Interviewing For A Job You Don’t Want? Top Reasons You Should Turn Up Anyway


It’s easy to get carried away when you’re in the midst of a job search. Before you know it, you’ve submitted your CV for a role you’re not interested in. Another common scenario is when applying through recruitment agencies: Any minor miscommunication can result in finding you’re interviewing for a job you don’t want. While your instinct may be to decline the invitation politely, here are eight reasons you should turn up anyway.

8 Reasons To Show Up To An Interview For a Job You Don’t Want

You Can Never Get Enough Interview Practice

Every job interview is a chance to practice answering questions and honing your interview skills. That said, why wait until your idea of the perfect job comes along to practice your interview skills? Interviewing for jobs you don’t want gives you the chance to develop your skills without blowing your chances of landing your dream job.

Lady holds her hands to her temples in front of the interview panel
Job interviews can be stressful but the more practice you have, the easier they get. So it makes sense to practice your interview skills on jobs you’re really not that bothered about.

It Might Not be What it Seems

They do say you should never judge a book by its cover. So, upon reading the job description, you may assume that this vacancy isn’t for you. Although you may find after having a conversation with the hiring manager, receiving a tour of the building and meeting the team, you might see that there is more to it than you initially thought.

Writing compelling adverts is rarely a hiring manager’s primary strength, rather something they do because they must. The resulting job descriptions can, therefore, often be dry and lacking in enthusiasm.

You May Find Out About About More Suitable Opportunities

Companies are often hiring for multiple vacancies at the same time. We often see instances where candidates interview for one job and receive a job offer for a more suited role to their skill set. Therefore, by declining the interview invitation, you may be closing yourself off to more suitable opportunities.

Checking the company website before you meet with them can reveal what other opportunities are available. However, there may be vacancies in the pipeline that the company is not yet officially hiring for.

Get Inside The Head of a Hiring Manager

The more interviews you attend, the more you will learn about what impresses hiring managers about your skills and experience. Conversely, any post-interview feedback may provide valuable insight into what’s not worth wasting time discussing.

These insights can give you a massive advantage over competing interviewees when preparing for the interview that matters most.

Join Their Talent Pool

Every company worth working for uses talent pooling as part of its long term recruitment strategy. To give an example of how this works, let’s consider a common scenario. Let’s say you accept an interview invitation for a company that’s a fantastic place to work. However, throughout the meeting, it becomes apparent that this role is not for you. If the hiring manager likes you, they will want to add you to their talent pool.

However, once you’re in their system, any positions future vacancies that match your skillset should flag up with the hiring manager. When this happens, candidates often find themselves being the only candidate in the running for that vacancy.

As companies grow and develop their employer brand, they attract more quality candidates for every job. Therefore, getting your CV noticed and securing an interview becomes more difficult. Take Google, for example. Once upon a time, in 1996, they were a small company called BackRub. How much demand do you think there was to work for them back then? Now, if you search Google for ‘how to get a job at Google‘ you will find about 3.7 billion results!

Grow Your Network

Interviewing for a job you don’t want gives you the chance to get inside the company and meet people you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to. Using the interview as a networking opportunity gives you the chance to make new connections. You never know when your paths might cross in future, thus opening the doors to opportunities that might otherwise have been closed to you.

Clarify Your Career Goals

Sometimes, what’s most important to us does not become apparent until we rule out unsuitable options. So while you may not accept this job in a million years, attending an interview you’re unsure about may help you get clarity on what matters most.

Having this knowledge can open your eyes to career paths that may not previously have been apparent. As a result of your experience, you may also ask more insightful questions in interviews and increase your chance of success.

Interviewing for a job you don't want like this lady looking at her phone in confusion
Whether or not to attend an interview can cause some confusion but turning up anyway may provide some unexpected clarity.

Use The Offer To Attain Your Goals

If you’re serious about your next career move, you’re likely interviewing for several positions at once. If not, you should be! The reason for this is that if you’re lucky enough to receive multiple offers, it gives you more bargaining power to command the salary you’re seeking.

Alternatively, let’s say your ideal position exists within a company that has a slow recruitment process. Informing them that you have an offer with a competitor can speed up their decision-making.

A Few Final Thoughts on Attending Interviews for Jobs You Don’t Really Want

Talking ourselves out of doing things we’re unsure about is only natural, especially when facing a potentially stressful situation. However, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone can open the door to opportunities we may otherwise miss out on.

In our experience, we have never heard a candidate say that an interview was a waste of time and they wish they had never gone.

We hope this article has given you food for thought and opened your mind to, well… keeping an open mind! If you found this article useful, please share it on social media where it can help others.



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