5 Reasons You Should Never Turn Down an Interview
By Brandon Miller
Monster Generation Y Contributing Writer
It seems like fate. The second you start a new job or find some sort of consistency in your career will be the exact same time that a new opportunity comes your way. It’s cosmically inexplicable as to why those interviews call at the most inopportune moments, but that doesn’t mean that they should be ignored.
Though you might be satisfied with your current situation, or if the position doesn’t seem right at first glance, here are five reasons why you should never pass on an interview.
1. It is an opportunity to practice your game face.
No matter how many practice interview questions your mommy asks you, she’s never going to be able to simulate the real deal. All interviews are great opportunities in that they place us in high pressured situations and force us to stand on our own two feet under pressure. So whether you want the particular job you are interviewing for or not, use the occasion to practice staying calm under stress and make a note of the sort of questions you should be looking out for.
2. You can contrast and compare with your current situation.
Before I interned at my first magazine, I thought that all magazines looked like the set of Ugly Betty and all magazine editors resembled Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Granted, some editors are quite witchy and do spend an insurmountable amount of time shielded behind dark sunglasses, but many are quite lovely people. My interview experiences have led me into the offices of all sorts of different publications – large and small, local and national, niche and wide-ranging.
The great thing about going out on interviews is that you get the chance to observe new surroundings. In order to make excellent career decisions, you need to be armed with great perspective, and that includes being able to compare your current situation with other possible alternatives.
3. It allows you to put yourself on the company’s radar.
A good impression can last a very long time. That’s why it’s crucial not to pass up any interview opportunities. So what if you just started a great job and aren’t really looking anymore? If things at that job should turn sour, you will be thankful that you made a dazzling appearance the last time you were on the market. Recruiters remember resumes and files infinitely better when they come along with mental pictures of a face and some semblance of a personality. Always aim to knock their socks off.
4. This might be your dream position.
In the same vein of not judging a book by its cover, we should not judge a career opportunity by its Monster.ca posting. An interview is your chance to delve really deep with your questions and find out what the position is all about. It may have all sorts of responsibilities attached to it that you neglected to realize. Or perhaps there are major perks like shorter work weeks, summer hours, or the ability to work from home. You will never know unless you ask.
5. There might be other opportunities available.
There is no one more informed about newly available positions than human resources personnel. If you blow them away in your initial interview, it’s very likely that they will keep you in mind for future openings. And there’s always a chance that there’s already something vacant that is more in line with your interests and long-term goals.
A few things NOT to do:
Do not express disinterest in the job. This seems self-explanatory, but not everyone uses common sense under pressure. In order to stay in the interviewers good graces (and so that you do not make them feel like they are wasting their time), communicate an interest in the given position but also mention that you’d like to be kept in mind for future opportunities.
Do not stand an interviewer up. The only thing worse than showing up and having a bad interview is not showing up at all. If you do decide to skip out on the experience, a simple phone call keeps things polite and ensures that you aren’t put on some sort of watch-list. I remember that a recruiter once told me that she e-mailed the names of “no show, no call” interviewees to all of her contacts. Don’t be that person.
Do not make snap judgments. Try not to judge a potential interview based on something like a friend’s experience at a company or in a similar position. This is your career and you need to take your own path.