Experienced recruiter with 15 years in talent acquisition advises if you should interview for a job you don’t want

Business people interviewing young businessman in office Image Credits: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Times are hard these days, we understand. We’re also on the lookout for jobs and internships for you guys from time to time. Even more so for the desperate, it’s easy to mass send your resume out to companies, including job openings you don’t particularly take an interest to.

Last week, we wrote about some valuable tips for job seekers by recruitment experts from LinkedIn, Robert Walters, and Michael Page. Hop over to read if you’re currently on the lookout for a new job opportunity.

Today, we will put our focus on whether you should interview for a job you don’t want. We will be hearing from the wise words of Kevin Matthews, an experienced recruiter with 15 years in talent acquisition. He is also the managing director of KR Partners and founder & CEO of Candid-Intel.

#1: I mass sent out many applications during my job search and now I’m being called in for jobs that may not be the most suitable. Is it still worth taking the interview?

Firstly, it’s probably not a good idea to mass apply to jobs during your job search. I would advise you to get into the habit of being targeted as you will achieve better results that way. Now that you have gotten yourself in a bit of a bind with so many requests, don’t panic – go through each job that requested an interview and analyze three things before declining to attend:

  • Does the company or position match your current needs or aspirations? If your answer is no, skip the interview.
  • Are you sure you’re overqualified or not suitable for the position? For example, if the job description says they are looking for two years’ experience and you have seven, then you should probably skip it.
  • Is there anything you can learn from the interview? Interviewing, even if you’re unsure about the position or the company, can provide opportunities to practice your interpersonal and interviewing skills.

If you’re still convinced that attending the interview won’t be right for you, please respectfully decline with a short email.

#2: Is it alright to take an interview just to practice my interview skills even if I may not want the job?

“Well, I would advise if you’re unsure on the job or company that it’s still OK to attend and practice. However, if you’re 100% convinced that this opportunity is not right for you, don’t waste your time or the interviewer’s – conduct mock interviews with your friends to practice. That would be a better use of your time.”

#3: I was given a job offer and accepted it just before I was about to attend another interview. This interview was set up prior to the offer. Should I still take the meeting? Or should I decline to save everyone’s time?
Woman using mobile phone

Image Credits: Stocksy United

“My advice after spending many years in recruitment is to decline the interview and move on.

We all love to be wanted, but sometimes you have to know when it’s time to focus on the wonderful opportunity you have at hand. Running around the city and interviewing without a purpose is exhausting. Save everyone’s time and move on.”

#4: I’ve been offered several offers during my job hunt. Is this something I need to let a hiring manager know? Or is it better to keep this to myself?

“You are under no obligation to disclose whether you have been offered other job opportunities, its best to keep the information to yourself until you can gauge interest or compare offers – the hiring process is a bit like poker, so remember not to reveal your hand too early.”

#5: I’ve decided that the position is not the right fit for me. How do I politely decline the interview?

“Email is the preferable choice as many people are not comfortable declining an offer via the phone or face to face.

It’s important to remember to remain courteous in the email. Don’t be arrogant, remember you may have declined this opportunity but there could be future opportunities with the company or hiring manager that you want to be considered for. It’s advisable to remain professional and polite in your correspondence as it will leave a lasting impression.”


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