If You Don’t Get Your Job Offer, LEAVE!

older man and young man having argument in office

Yesterday I had the please of speaking with a Bean Counter reader. She called me out of the blue as people sometimes do.

She had an internship with a Top 25 accounting firm this Spring. Going into the final exit meeting, she was confident, worked hard, showed up early, and asked for feedback consistently.

She felt like she didn’t become great friends with anyone, and didn’t quite fit in. However, the work, diligence, and consistency with which she approached each work day proved she was a competent and capable prospective employee.

Or so she thought….

In the exit interview, it started with praises. The recruiter said she did great work, and showed up timely each day. However, they didn’t feel she fit in with the group.

Because of the lack of a cultural “fit”, they would not be able to extend a full-time job offer.

She immediately started questioning:

What do you mean? Can you give me examples? I am hearing this for the first time today, surely I would have heard about this before.

Then, she called me. She still wants to work at the same firm, but for another office.

This is an important lesson for anyone who faces rejection, or a firing.

When the company tells you it’s over, IT’S OVER!

Be kind, polite, thankful, and express gratitude. Even if your stomach is in your shoes.

Don’t ask any questions and DO NOT…. I repeat DO NOT try and reach out to other offices at the same company for another position. Move on!

It hurts, I know. She spent 6-12 months preparing for her internship, she thought she was done with recruiting. It’s true, 90-95% of people that have an accounting internship at the Top 25 Accounting Firms get the full time offer.

She didn’t.

She is going to have to tell her co-workers.

She is going to have to tell her friends.

She is going to have to tell her spouse and significant other.

She is going to have to tell her teachers.

She is going to have to tell her family.

This is crushing. Heartbreaking. I know because I was fired once.

But there is nothing that HR, or partners can tell her that will help her understand what happened and why she didn’t get the offer. There is only one person that can do that, HER! She needs to reflect on what happened during the internship and she needs to do that alone. So leave quickly and never look back.

She has a serious problem. It’s time that she deals deal with it.

She put together a list of all the amazing things she has done at the job and her trouble areas:


I show up on time

I complete my work on time

I dress appropriately

I learned the material


I maybe don’t fit in that well with other employees

With this list she went into the exit interview confident. But when anyone is going through the interview and internship process, where do we put her focus?

On problems!

If it is uncomfortable to think or to do something, that is where we HAVE to start.

There is only one way out of this mess. And if she doesn’t follow these steps, it will seriously impact her future potential.

She needs reflect on every experience she had and honestly ask:

  • What went wrong?

Potential answer: I didn’t fit in with my team members.

  • What could I have done better?

Potential answer: Get to know them more. Ask them questions about their life. Chime in on conversations.

  • Why did I not do that?

Potential answer: I was afraid they wouldn’t like me. I’m just an intern, I thought I was supposed to be reserved.

  • MOST IMPORTANT: What would be an appropriate response to this challenge, the next time I am in this situation?

Potential answer: Get private feedback from my team verbally on a weekly basis. Go to every team and company social during my internship. Force myself to learn 5 things about everyone I work with and write it down in a spreadsheet.

Her reflection on this moment will set the tone for the rest of her career.

Will she shy away and not face her true insecurities?

Or will she confront herself head on and remember the embarrassment she felt telling friends and family about this moment and commit to NEVER letting it happen again?

This failure provides her with one of the greatest opportunities so early on in her career! It’s time to spend the next 6-12 months going through recruiting and getting herself back on track!

If you are faced with the same situation, honestly ask yourself:

What happened and what am I going to do to never put myself in this position again?

  • Elijah Williams

    Great article. You definitely have to know yourself first. You can’t let fear and insecurity ruin your opportunities. Go for it full out. If you sense that you’re not doing your part to fit in, follow the steps listed in the article.

    Great timing. My internship in in Summer 2015 with a top 25 (top 4 lol) accounting firm.

    • http://www.thebeancounter.com TheBeanCountercom

      Great attitude Elijah and yes, you need to stay on your “A” game until the last day. It’s tough but it is totally within your control to secure the offer! Be sure to email me when you get that full-time offer!