Recently, a friend who left our company and became a contractor gave my name to a competitor when they decided to try to fill out their support team. I am happy where I am to some extent but always want to keep the feelers out so when he asked for my resume, I gave it to him to see how the MT resume looked to a hiring manager.

My friend said that the hiring manager was very excited (doing back flips were his exact words) about my qualifications and will be calling me tonight at home to set something up. The trouble is that I have reservations about 1) the company (BIG company but having troubles, layoffs etc) 2) the position (I don't want a lateral). I kind of feel like this :? about the opportunity. There is always the "Until you have something, you have nothing" thing as well, BUT.....

I have reviewed the interview casts and am practicing my greeting, handshake, preparing my flash cards and answers to the two big questions as we speak.

The question: Do I do the interview, knowing full well that I will probably NOT take this position? Is that even ethical? Do I just shut up, give it my best and close saying that I WANT an offer?

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I'd say do the interview. Practice never hurt anyone. Plus, they might really have something you're interested in.

But if you don't want an offer, I wouldn't close on it. That seems to cross the line a little.

TomW's picture
Training Badge

I would say to take the interview. I say that especially because that's what I'm doing tonight: taking an interview with a company I probably will not go with. At the very least, it's a little practice interviewing in a lowered-stress situation.

If at the end of the interview, you think you might actually want to go, ask for the offer. You don't have to accept it. If you are sure you would not accept any offer, I would certainly not try to close.

jhack's picture

And you can use the opportunity to ask good probing questions about how you would fit into the role/job. You might be pleasantly surprised.


WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

And, they know your status. You have a job you're not unhappy with; but it doesn't sound like you're in love either. They think they can woo you away. Let 'em try.

Again, I think your honesty and candor mean the most. If the recruiter doesn't know your situation, share it up front. There's no reason to dance around the truth here.

RichRuh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

If the company [b]knows[/b] you are unlikely to jump ship, and wants to try anyway, do the interview.

If you think you might be interested, do the interview.

But please don't do the interview for "practice." That's being disrespectful of their time (and by extension, money).

If I ever found that someone interviewed with my team for "practice"- I wouldn't throw out their resume. I'd save it, forever, in a "Do not hire- ever" file (yes, I have one. Only 2 people in it)


regas14's picture
Licensee Badge

Just be honest and forthcoming.

I would simply say, "I'm fairly happy with my current organization, but I am always interested in what else is happening around me in this industry. I think we should meet because I'd like to hear more about what you're doing and your view on the future of your firm and our industry. If through the course of that, we find out that I might be a good fit for your company and the direction you're heading, we can transition to a more specific discussion of the opportunities that exist. Does that seem reasonable to you?"

Either they'll say yes and simply approach it the same way as they would any other interview or they'll say yes and approach it in what ultimately might be a better way which will afford you the opportunity to get more information about the company, it's future and opportunities.

I don't think I would want to work for someone who would say no to the above or respond with, "Well if you're not going to say yes, I don't want to meet you."

vinnie2k's picture

[quote="regas14"]Just be honest and forthcoming.
Works every time 8)

asteriskrntt1's picture

You should take the interview. Just as they are not guaranteeing you a job for showing up, you don't guarantee that you will accept an offer.

Also, you never know what can shake out - the hiring manager might say "you know, I originally saw you in position x, but after meeting with you, I really think you would be a great fit for this new position we are thinking about." Wouldn't be the first time it happened.

A couple of other things. Someone mentioned not going for practice as it is a waste of the recruiters time or resources. One could argue that recruiters often do the same thing, sending in fillers who have no legit chance of getting an offer in order to make their preferred candidates look better. I don't think it is an issue. If someone wants to interview you, go for it. As I said above, you never know what can shake out.

And I think someone mentioned not closing. I would still close. People refuse offers all the time. In fact, M&M say it in the interview series. Close with every person you meet with - you don't have to accept.


corinag's picture

I'm in a somewhat similar situation, and after much thought, I've decided not to take the interview. I feel it is somewhat dishonest of me to have them spend two or more hours discussing with a candidate that's convinced they won't take the job.

But the key word there is "CONVINCED". I am convinced I won't take the job they have too offer, as it is too junior for me, and I know fairly certainly that they won't make an offer for a different position, because their procedures and corporate structure do not allow it.

Are you similarly convinced? If not, by all means go to the interview and be candid about your intent, and your reservations. If they make you a good, interesting offer, and persuade you that they're a fit, go for it. If not, you've at least seen where you are on the job market, and what others may require of a successful hire.

Best of luck whatever you decide.


AManagerTool's picture

Thanks everybody for the feedback.

I had a pleasant phone conversation with the hiring manager about the position. It turns out that he is in almost a parallel position as myself at our competitor and has been promoted. He is looking to back fill his position so it is basically a lateral. One positive over my current situation is that the position manages several sites. I have been looking for a more global opportunity.

