It’s bound to happen, you apply for a job that seems like a great fit, make it past the original “scrubbing” and through the interviews (congratulations) but the more you learn, the less you think you would be a great fit. Let’s talk about a few misconceptions of job hunting and some ways to use this experience wisely and avoid burning those very precious bridges.
- “I just need to apply for jobs”– This may seem elementary but I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone talking about an interview or a new job and mentioning all of the things that they don’t want to do, didn’t know they would be responsible for etc. Yes, in some cases these details may have been hidden, but it’s my experience that it was listed very clearly in the on line postings, discussed when setting up interviews and in the job description. If they’re recruiting someone for those tasks, they need someone to perform those tasks. Please take the time to fully read through postings and carefully decide if your skill set and desire match what they’re looking for.
- “I might as well just interview for the experience” – WRONG! If you aren’t truly interested in this position you are wasting a great deal of time and money, valuable resources that companies take very seriously. Is it really worth angering the hiring managers at an influential company just for the “interview experience”? What happens next month when they have a listing that is exactly what you’re looking for? Highly unlikely you’ll be high on the list for second chances.
- “I don’t really want the job so I don’t need to call them back” – Again, bridges and the burning of them. Even if you walk out of the interview confident that this position is not a fit for you, e-mail your thank you notices and follow up with the recruiter sooner rather than later. Hiring managers will remember candidates who blew them off and recruiters will absolutely remember those who waste their time. On the other side of that these folks will all remember the conscientious individual who learned more about the company during the interview process, realized this wasn’t a fit and followed up in a timely manner expressing their skills would be a better fit in another area. When that opening comes along you might just be the first one on the list to call— your phone will absolutely not be ringing if your follow up process consists of not communicating.
- “I have to talk it over with my spouse/ parents/ friends/ dog…”– This is actually a great idea. You should absolutely have this conversation with the influential individuals in your life that can help you make such important decisions. They will give you clear feedback on travel time, income concerns, benefits questions, and the list goes on. However; and this is major, these folks can’t make decisions for you and most importantly these conversations should happen before you apply and then again before you interview if you have received additional details. Talk it out, muddle through concerns then decide if it’s really in everyone’s best interest for you to continue to pursue the opportunity.
The common theme is that you, the job seeker, really need to spend some time combing through the details of posts before clicking “apply” and if you are contacted about the position take the time to ask the questions that are most important to you. If you don’t know what those questions are, do some research on this first. Knowing what you don’t want to do can be just as valuable as knowing what you do want to do.
Contributed by Angela Sikdar