Declining job offers17 April 2019
Things related to the changing of jobs, in particular the fact that I am even looking for a new role, is is something that I prefer to be hush-hush about until after the fact. However today I did something that I have not done before — I turned a job offer down. The nearest thing to turning down job offers before now was turning down Ph.D funding grants, but those were were something like 15 years ago and are not quite the same. I only got the offer yesterday evening, but circumstances meant I could not do anything other than promptly decline it.
Beyond expectationBecause the interview invitation went to an email address I tend not to use much — companies have in all other cases used contact details on the CV itself but this was apparently lost in transit — there was a critical delay of a few days before I saw the invite, and then a further delay due to a whistle-stop trip to London. As a result I went into the interview with little preparation having just flown back, and on the whole I felt that the interview went quite badly. Maybe I felt so bad about the aptitude test that I discounted doing well on the programming test and the final technical discussion section. I went into the interview knowing that I already had an offer in the back pocket — in fact this is partly why I squeezed the interview in rather than delay it even further — which although was calming also made me not take the interview quite as seriously as I ought to have done.
Although I did not let on that I already had an offer from another company, I would not be surprised if the interviewer suspected it, and in any case I left with the impression that I would hear back within a few days. I reckon that had I got a positive result this time last week I could have seriously considered it, but to go back on the other offer at this stage would at best be exceptionally bad form — not exactly bad faith but certainly something bordering on it in terms of trustworthiness. Long story short I had more or less written off the prospects of a positive outcome pretty much even before I left the interview.