Help! Is it ok to change my mind after I’ve accepted a job?

We’re sometimes asked this at the Helpdesk. Graduate employers spend a lot of time, money and effort on recruiting and aren’t likely to be impressed by candidates who enthusiastically accept an offer only to change their minds later on.

Despite this it’s not unusual, however, for people to turn down a job they’ve previously accepted, as this survey by the AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) shows. The survey was completed by 79 of the UK’s largest recruiters of graduates, offering over 13,000 graduate scheme places.

According to the survey 7.1% of the job offers these employers made were reneged on – accepted, and subsequently turned down – by applicants, and this contributed to the figure of 5.4% of grad scheme vacancies remaining unfilled at the end of the recruitment round.

If you’ve several applications in the pipeline and are faced with the dilemma of whether to accept one while still waiting to hear the outcome of another, you could ask for more time to make up your mind. Explaining that you’re very tempted by their offer, and just need to be absolutely sure that you’re making the right decision, might gain you a few more days.

AGR Chief Executive Stephen Isherwood says “…Students need to adopt a more responsible and respectful approach. Hold on and wait for your offers to come in and give employers notice if you plan to renege”

Taking every opportunity to find out as much as possible about the role and the organisation, at every stage of the recruitment process especially the assessment centre and interviews, will put you in the best possible position to make a sound and confident decision when the time comes. Best for you – and best for the recruiter.


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