Should I Interview for a Job I Don’t Want?

Should I Interview for a Job I Don't Want

If you’re looking for a job, then you’ve no doubt polished your resume and cover letter. You’ve probably let your network know that you’re job hunting and you’re researching and applying to jobs every day. In fact, you’re treating your job search like a full-time job.

If you’re doing all of these things, then it’s just a matter of time before you land an interview. But maybe you’re not too stoked about the job you’ve been asked to interview for. Maybe it’s an okay job, but it’s not the job you want.

Many of our clients ask us, “Should I interview for a job I don’t want?” The answer is yes in our opinion.

8 Reasons Why You Should Interview for a Job You Don’t Want

Interviewing for a job you don’t want is a smart idea and can actually increase your chances of landing a job you do want. Here’s why:

1. It’s good practice

Interviewing for a job you don’t want is the perfect opportunity to practice answering interview questions as concisely and completely as possible in a low-pressure environment. Take note of any times you get tripped up on an answer. But also, notice when your answers seem to flow.

Consider which of your answers felt a bit long-winded. But also, pay attention to when the hiring manager seemed particularly interested in what you were saying.

Noticing all of these nuances will help you be a better interviewer when you’re going for a job that you do want.

2. Job interviews are rare

Should I Interview for a Job I Don't Want

Statistics show that for every 250 people that apply to a corporate job, only 4 to 6 people will be called to interview. With success rates that low, if you are one of the handful that gets called, you owe it to yourself to at least see what the job is about before you decide to turn it down. 

3. You’ll grow your network

You may not want the job you’re interviewing for, but you’ll certainly meet people during the interview process. These are all professionals within your industry that you can add to your network and connect with on LinkedIn. Leave them with a favorable impression and they may be someone you can count on for help down the line.

4. It may lead to other opportunities

You may not be excited about the job your interviewing for, and truthfully, the hiring manager might not think you’re the right person for the job anyway.

However, the hiring manager may have another open position that they think you’d be perfect for. It may be a position they need filled right away, or it may open up 6 months from now. Either way, that’s an opportunity you’d never know about had you not interviewed for the original job.

5. You might actually want the job

Should I Interview for a Job I Don't Want

You may only think you’re going in to interview for a job you don’t want. But, then you have the interview and you realize the job is a lot cooler than you thought it would be. Now, you realize, you really do want the job.

This scenario happens a lot more often than you might think. In fact, we think it’s enough of a reason for anyone to interview for a job that doesn’t seem so appealing at first.

6. You can compare salaries

Going on an interview now and again will give you a chance to discover what other companies are offering in terms of salary and benefits. That can help you gauge if you’re being paid a competitive wage at your current employer or if it’s time to ask for a raise.

7. A friend’s reputation is on the line

If you’ve landed an interview because of a friend or colleague, then you should definitely go on the interview, even if you know that you don’t want the job.

Not accepting the interview can be insulting to the person who spent time and effort to help set it up. Plus, your refusal to interview may tarnish your friend’s reputation with their employer. Either way you’ll have done some damage to a relationship that’ll take time to repair.

8. You can learn about a company’s culture

Should I Interview for a Job I Don't Want

There’s a lot you can learn about what it might be like to work for an organization just by going on an interview. Pay attention to how you are treated throughout the entire process.

Does the interview start on time or are you kept waiting? Is the hiring manager distracted or is she focused on your conversation? Do the employees you see on the floor seem content or is there a low-energy vibe throughout the building?

A simple interview can tell you a lot about a company’s culture, especially whether or not you want to work there.

Say Yes to Your Next Job Interview

You’ll need a strong professional resume that clearly showcases your value before you get an interview opportunity. When you’re presented with an opportunity to interview for a job, just remember it’s an opportunity to interview—not an actual job offer.

That may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s worth mentioning. So many of the clients we see wonder if they should “waste their time” interviewing for a job because they aren’t sure they’d want it in the first place.

But going in for an interview isn’t a guaranteed job offer. It’s just an interview. There will be no pressure to decide on anything until they actually offer you the job.

So, say yes to the job interview even if you don’t want the job. You never know where it might lead. 

Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.

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