Job Interview Yes

6 Reasons You Should Say ‘Yes’ To Any Job Interview

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You applied for a job and were just called in for a job interview.

The only problem?

You’re having second thoughts about the position.

Maybe the pay is low or the job function isn’t quite what you’re looking for. Or maybe the company culture is a bit dry for your taste. Whatever the cause of your cold feet, you should think twice before turning down any job interview.

Here’s why…

1. Sharpen Your Interview Skills

Google “interview tips.” Guess how many results turn up?

9,300,000.

Why so many? Because interviews aren’t easy. They’re awkward, pressure-filled situations that demand your A-game. No number of advice articles or practice interviews will prepare you as much as the real thing, so suit up and take advantage of the opportunity.

2. Discover What Others In Your Industry Are Up To

Job interviews are an excellent learning opportunity. Once you’re done practicing your responses to common interview questions, take the time to quiz the employer. Inquire about position requirements, departmental strategies, and company goals. Take what you learn and use it to your advantage into future interviews.

3. Build Your Network

The fact you applied to this job and were offered an interview suggests you’ll be doing business with similar people (perhaps even these people) in the future. Why not use the interview as a networking opportunity? As long as you conduct yourself with professionalism, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t leave with a few new LinkedIn connections. Maybe they’ll even know of an opportunity that’s a better fit for you down the road.

4. Learn What’s Out There

Every organization is unique. By visiting a company’s campus and talking to its employees, you’ll get an insider’s look at what it’s like to work there. Remember what you like and what you don’t, then use these insights as you move forward with picking a new job.

5. Gain Bargaining Power

It’s not uncommon for hiring managers to ask if you’re interviewing elsewhere. If you’re not, then you won’t be seen as a hot commodity. If you can say yes, however, it might give the hiring manager a sense of urgency to scoop you up before someone else does. What’s more, having multiple job offers is an excellent bargaining chip when it comes time for salary negotiations.

6. Realize You Never Know What Will Happen

A million different things can happen to change your perspective of the company or the job. Maybe the salary is low, but the opportunity for advancement (including raises) is through the roof. Or maybe what you’ve read and heard up to this point doesn’t do the company culture justice. There might even be another position open at the company that you’re better suited for.

The point?

You’ll never know if you don’t go to the interview.

As with any business engagement, it is of utmost importance that you act like the professional you are. Don’t flake, don’t convey your indifference, and don’t treat the interview lightly – word gets around.

And besides, the hiring manager is taking time out of his day to meet with you because he believes in your qualifications and cultural fit; why treat him with anything less than the respect he deserves?

Are there any reasons you can think of to say no to a job interview?


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16 comments

  1. I support this from both sides of the desk: the interviewer and the candidate. I agree that if you as a candidate know the commute is too far, the salary is below what you need, going in to interview IS a waste of everyone’s time. As the interviewer, I’m pre-screening candidates as to the reason for their search. I’m not often surprised by responses, but one in awhile, I’m blown away my one of those memorable answers “because I heard that people can wear jeans everyday”
    As a recruiter, I encourage every candidate to try to enjoy the conversation and remember that it’s a dialogue. It’s not just the company interviewing them, they’re interviewing the company as well. It’s a two-way street folks. I encourage candidates to ask the interviewer questions that are important to THEM to get a better sense of what it might be like to work for that person.
    At the end of the day, we (recruiters and hiring managers) don’t want to waste time, but I also don’t want to waste a candidate’s time.

  2. As a career coach in higher education settings, I can think of one specific reason to turn down an interview: when you have just accepted, and signed on the dotted line, for a new job, but decide to keep interviewing in hopes of getting another offer elsewhere and the reneging on the job you just accepted. Reneging is a great way to get yourself blacklisted from an employer, and can even result in your college being dropped from the company’s target school list. There are many ways to avoid this situation. Extending the decision deadline; telling other employers you are facing a deadline; asking to turn a job interview into an informational interview when you have just accepted another job. Reneging is just not an acceptable option in most circumstances.

  3. I agree.

    I’ve cold called candidates (passive and active) about positions that they would have never even considered or for companies they’ve never heard of. I convinced a candidate to come into an interview for a position that he thought he wouldn’t be interested in, but once he came into the office, saw the culture and environment, talked to the hiring manager about the day-to-day expectations and goals – he was 100% sold on the company and potential.

    Worked with a guy who went on a job interview to “practice” his interviewing skills. Ended up being offered the position, and promoted to the company’s corporate office within 6 months.

    You never know what can come out of that initial conversation. 1st interviews are always the discovery stage. They ask you questions about your experience and background, so you should ask questions about their culture, advancement opportunities, typical day-to-day, salary range, etc… You’re interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you, so use the 1st interview to find out as much as you need to know to make your decision. Get the interviewers contact information and follow up with additional questions if need be. By the time it gets to a 2nd interview (if it gets to that point) your mind should be made up. So if you decide to entertain the position at that point, it shows that you’re still interested and want the job. The 2nd interview should be a done deal pending salary negotiations and background. Any back and forth after the 2nd interview is when you begin to waste time. It’s okay to interview with a company, ask questions that are deal breakers or important to you, and let the interviewer know if it isn’t a good fit. We prefer that! But you could be doing yourself a huge injustice if you decide not to at least hear the interviewer out.

    My advice is to say yes to the interview. Ask questions. Think about the position. And move forward from there.

  4. Paolo De Fabritiis

    I agree that an interview is always an opportunity to know more about your industry and to build your professional network , but only if you are honest to declare your interest, from the beginning. People don’t like waste their time, and your interviewer should know how much and under which conditions you could be interested in ; in many cases the meeting will be confirmed, and you can start to build a fair relations for your future.

