pretty extraordinary actions that I would have otherwise not done. I thought it would look good long term to be a person of their word.

    But over the years I've learned that companies have no such loyalty. Even the biggest names in global banking have just torn up a contract of work when it is convenient to them. Other companies, some of the biggest names in Australia, have just re-issued an employment contract when convenient to them - regardless of the fact the first has already been signed by both parties.

    For the most part I'll continue to honour my word. But it doesn't really give you any long term advantages, it seems.

    If you'd rather go for the second job, however, you better tell the first company you've changed your mind and the sooner the better. They might not like it but that's how it goes some time.

    • ^ This. You should worry about the job not the employer. They won't think twice to let you go if they need to. So better to avail the 2nd interview opportunity and compare between the two options objectively.

      Even if you have signed the employment contract, it usually starts with a probation period with one day notice from either parties. So take your chance.

      Lets take an example where the the offers differ only by 2k per year with starting salary being 50k (/52k) per year and increasing 3% every year in accordance with CPI adjustment.

      Employer 1 Employer 2 Difference
      Year 1 50,000 52,000 2000
      Year 2 51,500 53,560 2060
      Year 3 53,045 55,167 2122
      Year 4 54,636 56,822 2186
      Year 5 56,275 58,527 2252
      Total 10,620

      Without considering any other aspect (culture, bonuses, career growth etc.), you would be at a loss of 10.5k after 5 years.

      • I think a lot of people need to understand (or remember) the probation period isn't just the company assessing you, it's also very much you assessing them. People put way too much importance on employers when in actual fact it's a two way street. Note your self worth.

        • Yes, people need to understand this. If they are going to spend time in a toxic environment then there is no good outcome if you accept and keep working in such an environment.

          • @StiffHindQuarters: Totally agree. Just left somewhere during probation, because it was a toxic workplace.

            I stuck it out longer than I should have, because I wanted to change it for others that worked there too. But in the end I was withdrawn outside of work, and felt myself falling into depression (something I never would imagine happen to me)

            The day I resigned a weight lifted off me.

            • @dizzle: I am glad you left.

              I believe that staff turnover is always going to cost the employers and even though some toxic people maybe very adept at avoiding getting themselves in trouble, staff turnover is more work to them and also a huge black mark on their record and is a testament to their mismanagement.

    • Maybe not tell them until you know you’ve been offered the other job. After all he’s only going for a 2nd interview.

      • This is good advice, you don't have the job yet and aren't committing to anything. I would only tell Job B I had another offer if I knew both jobs pay and benefits and they were in different leagues.

  • send a strippergram to their offices for the time the interview is scheduled to let them know you won't be coming.

  • Send them an email saying no

  • +2 votes

    well, if you are comfortable doing it, why not. I'd think of it as a bridge building exercise, you never know what can happen in the future. The more un-burnt bridges to have, the better. And it helps building up your interview skill as well.

  • Tell them again that you have made a decision to accept the other employers offer and that you are about to start. Thank them again for their time and consideration for another interview. If circumstances change you will consider getting in contact with them. again.

  • It's nice to feel wanted :)

    I once applied for a job in PNG, but when I found out it was FIFO from Cairns I withdrew my application. They asked me to go through with interview anyway. They were willing to fly me to Cairns, put me in hotel, fed me, so I agreed even though the chance of changing my mind was zero to none. But they thought they had a chance to convince me, so I gave them that chance.

    I once applied for a job that I thought was in Dubbo, but it turned out to be an hour or 2 away. They were basically pleading with me to consider the move.
    I ended up in Toowoomba, and eventually unemployed (maybe 7 years after rejecting that offer), and this company relocated to Toowoomba. It was thier turn to reject me this time!!
    I'm not saying that if I had entertained them the first time that 7 years later they would have still wanted me, but I just reckon it's worth hearing them out - maybe they have something special to offer that you'll never know unless you heard them out.

  • Depends on who’s pushing for you to go on the second interview. If its the recruiter, they’re only pushing you to go to the interview to increase their chances of getting their commission, if u take the role.

    I personally would do the other second interview, if it was a role i really wanted. Nothing is confirmed until you put pen to paper, and even then u can still bail out of the role, if u think the other offer is better for you.

    Bottom lime is…. look out fir yourself, and wat works best for you and you alone.

  • This is the weirdest question. Just politely decline.

    • OPs response: right but they want me to though.

      OP is either trolling or literally has no spine and is squooshing around on the floor trying to find a magic spell to fix this that won't require them saying no.

  • Wtf. I remember reading this exact question like a year ago.

  • I would say go for it.

    Nothing to loose. see what they offer?

  • Always make sure you have signed an employment contract before assuming you have a position. Verbal is not enough. If you have, I'd tell them, I'm sorry I've accepted another position. I don't want to waste your time. The only thing that will get me to potentially reconsider is higher renumeration and a start date of X date. (Start date)
    Then you tell them higher or better then what you were offered.

