Why would I take an interview for a job I don’t think I want?

From time to time I find myself in a situation where an interview has surfaced and it appears from what I know about the job it may not be the right match for my candidate.  So, why do I recommend in certain cases, even encourage the candidate to take the interview and “ Why is this in anyone’s best interest?”

There are several reasons to consider taking this interview (even if it’s not the right match).

Let’s start with the subject of “how do we come to know what the company is looking for and what is the job the candidate is interviewing for?”

First, a company typically assesses and determines the hiring needs within certain departments.  Next, it is usually up to the hiring manager to write a job description in order to market the position to the public.  Managers in successful companies have very busy schedules and do their best to outline the most important features of the job. Of course in this competitive workplace, companies can’t offer all the specifics of what they are doing and why.   Being on the outside you think you know what the job entails but unless you go in, meet with the hiring manager, it’s almost impossible to assess the whole picture.  Without a face to face interview, you can’t fully assess the job, the potential for your symbiosis with the group or what the potential for promotion or growth there could be, thus, you can end up as an “unadvertised special!”

We’ve seen candidates who have interviewed for a job and the hiring manager is really excited about them.  However, there are cases when the candidate is not right for that specific job opening but companies often don’t want to let this great candidate go, so their answer is to create a job that would fit the candidate’s expertise. A company can’t create a job for you if you don’t have the opportunity to go in and show them your value.

You can take advantage of the dynamic situations within companies.

Companies are changing constantly. We have no way of knowing who is thinking about leaving any firm but we do know that employees are constantly coming and going. This is normal as everyone has both professional and personal reasons to move on. Going into a company and interviewing can put you in a unique position to take advantage of an unexpected change. You would be first in line for that new opening that no one outside the firm would have the chance to interview for.

Making new contacts

Too often people view the interview as a one dimensional meeting. “Do I want this job or not?” is often the only question that is considered….. What about the idea of making new contacts. Again, we’ve seen these meetings turn into positive opportunities, sometimes many months after the original interview a candidate will get a call.  Again, people are always taking advantages of new job opportunities and you can’t even begin to predict where that hiring manager will be over the lifetime of his or her career. Expanding your network is a key benefit here.

I would like to add that there are often times when constraints or timing does not allow you to take an interview that you feel is more informational than on target, which is understandable. This post is directed to the times where we can take the interview and should, despite your initial impression.

It’s almost impossible to fail when you simply do your best and remain open minded, it can open up possibilities that you may have never had the opportunity to pursue.