The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

August 17, 2016

The Case for Accepting a Job Interview When You’re Uncertain about the Role

Unless you’re completely enthralled by a job opportunity, you should not accept the interview. Right or wrong?

Wrong—to a point. It depends if you are merely uncertain or opposed entirely. Valid reasons for outright opposition include an impossibly long commute, a strong disinterest in the industry, financial instability within the company, or responsibilities that are far below your competency.

On the other hand, you may feel uncertain because you’re not thrilled about the position title, because the salary is slightly lower than desired, or because the company’s products or services are not particularly exciting to you.

Sometimes you’ll be pleasantly surprised in this situation. Here are a few examples of how interviewing when you’re uncertain can work to your advantage.

Culture Shock – In a Good Way

You could develop instant rapport with the hiring manager/team and an affinity for the company culture in general. This is information that you can’t possibly gauge from a job description or even a company website. Sometimes you need to be in the actual work environment—face-to-face with the team—to legitimately assess the opportunity.

Sharpen Your Skills

Any job interview provides a chance to practice your interviewing skills. This certainly does not mean you should take every job interview request that comes your way, but, by selectively accepting meetings that are at least somewhat promising, you’ll boost your confidence in verbally presenting your skills and accomplishments to a prospective employer.

Refine Your Job Search Criteria

Get a better understanding of your job search criteria by seeing firsthand what’s out there. Yes, there’s definitely a possibility that the job about which you’re uncertain actually is not a fit for your personality and professional objectives, but you’ll obtain a clearer understanding of what you don’t like and need to eliminate from your search going forward.

Network and Make New Connections

Any job interview is an opportunity to meet new people and build new contacts within your field/industry. An extended conversation with the hiring manager other employees about your professional backgrounds and theirs creates the foundation for a strong business networking relationship. While the specific company might not be right for you, the people you meet there are possible bridges to other roles.

The Big Picture

Even if you’re not jumping up and down about a job opportunity, you still need to behave as though you are—full preparation, research on the company leadership/history, and intelligent questions. Though the job may be wrong in the end, see the interview through and give it a chance. Otherwise, you are wasting your time, wasting the employer’s time, and damaging your reputation

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