You've spent the past three months in an exhaustive, exhausting job search as if it WAS your actual job. You've evaluated a lot of opportunities; some you’ve pursued aggressively, others not so much. All your hard work has paid off and you finally found the one – the perfect next step in your career. Congratulations!
But how do you now gracefully exit the interview processes with other organizations?
In a recent conversation about resigning responsibly, a Charles Aris candidate asked us how to communicate her decision to other hiring authorities with whom she’d been interviewing. Here are some best practices for how to communicate your withdrawal from an interview process.
Time matters: The sooner you inform other organizations that you’ve accepted an offer elsewhere, the better it will be for all involved. Letting them know as soon as you’ve made a formal decision will always feel right to all parties involved. They will respect you for not wasting anyone’s time and likely will want to keep you in mind for future opportunities. While you might feel guilty canceling an interview a few days beforehand, it’s the right thing to do. More than likely, there are other candidates in the hiring process, and knowing you’re out will help the decision-makers better manage their talent pipeline and how they view certain candidates.
The Band-Aid Principle: These conversations are best when they are “answer first” … in other words, don’t slowly build up to the fact that you’re withdrawing from the process. Make it your opening statement; then go on to thank them for their time and consideration.
Communicate to the right people: Deliver this news to the recruiter (internal or external) with whom you’ve been working. That recruiter will then convey that information to the rest of the team. A key caveat: If you’ve discussed the opportunity directly with the hiring authority, it might be wise to reach out to that leader yourself (a simple email is fine) to let her know of your decision and that you’d like to stay in touch (if you do).
The bottom line: Relationships matter. You never know whom you may cross paths with down the road, and you want to make a positive impression with everyone you interact with throughout your career. That includes those whom you might meet through various interviews. There’s a good chance that many of your future opportunities will come from your network, so building a strong one – rooted in respect and trust – will serve you and your career well for years to come!