We have all been there, you go into an interview excited about the potential opportunity, and as the interviewer starts explaining the position in more detail, you soon realize that the position is not a good fit for you at all. You may feel like just getting up and walking out of the interview, but here a few things you can do instead.
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Ask questions. Even if you feel like the job is not a good match for you, engage in conversation and ask specific questions to verify that the position won’t be a good fit.
Be polite. Don’t become distracted or make yourself appear disinterested. Even if you’re sure you won’t accept the job offer (if it’s offered), always respect the interviewer and leave a good impression. You never know if you’ll be interviewing with them again for a different position. Think of this interview as a networking opportunity. The interviewer might be likely to refer you to other departments or other professionals in your field.
Be honest. It’s important to be upfront, but maintain professional. Explain why the position may not be a good fit for you, you never know, some of the aspects you don’t like about the job or company can be changed. Don’t feel the need to apologize for not wanting the position, give the impression that you’re doing them a favor by being upfront.
Ask about other positions. If you like the company but you’re not too crazy about the position, it’s okay to inquire about other positions within the company or opportunities to cross-train in other areas that may interest you.
Don’t give unsolicited advice. If you don’t like some of the company’s practices or policies, it is not your place to suggest they do something different to suite your tastes and preferences; you can however mention the type of environment or company you would like to work in.
Allow the interview to end naturally. When you have become certain that that both the position and company are not a good fit for you, then allow the interview to end naturally. Don’t rush out. You can even provide them with names in your professional network that may be a good fit for the position.
Stay positive. It is important to stay positive both while you’re in the interview and once it’s over. Do not go home and post anything negative about the company online, you never know if a future potential employer might find out later on.
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