Reneging IBM Offer

JohnKGH's picture
Rank: Baboon | 101

So I got offers from IBM's consulting division along with Accenture's IT Tech group. They want answers in the next day or so. But, I have additional off-cycle interviews lined up with Booz , McKinsey, and BCG. Has anybody accepted and then reneged on an offer from IBM or Accenture before? Any negatives to doing this besides not being able to work there in the future? I'm actually leaning towards turning both down anyways, but wanted to get your take. I feel confident about the Booz interview and my connections there. But there is the chance I might end up with nothing if I turn down these other options.

Region: 
United States - Northeast

Comments (11)

Apr 4, 2012

Look there is a ton of negatives with that. I know it is unfair, but you are not in the best position.

Ask IBM and Accenture more time. That's all you can do. Tell them you need to talk to 2-3 employees...and schedule these talks for 2 weeks, that will buy you time.

That said, reneging an offer is very bad idea.

Apr 4, 2012

SA or FT, pre or post MBA?

Apr 4, 2012

Reneging is never a good career choice. johnnie's suggestion for buying time is a great idea. If they try to bully you, let them know you have another offer from a competitor and you want to learn more about the firms.

Another thing is that HR has way different priorities than the group you will be working for. Shoot an email to or call your favorite person from the interview and talk to them about needing more time. Chances are they will be much more understanding and have much more power to extend offer deadlines.

You must be insanely well connected to have lined up off-cycle offers two MBB and Booz.

Apr 4, 2012

Pre-MBA, post master's degree in STEM major. I am pretty well connected. Have several grad and undergrad friends at MBB and Booz. I'm more than fine with the worst case scenario of getting blacklisted from IBM. I've also heard horror stories of reneged companies calling up calling up future employers. Just wondering how realistic the latter is or what other consequences there might be.

I've also tried to negotiate for an extension...no dice. they will negotiate the other way (i.e. speed up their decision making process prior to offering.) Additionally, they have hundreds of thousands of employees. I really don't think they would care if I turn them down. As they say, there's probably thousands waiting to take my spot reneged or not.

Apr 4, 2012

Maybe my ethics are slipping after having been in the business (or the investing business anyway, not consulting), but I say go ahead and reneg. I've seen employers screw their employees so many times that I really don't care any more -- they're going to be using you as a means to an end, so you might as well do the same. Nobody is going to look out for you as well as you do, and if you don't get the Booz offer, what is your fall back? Just reneg if it comes to that. A bird in the hand...

They can't call anyone if you don't tell them where you are going.

Apr 4, 2012

If you're an undergrad, you should have a career center that has a job policy by which they expect employers to give you reasonable time. At my school, it was 2 weeks.
Contact them and they should pressure HR into giving you time per the school's policy.

Apr 4, 2012

I know people that have turned down Booz and Accenture for IBM... D: sad panda.

Ok, as an IBMer I can tell you that yah, they won't negotiate with you. No, you should not renege, especially if you get into McKinsey (because IBM and McKinsey are very friendly on several client engagements).

And consulting in general is just a small world. Word travels around fast, and the whole industry is built on fucking relationships.

Ask for a 2 week extension. It's what my friend did and they granted it to him. There's start dates in October for incoming consultants. They're in no rush.

(me whining some more)

Booz over IBM is not a no-brainer, especially if you got into the Strategy and Transformation practice. We have incoming colleagues from Fuqua, Booth, Yale, and I even know someone from HBS that's interviewing. =/

Just my .02

Apr 4, 2012

Ask them for more time. If they give it to you (which they probably will, IMHO), great. If not, I'd chuck the job simply because neither IBM nor Accenture are comparable to MBB and the latter will be far more beneficial for your career.

Highly doubt IBM would bother calling up future employers to let them about this (they have better things to do than ruin someone's career). The tech market is pretty frothy right now so I'm pretty sure they'd be very accommodating. There's a lot of people with out there with multiple offers so HR probably deals with this type of situation more often than you'd think.

Apr 4, 2012

I reneged at one of those two after I had received a much, much better offer elsewhere. I had been offered the job 14 months (!) prior to graduation, and had accepted it because one in the hand was worth two in the bush. Cut to 9 months later when I got the better offer, and I was DREADING calling the original company to renege. I finally worked up the guts to make the call and it ended up being a very, very friendly 2 minute phone call where they told me to let them know if I was ever interested in working for them in the future.

I'd be a little more cautious in your position about declining/reneging until you have another offer in hand that you'd rather take. You don't want to get stuck out in the cold empty handed.

"Buy gas. It's a sure-fire commodity with no risk except for the sure risk of fire." - Stephen Colbert

Apr 5, 2012

I talked to the companies and they are stating the deadlines are firm. This is definitely a tough situation. Regardless of what happens though, I intend to go through the interview process at the other firms.

Apr 5, 2012
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