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chinchin31's avatar

Why would an employer back out of a job offer at the last second?

Asked by chinchin31 (1480points) August 5th, 2014

My issue is as follows. I went to a company three times. Each time the employer seemed very positive. The last occasion he said he would send me an offer.

After 3 days he says that he is not going to send me an offer anymore because of incompatibility issues.

I find this very strange as the last time I saw him he told me he did not say he had any issues and was very positive.

Then all of a sudden when he writes me today he says he has a long list of issues with me, which by the way he didn’t really explain.

I feel like it is something else but he does not want to tell me. I find this strange.

Has this ever happened to you , what do you think is the reason for this?

I think it might have something to do with money as he was trying to find out if i had any other offers line, but I avoided the question because I honestly think that is confidential.

I just find it really weird.


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11 Answers

dxs's avatar

I had a hotel job last year for only a few weeks. I don’t work there anymore, but neither resigned nor got fired. They just stopped hiring me without explanation. After I hadn’t gotten a schedule, I went in and asked i they needed my help, and they said when they do they’ll contact me. They haven’t contacted me since, so I guess they didn’t need me. I feel like I deserve an explanation, and you do too, but I don’t really care at this point. They were very passive aggressive people. What does “incompatibility” mean?

chyna's avatar

Is there something in your background he could have found out about that would not positively reflect on you? Do you have crazy pictures on facebook that he could have seen? It really is hard to tell what he means by compatibility and it’s unfair to you for him to not explain what he means.
I had a prospective employer that went so far as to check my references and I really thought I had the job, but they hired someone else. I found out later that they had hired the vice president of the company’s granddaughter. I only mention that because it may not have anything to do with you, but the guy had to give you a reason why he wasn’t hiring you.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Are you in the USA? If so, then you have the right to file a case with the EEOC.

chinchin31's avatar

no i don’t have any crazy background. I am not even on facebook.

CWOTUS's avatar

I suspect that the truth may be along the lines that @chyna has suggested, either a reference did not give you the boost you expected, or it may even be a common acquaintance who has bad-mouthed you to the potential employer, and which the employer, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to clear up with you. Always check with your references “one last time” before you actually use them in this way, to be sure that they still know you, for one thing, and that they will speak as well of you as you deserve – or better! – and that their business hasn’t suffered in ways you may not even know about, and things are now being blamed on you after you left long ago.

It may even be a real “incompatibility” in terms of his own business: expected business did not pan out, and he’s not going to expand, create another division, hire new staff, etc.

I would suggest that you handle this in a thoroughly professional manner, along these lines:
1. Write a letter – one page if possible – requesting more detail on the “incompatibility” issue. Ideally, you would like this in a final interview (the purpose of the letter is to allow him time to prepare), but failing that, a written response is acceptable.

2. Acknowledge in the letter that the employer may have private reasons that he does not wish to divulge, issues about his own business, for example, that he’s not ready to make public, and that he may keep that private. However, politely (and clearly!) explain that if the “incompatibility” stems from something that he has “heard about you” that you would appreciate the chance to clear any misconceptions – or falsehoods! – that he may be basing the decision on.

3. Make it clear that you “expect” this courtesy (again, politeness is key), because after all, your reputation is important to you to maintain and protect. You don’t want to go where you may not be wanted – as long as the employer knows “the real you”, and not a false impression based on someone else’s misrepresentation.

4. Recognize that there may be real reasons, based on the truth, that he has changed his mind, and be ready to accept that graciously.

5. Thank him for the consideration, etc.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Not everyone is covered under the EEOC. I’m not, If an employer said to my face we won’t hire you because you’re a young white guy then there is nothing that can be done about it.

There can be many reasons for this other than anything sinister like bad references or a background check. It could be they simply extended the offer and did not go through HR or the proper channels. It could be they mandate certain qualifications and the interviewers did not know and are simply too embarrassed to tell you why. Crap like that happens all the time. Do find out what happened though. I knew someone who kept failing background checks because they had the same name, birth date and hometown of a felon.

chinchin31's avatar

no I am not in American and no it doesn’t have to do with references because they did not ask for references yet. Where I am from they usually ask for references after you accept the offer.
Oh well. I think it might just be personal. Maybe he is not sure he is ready to hire someone yet.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It’s never happened to me, but it sounds as though he’s come across information about you that he did not like and so has backed out. I too would guess it’s a poor reference. Did you give him the names of people to contact as referees? If you did, you might want to consider whether they’ve not given you a positive write-up. You won’t want to use whoever it was again.

If you haven’t given him referee information, think about where else he might have accessed info about you. Do you work in a small field where everyone knows each other? It could be he spoke to someone who knows you and they gave you a bad review.

Either way, not much you can do about it now. CWOTUS has provided some excellent advice on how to progress from here.

chinchin31's avatar

no it has nothing to do with referees. everyone i told about it think it is weird. oh well whatever.

CWOTUS's avatar

So, maybe not “references”, but someone the prospective employer knows (maybe a current employee, for example, or even a friend, neighbor or someone else who knows you both) who “said something”. It might have even been misinterpreted, unclear, or about the wrong person. That’s why I suggest that you follow up; it’s the professional thing to do.

chinchin31's avatar

Yeah well I did follow up and he still wouldn’t say. All I could say is it has something to do with his business. Everyone I have told about this think it is really weird and unprofessional. I think he is not sure he wants to hire anyone yet.

I had kinda sensed that the last time I saw him because he kept rambling on about how because the person was with him for more than 20 years he wasn’t sure what the market price would be for someone to replace her and he was also rambling on about how people often come to him seriously and then leave after a few years. I think he wants someone that he knows for sure will stay long term. But nowadays I think that is very hard to judge. Oh wellll.

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