I was just starting my job search, so I was excited to get interview requests after submitting my resume. While the majority of employers were great, I want to focus on employer B.
Employer B started the interview process with, “Please come in for an interview at XYZ time.” I was a little concerned that I wasn’t asked if that worked, or given options, but since my day was open at that time, I arranged childcare and happily accepted the time slot.
On the day of the interview with Employer B, I walked into the reception area where two other candidates were waiting and realized that they were doing batch interviews. One of the people ahead of me was called back 15 minutes after my scheduled time, so I could tell they were behind. Even though I wasn’t notified I was forgiving about it, understanding that things come up and that, sometimes, interviews run long and time gets away from us. After 35 minutes I asked for an update, and it was an hour after my scheduled appointment before I was called back.
Sitting in the waiting room, watching the interactions between employees, gave me time to observe and learn. When my name was finally called to interview, I was no longer as excited as I once was. I was concerned, they left me feeling unappreciated, and the atmosphere in the office wasn’t a positive one. My hope dropped and my enthusiasm for the job waned as I realized I didn’t really want to work for this employer.
I almost walked out, but instead, I decided to use this experience to learn from… here are a few lessons that I thought would help others.
First Impressions Are Really Important: Practice Makes Improvement
Even though I was “just” a candidate waiting and preparing, I was also observing interactions in the company. This was my opportunity to see if the environment was where I wanted to spend the majority of my week. Getting there early, and having extra time, gave me insight into how the organization treated others. My impression was negative, my gut was telling me that this isn’t the right job for me, so I resigned myself to make the best of a bad situation and practice my interview skills without the pressure. I had already made up my mind about working for them before I sat in front of their interviewer…but I almost changed my mind because he was courteous and professional.
A Little Consideration Goes a Long Way, So Be Courteous
As with any relationship, personal or professional, appreciation and communication go a long way. While giving full details is not necessary, when things do not go as planned, it is important to keep people informed and give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this job isn’t the right one, don’t burn the bridge by being inconsiderate. Continue communications until you are 100% sure about what you are going to do. Don’t GHOST or be rude to the employees, they are doing the best they can.
You Don’t Have To Accept A Job, Just Because You Got An Offer
You are a job seeker, the company is an employer, and BOTH parties have to agree prior to starting a job. Going to an interview, or continuing the interview, doesn’t mean you are LOCKED into that job. You do not have to accept the first offer. This isn’t like the military where you have to accept whatever assignment you get, you can negotiate or hold out for a better position.
Trust your GUT: Know Where You’re Valued
It isn’t always easy to recognize your value, especially if you are in the middle of a tumultuous job hunt. It is better to find a reputable employer, who offers a fair wage and environment for you to work in. If you feel like there is something “off” about what they are offering you, DO RESEARCH, and think carefully before getting yourself into a bad situation.
It is currently a jobseeker’s market, meaning that there are more open jobs than people to fill them. I know that it isn’t always possible to be selective due to financial constraints... but I hope that you don’t feel like you have to accept an offer just because it’s there. Accept an offer if you can see yourself fitting happily into that workplace, and where your time and talents are appreciated. If you feel like you need help with finding a job you would be happy in, practicing your interview skills or even just general guidance through the job hunt process you can sign up for one-on-one services with our dedicated employment specialists here.
Written by: Zaneta Padilla