How To Decline An Internship Offer After Accepting?

As you near your graduation, finding an internship is fantastic. Internships allow you to gain the necessary experience to advance your professional career. Thus, it’s exciting to receive offers for internships.

However, you may have to reject internship offers due to a scheduling problem or a better opportunity. As it happens, declining the generous offer can be tricky, particularly after accepting it. You must be careful to communicate graciously with authority and apologize for the inconvenience.

For your help, we will show you how to decline an internship offer after accepting it. The vital discussion includes manners to follow while declining the offer, email templates, and ways to be cheerful yet apologetic.

How To Decline Internship
Image from Freepik

How to Decline an Internship Offer after Accepting It

It’s exciting to get an internship offer during your graduation or post-graduation period. So, we indeed congratulate you on this precious achievement. However, we understand that you may be looking for a way to decline this opportunity.

And at this point, it’s trickier to reject such a great opportunity, but it’s inevitable. You mustn’t build any grudges while rejecting the offer. Also, you must try your best to keep the job window open in the organization for future opportunities. So, you must decline the offer on a positive note.

Read: Are Internships Only For College Students?

Express your gratitude

As you draft the email to reject the internship, first, you must show your gratitude. It’s mandatory since the organization or company has shown confidence in you. Also, they have provided you with the rarest opportunities.

You must bear in mind that only some get an internship opportunity. So, your rejection must show gratitude for it. Thus, start by showing gratification and a thank you note for the email. It helps you build a good relationship with the HR team, even after declining the offer.

explain reason for reject internship
Image source Freepik

Politely explain the reason

While rejecting the internship, you must explain the reason clearly and politely. Maybe, you need a different schedule. Or, you might have got a better opportunity. Sometimes, even the internship facilities and offerings may not suit your requirements. Finally, the organization might have offered you an internship in a subject that you want to avoid.

Whatever may be the reason, provide your feedback clearly. It will be useful for the HR department too. What’s more, they even reschedule the duty time. Some will offer you better facilities too that will suit your requirements.

As you express and explain the rejection reason, ensure that you don’t show any pride. Always be polite and showcase your gratitude. It helps you create a good bond with the organizations even if you reject their offers. It is crucial for your future development and career.

Decline timely

When you reject the internship, always inform the authority about it timely. Remember that all companies have a definite job placement, procurement, and internship schedule. HR might need to initiate the recruitment process from scratch when you reject their offer.

So, the faster your response, the better it is for them. Hence, you must send your email timely when you reject the offer. If you delay and send the response at the last moment, it will be inconvenient for the HR department. Also, it creates a bad image of you that you must follow times and schedules properly.

Therefore, follow the schedule strictly and send your rejection letter ASAP. It is helpful for both the HR department of your internship provider.

Be apologetic and positive

It is also essential to express your apology as politely as possible. However, you mustn’t be negative while apologetic. Your letter or email must show that you apologize for rejecting the offer. But, it mustn’t show any guilt.

Always remember that there’s no guilt in rejecting the internship offer. Even if you have accepted it previously, ensure that you sincerely apologize. Also, be positive as you apologize and reject the offer. The email you write must end on a positive note. Maintaining a healthy and positive relationship between you and the HR department is useful.

Avoid mistakes and typos

When you write a letter or email, take your time. Take your time in selecting the words of the email or letter. Also, choose the medium of rejection carefully.

  1. Choose a letter if the organization has appointed you for the internship through the letter.
  2. Send the declination through email if HR has hired you through email.

Also, for the draft, check and double-check the words, their spelling, punctuation marks, etc., carefully. If your email or letter has typing or spelling mistakes, it will ruin your reputation. Also, choose the correct salutation for the email.

Will you send it to the manager or HR, or CEO? Your salutation and language will vary depending upon whom you send it to. If the salutation and designation are mistakenly written, it destroys your image. So, always double-check the words, salutations, designations, etc., with extreme care.

Be clear and brief

Yes, you must be apologetic, explain the reason for the declination, and end the email positively. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you write a thousand words for it. Your email or letter must be clear and brief.

Keep the email straightforward and easily understandable. You should start with a short thank you message for offering you the job. Then, quickly apologize for not accepting it and explain the reason. Also, showcase gratitude and express condolence for causing the inconvenience. Finally, end the email with good wishes for the company.

If possible and appropriate, express your wish to remain in their touch. It showcases your actual wish and thankfulness.

Always end on a positive note

As you end the email, ensure it has a positive message. You should wish prosperity to the offering company and again thank HR for choosing you for the internship post. As you show positivity, it improves your image before them.

The email must be accurate and highly professional. It should express your professionalism so that the company understands how deserving you are for the internship. It will be useful in the future if you need to apply for posts in the same company.

Read: What Is A Bursary And How Does It Work?

Should You Really Decline An Internship Offer?

We have shown you ways to politely and positively decline an internship offer. However, the real question is, “Should you reject an internship job offer? Will it be a clever decision?”

reject internship job offer
Image credit: Freepik

This question might confuse many students, especially those who are about to complete their graduation. Understandably, internships provide people with better opportunities for jobs. It helps you prepare for professional challenges in the coming days. Also, you may even get a permanent job after the internship in the same company.

So, rejecting the internship is a difficult decision. However, on two occasions, you can reject it. These are:

  1. When your schedule doesn’t match the internship offer, you may still have a few classes left in your graduation or post-graduation programs. Also, many students will have to prepare their research papers. Thus, they need help managing their schedule.
  2. If you have a better internship opportunity, you can reject the other. It is a common incident as students often try for multiple internship offers. You may receive a better opportunity if you accept only hours later. So, you can discuss this with the employment provider and seek ways to resolve the problem.

As you see, there’re two common reasons for declining an internship. Also, look for improved convenience in the internship. You may, thus, negotiate with the employment provider for what you want and what they can offer. You don’t need to hesitate because negation to get better offers is a common practice in the job market. It applies to internships too.

Many companies offer remuneration and TA/DA bills for the internees. However, you can negotiate the facilities and seek to increase them. Also, check what you will learn through the internet job. Will it help you in your career or not? This decision is the key to finalizing the internship offer.


This discussion should clarify how to politely decline an internship offer after accepting it. The process of rejecting an internship offer is easier than you imagine. You must ensure that you are polite, explain the cause adequately, and end the discussion on a sweet and positive note. Also, you don’t need to feel guilty as many people will only accept their first jobs.

When you decline the timely offer following proper mannerisms, it won’t be a problem. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to