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No matter where you are in your job search – getting called for your very first interview, or you think you’ll get an offer this week for a different role – it’s always beneficial for you to say yes to an interview if you’re asked to have one.

Same goes for if you’re called to interview for a job you’re not 100% sure you will want. I still recommend taking an interview, for a couple of reasons:

Practice Makes Perfect

Interviewing, like all skills, takes practice in order to become proficient.  If you’ve been employed for a number of years and haven’t had the opportunity to interview for a different job, your skills are likely rusty.  It’s always a good idea to practice with friends or other connections before taking an interview.  And those times when you’re asked to interview for a position that you don’t necessarily want or you think you’ve already found a different job you’re going to get?  View them as valuable practice time to hone your interviewing craft.

In fairness to my recruiter colleagues, though, I’ll say this – if you KNOW you’re not interested in a job and you keep getting called back for more interviews, it may be courteous to explain that you don’t think it’s a fit instead of leading on a potential employer by continuing to accept interviews.

You Never Know What Might Happen

I’m always surprised when a candidate “no shows” for an interview – it’s incredibly damaging for his or her reputation and you can bet it will impact whether we consider them for any position in the future.  If you decide not to take an interview, for whatever reason, let the recruiter know beforehand.  You never know when a company might post a position that you actually want instead or when that particular recruiter might leave and work at a company you’ve been dying to join.

Don’t burn any bridges!

Also, if you think another position might be a done deal and don’t want to waste your time interviewing for something else, you never know if that company might go on a hiring freeze, or your offer falls through for whatever reason.  It’s a good idea to get as many jobs in the mix as you can while you’re on a job search.

Don’t limit yourself – use each interview as an opportunity to better yourself and hone your job search craft.

Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt
Catherine Schmidt is Purple Ink’s Director of Client Services and is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Catherine has a special interest in career coaching and recruiting and finds joy when she can connect the right person to the right opportunity.

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