    They will say unfortunately that's not going to work for us. (Likely) Then you say. No problem, I appreciate the opportunity, I'll be starting on X date, I'm happy to hear about future opportunities to advance my career down the track, feel free to keep me in mind.

    Otherwise you got leverage if you think it could potentially be a better opportunity and go for the interview then.

  • I would do the second company interview, secure the offer for higher pay and then go back to the first place to let them know you've had a better offer.
    They will match the offer or they wont, then you can just accept the job you prefer.
    Note that the first company will probably be a bit pissed, but that's how this stuff works.

    • If you threaten to withdraw after accepting they most likely won't match the offer and will blacklist you for other employment opportunities down the line. You still have to do the right thing for yourself, even if it's awkward. You should always consider everything on the table at any point in your career. The damage to your reputation is real but it will mostly be limited to the next few years with the employers and recruiters you reneg on.

      There may be legal ramifications if you've signed paperwork…as I understand it they are rarely if ever pursued by I'm not a lawyer, so I can only tell you that I haven't heard of it happening at entry level - I imagine it's not worth pursuing financially.

      It is a common situation. You want to accept an offer as soon as it's on the table because 1) you snooze, you lose 2) you want to show you're keen when starting a new job. But there are still other opportunities at different stages of the process when you do accept. Anyone who's been in the recruitment game for any period of time knows the drill. Recruitment is a cut-throat game.

  • If they know you got another offer and still want you to come i would still go and i'd be asking for proper $$

  • let just say this for example

    job A - public sector job with lower salary but i already accept the offer and police check, account created already and will start soon. i know most of the guys in the team so very comfotable working with them, very good working enviroment.

    job B - not for profit organisation with much higher paid - second round interview next week with most likely will have chance to get offer - working on call after hours roster so extra work and required going onsite if need. i dont know anyone in the team

    both jobs fixed term full time cover someone had promotion to another team. they come back for the previous role or not is still a question.

    • You need to decide what is more important to you.

      Earning significantly more money and working on call, or less money and working 9-5.
      Public sector might mean you earn higher superannuation, have you considered that?

      Is there any chance either will make a position for you after the fixed term? You also should consider that.

      There is no harm in pulling out of the first job, they will understand you are only looking after yourself and it does happen.
      HR is there to look after the company, you are there to look out for yourself.

    • I think for job B they are not necessarily paying you more than Job A because of the extra number of hours that you will put in (working on call after hours rosters). The amount paid per hour you give is what matters here.

      The question is how are you going to value your time. Is it worth now to spend that extra hours to get more money? Or would you rather spend your time for something else to have work life balance life (e.g. spending time with family, friends, spouse, kids or doing something that you like). I guess it is also depending on the goals that you have whether you want to save more at this point of time, as you have less dependents, or your time with your dependents would be more valuable than just earning tangible money.

      If i am still young and have less or no dependents, I would probably focus more on accumulating wealth and savings so that I can have better chance of providing for my dependents in the future or simply have a better life if I decided to live without dependents in the long term. If I already have family and Job A would suffice to provide for my family, I might forgo Job B even if they paid almost twice of Job A (I am assuming if any company would pay more than double than the market, either your skillset/experiences are very good/rare found, or the job are something that most people wouldnt do, due to the extensive time commitment or responsibility it entails).

      As others have said, working with friends are not always good. Sometimes, it could worsen the initial relationship that you had, due to office politics, financial incentives etc. And you never know you might find new friends at new workplace, who becomes your friend of life or soulmate.

      Hopefully these could help in providing different angle in making decision whether it is worth to go to second interview and see what the world has to offer for you (It could be something that would set you in better trajectory in life). Or if you still think you want/prefer to stick with Job A, there are many good advices given in this thread already to professionally turn down the offer for the second interview with Job B. My only input is, dont burn your bridge with Job B, so turn them down nicely and say something in the line of you already have accepted the offer with Job A and you will honor that. But that doesnt close opportunity for you to work with their company (Job B) if any future opportunity arise in your next career journey. You never know if suddenly Job A have restructure and your role is impacted where you may have an option open with Job B. Or maybe after working for a while in Job A (e.g. several years), one day you can contact job B and see if they have opportunity for a more senior role and salary band.

      Good luck and its nice to hear that you potentially you have offers from two different places, in the era where some people may still struggle to find work post pandemic.

      • i am married and baby is on the way soon, so something stable and secure is what im looking for.

        • Ah congrats! if you can afford them with job A, i would advise not to take job where you need to be on call after hours (i.e. job B). Your baby or your spouse will have a lot of competing after hour calls that needs you, without you even being on the rosters. :)