  5. Robert Charkovsky

    Points taken. Now I have a few reasons why you can say “No” to an interview request:

    1. If you are sure you would never accept a job there — because of employer location or any prior knowledge of the company you have — you are wasting the interviewer’s (and in many cases, multiple interviewers’) time.

    2. Any time spent (including preparation time) will distract you from your existing personal and professional responsibilities.

    3. The “interview” may actually be an attempt at corporate espionage to learn confidential information about your current company.

    4. In many fields, word gets around if you interview with a competitor, and your current employer may view your interview as an act of disloyalty.

    Constructively, before turning down an interview, I try to learn enough about the position to perhaps make a referral to someone in my circle who may be looking, and for whom the open position might be a better fit.

  6. A look back at the original article would be sagacious. It was not suggested that one accept an interview if one KNEW, definitively, that one would not accept a potential offer. I believe the verbiage used was “having second thoughts,” and the reasons provided for those second thoughts could very well be laid to rest (or confirmed) during an interview. We have to assume some level of interest in the job posted, for a candidate to have submitted his/her CV for consideration and to have received an interview request.

    Both Eugene and Laura point out legitimate reasons for a person to pursue and participate in the interviewing process. Laura is spot-on that it is incumbent upon the candidate to do his/her homework, making every effort to eliminate bad fits as much as it is in the candidate’s ability to do so. Beyond that, the onus is on the employer/recruiter to spell out clearly the responsibilities and requirements of the position. When the employer/recruiter is negligent in this regard, they have opened the door to interviewing folks who are unsure whether the position is a good fit. In this case, absolutely a candidate should pursue the interview and ask the questions not answered by the post, so that the candidate is able to eliminate the position as early as possible, if the candidate’s concerns are confirmed in the negative.

    For example, the title of the position may connote a lesser scope of responsibility than a candidate would like. However, during the interview process, the candidate is able to ascertain the elasticity of the position, or whether there is room for growth and advancement. Many candidates will accept the position and rely upon his/her performance and initiative to expand career opportunities within the organization. Perfectly legit, and if the candidate had not pursued the interview, an opportunity may have been lost – for both the candidate and the company. See the article author’s #6.

    P.S. Sarah – it was incumbent upon you to have thought out all of the ramifications of pursuing an interview with a company within your industry (I am perceiving that the “small community” description pertains to intra-industry), with your industry peers, when you had no intention of leaving your current position. (I am perceiving “better terms and more money” to indicate that you may have been using the interviewing process to leverage better terms and more money at your current place of employment. One assumes that you tossed your hat into the ring for a position in an organization you had researched and believed may be a good fit. If so, what reason did you have [and did you proffer] for not accepting better terms and more money?)

  7. We agree, always always always say yes! Interviewing is an art form and we don’t get nearly enough opportunities to practice it. There is no Google search which can substitute for the actual interview experience. From the outfit, to the handshake, to the tough questions – it’s all part of the dance. Whether or not you want this particular job is irrelevant. It’s about learning how to succeed at one of the most important conversations in your life.

  8. I agree .I always encourage our candidates to explore all viable interviews that employers have deemed them qualified for. The face-to-face also allows the candidate to dig deeper as far as role, cultural fit and other benefits that may be available. Think about it…millions of different things can happen to change your feelings about the company or the job. Maybe the starting salary is low, but the opportunity for advancement (including raises and benefits) is through the roof. What you’ve read and heard up to this point may not do the company culture justice. There might be another position open at the company that you’re better suited for. The benefits and other non-job related factors may be just what you are looking for. This is the most compelling reason to never pass up an interview – you never know what may be on the other side of that door.

    • There has to be compromise on both parties. If you work an 8 to 5…9 times out of 10 so does the interviewer. If the hiring manager agrees to stay late, or come in early to coordinate with your schedule, then you decide at the last minute you can’t make it…whose day was inconvenienced?

      Your refusal to be flexible shows a level of disinterest in the position and possible difficulty in the hiring process should a manager want to move forward with you. You have to compromise, especially if you’re interested.

      • Actually CiCi – not everyone can get time off of their current job to go to a job interview. That causes an uncomfortable situation where you must call in sick to go to an interview – which is lying to your current employer …

  9. Nick @ ayoungpro.com

    I 100% agree with this. This has been, and still is, part of my career strategy. I firmly believe that this is one of the things that allowed me to get a job during my last semester of college when most college students are struggling to get jobs.

  10. I agree with the Author. I always encourage our candidates to explore all viable interviews that employers have deemed them qualified for. The face-to-face also allows the candidate to dig deeper as far as role, cultural fit and other benefits that may be available. Think about it…millions of different things can happen to change your feelings about the company or the job. Maybe the starting salary is low, but the opportunity for advancement (including raises and benefits) is through the roof. What you’ve read and heard up to this point may not do the company culture justice. There might be another position open at the company that you’re better suited for. The benefits and other non-job related factors may be just what you are looking for. This is the most compelling reason to never pass up an interview – you never know what may be on the other side of that door.

  11. I also disagree. While it’s important to practice your interview skills, it’s a waste of time for a hiring manager when you interview for a position that you have no intention of accepting. It also takes an interview spot from someone who is interviewing in good faith. My advice would be to leverage your network and find someone with experience interviewing who can do a mock interview with you.

  12. Actually I disagree. I did this a few years ago: I had a job but decided to look around and this ended up with me being offered an interview. And then a second interview. And then they offered me better terms and more money to jump ship and work with them. When I didn’t I burned a few bridges in a very small community.

    So I caution people to be very careful when applying for jobs that they are sure that they are interested in working for that employer and definitely do not accept an interview if you are not willing to accept the job if offered.

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