How to reject an internship offer politely

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New answer on Apr 16, 2022
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Apr 15, 2022

Hi all,

3 weeks ago I accepted and signed an internship offer letter but surprisingly and unexpectedly got a much better offer a couple days ago.

How do I politely reject the first offer after having signed the contract? I did not see a offer retraction fee/penalty in the first offer letter so this wouldn’t be a problem. Ultimately, I don't see the first firm as my future firm of choice but still i do not want to burn the bridge or sound rude.

Thanks in advance!

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Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


It´s a very unconfortable situation for the candidate, but the truth is that is happens all the time, and they are more used to it than what you would think. 

Furthermore, is an intership!

I would avoid doing it by email: rather schedule a call and explain how the new position suits you much better, but how thankful you have been for the process and offer. 

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Apr 15, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

So what you’re looking for is how to renege a signed offer at company A, as opposed to reject an offer, which is fundamentally different because you actually committed with your signature.

First off, expect bridges to be burnt. You really can’t expect company A to be happy about this. However, I get your situation and most people would do the same.

Now, in terms of the “how to” part, do it quick and be sincere as you apologize for reneging the offer. That’s all you can really do. I wouldn’t go into reasons and say anything about company B.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!



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Content Creator
replied on Apr 15, 2022
Consultant, Computer Engineer, Life Coach and Health freak !

Hi there!

First of all, congrats on the new offer!

Second of all, I'd suggest taking some time to compare both offers and making sure this is your final decision. 

Third, don't worry about changing your decision about the first one, it happens all the time. I'd suggest being honest about it and telling them straight away (the faster the better) you got a better offer - they might come back with an even better one!

*also remember that HR handling offers are not the interviewers and there is usally little interaction between both.

Hope you found this helpful !

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Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congrats on both offers!

Now, unfortunately you're going to have to just accept the fact that you are burning a bridge here. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

If you're going down this route, just be short and succinct. Say something like “I am truly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused but due to some unforeseen changes I need to cancel my contract and will no longer be working with the firm. Again, my sincere apologies”

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Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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