Every now and then, I have a job seeker tell me…
“I really wasn’t that interested in that job, and so I didn’t do my best in the interview.”
I always think… what a wasted opportunity!
People often close off the possibility of a hiring process moving further because they decided in a moment that this wasn’t a job they wanted. Perhaps they didn’t like the role, the company, the hiring manager, or some other aspect of it. They get dispassionate, or overly succinct in their answers. They show no further interest in the role at all. The employer judges the response and closes things off.
People forget some basic principles in the process…
You are never obligated to accept an offer! Continuing the process with enthusiasm and commitment can have tremendous benefits for you, as we’ll discuss further shortly. Should you be successful and ultimately get an offer, you are certainly not under any legal, moral, or ethical obligation to accept the position. Why not go for an offer with every opportunity you can?
You can always use more practice! For most job seekers, you don’t get that many opportunities to practice and hone your interview skills under “live fire”. It’s critically important to prepare and practice for interviews prior to meeting the employer. However, it still feels different when you’re actually there, getting asked the questions when it counts. Go through each interview process as far as you can, the best way you can, to help you refine your skills for the interviews your really do want.
Every impression counts! It really is a small world. It amazes me how many times prior contacts come back around and reconnect weeks, months, or years later. We also live in a time when people move to new jobs regularly. Any impression you create with someone today, may help or hurt you when you might encounter them again someday. A hiring manager at a company you are interviewing for today for a job you don’t want, may be a hiring manager, or potential networking contact at another company months or years from now for a job you do want. It happens all the time, and the impression you left with them the first time will impact their interest in you the next time as well. Make every impression your best.
Other opportunities can result from the process! Similarly, you never know what other opportunities may come out of a good interview process if you stick with it. It’s not unusual for someone to go through an entire hiring process for a position, and find out at the offer stage that the company decided that the candidate actually fits another role better. They make an offer for an entirely different position that may be an ideal fit for that person. If you didn’t do your best throughout the process, or “exited” too early, that prospect can never happen.
It’s great to get a boost of affirmation! As I often say… One of the most important, and most difficult things to do in a job search, is to maintain a positive mental attitude! As time goes on, there are plenty of things to get discouraged about. Finding ways to boost your attitude and feel good about charging forward is key to a successful outcome. Even if you decide not to accept a particular offer, it sure feels good to receive one! It proves you’re employable, and an attractive candidate to some employer. That affirmation can provide a great bump to your confidence as you continue your search!
Don’t ever present less than your very best in any interview process. Regardless of how you feel about a particular position, always follow through to its conclusion. The benefits can be tremendous!
Harry Urschel has over 20 years experience as a technology recruiter in Minnesota. He currently operates as e-Executives, writes a blog for Job Seekers called The Wise Job Search, and can be found on Twitter as @eExecutives.
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