How To Accept Or Decline An Internship Offer

A lot of the time, when you apply for an internship, you don’t expect to actually get it. The process of completing internship applications, going for interviews, and completing application tests can be pretty tedious.

So tedious in fact that when you receive an offer, you might not know how to respond. 

When you apply for an internship, you don’t think about what happens if you get offered the internship. You are so focused on the end goal, that you don’t really know what to do once you get there. So, when you receive an internship offer, you might panic. 

If you have applied for multiple internships, and have been successful, then you might find yourself accepting an offer while having to reject others. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at how to accept internship offers, but also how to decline them too.

So, if you want to find out how to do this, keep on reading, 

What Is The Internship Offer Process?

Before we take a look at how to accept or decline an internship offer, let’s take a brief look at how the internship offer process works. A lot of the time, when you begin applying for internships, this will be your first time doing this. So, here is a rough idea of what to expect. 

The internship offer process is something that young professionals often go through as a stepping stone to their career. It is similar to the process of getting a job in adulthood, but for many people this will be their first experience with this.

So, the internship application process is a pretty big deal. 

This process is made with a number of stages, and it is designed to give young people a similar experience to the one that they will get when they apply for jobs in adulthood.

The process begins with the application, and this will typically include submitting your CV and filling out an application form. 

After the application process, employers will shortlist candidates for interviews. There may be a couple of interview stages, including phone interviews, online video call interviews, then face-to-face interviews.

You might even have to attend an assessment center as part of the process. If the company likes you after the interview, then you may be offered a temporary position at that company – this is your internship. 

If your application is successful, you will receive an offer from the company. This will usually come in written form. Depending on your situation, you will either want to accept or decline the position. So, let’s take a look at how to do this. 

How To Accept An Internship Offer

Most of the time, when you receive an internship offer, it will be made in writing. However, if a company is very impressed with you, they might offer it to you in person.

If this happens, the first thing that you should do is ask for the offer in writing. This will give you time to think about your response. 

Once you receive the offer in writing, you should then prepare a professional email to accept the offer. Emailing has literally become the new way to send letters, and because of this it is the most professional way to respond to the offer. 

You should begin the email by addressing the person who gave you the offer. You should be professional, but refer to the person with the name that they asked you to call them. So, if you were asked to refer to them on a first name basis in the interview, do this.

If you were not, address the person in a formal manner. 

Once you have addressed the person, you should then thank them for the offer. Express your gratitude clearly while also remaining in a professional tone. Remember that you do not really know this person yet, and they will likely be your boss, so you should be respectful at all times.

After thanking them, you should inform them that you wish to accept their offer.

Then, if you have any points in the offer that you want to negotiate, you should include these next.

This might include the start date, or it could simply be a section for you to include anything that you need to inform the company about (i.e., a medical appointment that is scheduled during your internship timeline). 

Finally, sign the email in a formal manner. After you have signed it, you should then read through the email for any spelling or grammatical errors. This is an important step in remaining professional. Once you are confident that it is all correct, send the email. 

How To Decline An Internship Offer

Alternatively, if you wish to decline the internship offer, you should begin the email in the same way. Address the person that provided the offer in a professional manner, and express your gratitude for the offer.

When declining an offer, it is very essential that you express your gratitude – even though you won’t be accepting the offer. 

Once you have made it clear that you are thankful for the opportunity that they have offered, you should then politely decline the offer. Where possible, you should also provide an explanation for declining the offer.

Ensure that you do so politely, for example by informing the company that you cannot make their schedule work, or that you have been offered another position that you have already accepted. 

When declining a position, you should sign the email off professionally, but also add a personal note. For example, wish them well or express an interest in staying in touch. It is important to be polite as you may want to work with this company again in the future.

Then add your name, and read through the email for any spelling or grammatical errors. Once you are confident that everything in the email is correct, and professional, press send. 


In short, accepting or declining an internship offer is usually pretty straightforward and simple to do. Most of the time, offers will be made in written form, so you can respond to them in written form too.

This means that you can take the time to curate a professional and polite email to either accept or decline the offer.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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