I will be going for the interview and depending upon how I feel about the job after the interview, I will or will not close. As someone pointed out, closing on a job that you will not take is a bit dishonest although, I am dying to try it

What I hope to gain in any case is a network contact in the industry, some information about how other companies manage the same type of organization and interviewing experience. [i]Since I want to add this manager to my network, is there any advice that anyone can give me that might help me maintain a congenial relationship even if I do not take the job?[/i]

gilz's picture

I'm in ongoing interviews with 2 companies. I've passed 2 interviews with each. And I have a favorite.

But I have no offers from both yet. 1 more interview each this week, so I still have nothing. However, I do have my thoughts if there's some misleading the other company.

But then I remember that it is a good company. When I compare offers, or if my favorite path fails, it's a backup. Same with current employment - while I am on a job search, I don't know what will happen next week in my current company that may or not sway me.

I got to say something about the interview podcasts and practicing. First the podcasts are awesome, and came at the right time. And, I can't believe the way I interview today, from a few weeks back, when I interviewed myself in the car. My confidence level is way up, and I can convey more energy towards the recruiters.

So take the interview, for practice, or for back up or maybe you'll find a real opportunity you didn't expect.

Good luck!

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

If you go - go to get the offer. You won't know if it's an offer you'll accept, but you know right now there is a possibility. Go. Interview well...and close.

If you had no desire to consider it at all - I would say 'don't go'.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

If you ever feel that an interview is practice, it's a form of theft to go through with it.

If you are in an exploratory mode, and you see things you like, there's no reason not to go through with the offer.

I think if I heard what GR suggested, I'd probably lose interest in a candidate - it just seems a little too formal.

But if you go, I recommend you go after the offer. Reason: if you don't, you won't get it. It would be terribly disappointing to "explore" and then "discover" that you liked a firm...only to have them say no because you didn't light them up with desire for hiring you.

Until you have an offer, don't forget that the company is in control.


AManagerTool's picture

Well, all the dust has settled from this "opportunity" so I figured I'd report back. I went after it with gusto.....and I am still in my current position.

The interviews went like this:
1. Pre-interview - Interviewer says that the position will need to be regraded so that I can come in as a manager to back fill his position. Interviewer asks if I'd be willing to come in and interview as an engineer until that occurs. I responded honestly, "No, I am currently the manager of a very successful department and have no intention of going back to engineering". Interviewer says, "OK then, prepare your seminar with a management topic and interview like it was a management position. We are really interested in you."
1. Prepared a seminar and presented it to staff
2. Staff interviews from the seminar material and my resume. All the while, they were under the impression that I was interviewing for an engineering position. That seemed to be what stuck in their throats. "Why is this guy talking about how he manages people when he is interviewing for a staff position?" Apparently, the exiting manager failed to notify his staff that I was interviewing to replace him....Or so he said.....DANGLE. I did NOT close because there was no WAY I was taking that job.
3. I sent thank you notes to everyone and called back the hiring manager immediately after the interview to thank him directly. I told him that I was no longer interested in the position and politely thanked him for the opportunity and if conditions changed in the future, I would be interested in hearing about it.

I think I did the right thing. I smelled a rat or at the very least, a serious lack of consideration and respect. I believe that it's just as important to interview and judge the company that I will be working for as it is to make a good impression. What do you think?

ramiska's picture

[quote]I believe that it's just as important to interview and judge the company that I will be working for as it is to make a good impression. What do you think?[/quote]

Absolutely. Job hunts are about seeking a good fit. I always see the interview as my chance to ask "Are they good enough for me?"

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Okay, sounds like everybody got what they wanted.

A cautionary note: it's jsut so EXCEPTIONALLY rare that a company is intentionally showing a lack of consideration or respect. Chalk it up to clumsiness, please.



Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

It's NOT just as important to "judge" the company as it is to get an offer, WHILE INTERVIEWING.

This is one of the top 5 strategic mistakes that interviewees make.

there are two parts to job searches: Getting offers, and then Taking offers. You cannot do the latter without the former, and if you spend a little too much time trying to decide whether you like them or not, and in the process are not focused sufficiently on selling (this happens ALL THE TIME), you never get the offer, and all your thinking ...


Maybe you're good enough that you always have room to spare in your brain to be making those calculations. But I see hundreds every year who are not, but would have gotten an offer had they focused.

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched, or don't complain when you don't have chickens.


ramiska's picture

[quote]This is one of the top 5 strategic mistakes that interviewees make.

At least I'm in the top five! :D

You're right, it's not AS important. It is, however, the only time most people get inside the walls of a new company. Take notes (mental or otherwise) and make the calculations at home.

I did once turn down a job, before getting an offer, during an interview. The job tuned out not to be what I had expected and I did not want to waste anyone's time. I was respectful and sent a thank-you note after all. I think he appreciated it.