Interviewed for a Legal Job, but No Longer Interested? Here’s What to Do

Picture this: You applied to a promising litigation assistant or legal support position. After attending an interview, however, you realized that this job isn’t going to be the right fit for you.

How do you communicate your desire to look elsewhere while still maintaining the professional connections you’ve made during the process? Follow these steps:

Say “no” sooner rather than later.

As soon as you are certain you do not want the job, start drafting your message to the hiring manager. In some situations, you may be certain as soon as the interview ends; in others, you may need to wait until you receive an offer. Don’t hesitate to talk to your recruiter if you need help deciding.

Respond gracefully.

Putting your decision in writing can help formalize it. It can also help maintain some distance without damaging your reputation. Start by thanking the hiring manager for meeting with you. Then, in one or two sentences, state you wish to withdraw your candidacy for the position. End by thanking the hiring manager again and wishing them good luck in filling the position.

Be honest but not too honest.

It’s fine to give a reason for withdrawing your candidacy for the position, but it’s best not to get too far into the details. “After learning more about this position, I have decided it is not the right fit for me” is honest, but still graceful. “I’ve realized I could never work in an office with ten-year-old computers and a receptionist who never stops coughing” may be true, but it’s also impolite. Your recruiter can help you compose your letter in a way that keeps your professional integrity intact.

Talk to your recruiter about why you said “no.”

It’s essential to speak to your recruiter about why you decided this position wasn’t the right fit for you. Not only can your recruiter help you decide how best to say “no,” they can also work to match you with job openings that offer a better fit in the future.

At Kent Legal, our recruiters can help you find the right Toronto-area legal support position—and bow out gracefully if you discover during the interview process a job is not right for you. Contact us today to learn more about our legal job opportunities in Toronto.

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