To Interview or Not To Interview

Whether you recently graduated or lost your job for one reason or another, the job search process is an emotional rollercoaster. In a moment of desperation, you apply to positions left and right because you worry about how to make ends meet or living with your parents for the rest of your life. We’ve all been there! Then the interview phone calls start to roll in. When the initial panic subsides, you realize that you applied to opportunities that aren’t the perfect fit for you. While you were initially interested in these positions, after doing your research or having more time to reconsider your circumstances, you aren’t interested in interviewing. Here’s why you should say yes to the first interview!

You might just like it, so keep an open mind. As a staffing firm, we are the first to admit that job descriptions don’t do positions justice. Think about your resume. It’s just a piece of paper and doesn’t tell an employer about any of your personal qualities or skills. Job descriptions are very much the same! They can be very long and detailed or short and vague, but either way, the job description misses so many aspects of a position. Once you are in the office, interviewing with the manager or the team, you have the opportunity to ask about the day to day, the opportunity for growth, and the type of candidate that would succeed in the position and the company. You also get to see the space and the environment and the reality of the position could be much more exciting and enticing than some job description can paint it out to be.

The interview process can give you leverage and new information. Always treat your first interview like you are aiming for an offer. This job may not be your first choice, but you should treat it that way. Though you may end up turning down a second interview or even an offer, it does offer you leverage and comparison if you are to get an offer from another company. Feedback and information are also invaluable. No matter what your interview experience level is, you will learn something new based on how your interview goes. Maybe the person that interviewed you found a typo in your resume or thought that you needed to highlight certain parts of your skill set more in your cover letter. Many people would pay for this information!

The most important reason to take a first interview is practice, practice, practice! Whether you are confident about your interview skills or you are a little rusty, after a couple of interviews, it will come even more naturally to you. You’ll be comfortable and relaxed and truly build your confidence for the day that your dream interview (and job!) comes around. Utilize the feedback and advice from the hiring managers and take the time to do research on potential interview questions. This is where a staffing firm can be an asset as we can often get feedback that you wouldn’t receive on your own. Even the best interviewer can get confronted with questions that completely stump them from time to time, but the more you practice, the better you are at answering to the challenge.

These are all great reasons to interview for positions even if you aren’t 100% interested. However, there are exceptions to this rule if you are already employed, or you see an absolute red flag, like a terrible review from someone you know or online. After the first interview, if you still aren’t interested in the opportunity, find a way to politely pull yourself out of the running – this way you aren’t wasting your time or the company’s time.