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Should you be interviewed for a job you don't want? Recruiter says...

This article is more than 12 months old

When you are eager to find a job, it is only natural to panic and mass-blast out your resume hoping the numbers will skew in your favour.

But what happens when you actually get called down for an interview, only to realise you don't actually want the job after all?

While a situation like this might be uncomfortable, especially if you don't want to offend any prospective employers, it's not exactly uncommon.

So what are the best practices when it comes to a situation like this?

Should you still go ahead and interview just to scope out the situation in person? Or should you respectfully decline so as to save everyone's time?

We speak to Mr Kevin Matthews on what you should do in such cases. He is an experienced recruiter with 15 years in talent acquisition as well as managing director of KR Partners and founder and chief executive of Candid-Intel, a start-up utilising the power of block chain that will transform the way talent is acquired.

I mass sent out many applications during my job search, and am now being called in for jobs that may not be the most suitable for me. Is it still worth taking the meeting?

Firstly, it is probably not a good idea to mass apply for jobs during your job search.

I would advise you to get into the habit of being targeted, as you will achieve better results that way.

Now that you have got yourself in a bit of a bind with so many requests, do not panic.

Go through each job that requested an interview and analyse three things before declining to attend:

  • Does the company or position match your current needs or aspirations? If your answer is no, respectfully decline with a short e-mail. If it is a yes, attend the interview to find out firsthand what they have to offer and then evaluate whether you would like to proceed further.
  • lAre you sure you are overqualified or not suitable for the position? If you answer yes, what is this based on? The job description or friends' advice? If the job description says they are looking for two years' experience and you have seven, then skip it.
  • Is there anything you can learn from the interview? The answer should be "I can always learn something new". Remember that a job interview is not the same as a job offer. Interviewing, even if you are unsure about the position or the company, can provide opportunities to practise your interpersonal and interviewing skills.

I was presented with a job offer and accepted it just before I was about to go for another interview. This interview was already set up prior to the offer. Should I still take the meeting?

Decline the interview and move on. We all love to be wanted, but sometimes you have to know when it's time to focus on the wonderful opportunity you have at hand. Running around the city and interviewing without a purpose is exhausting.

I've received multiple offers during my job hunt. Is this something I need to let a hiring manager know about? Or is it better to keep this information to myself?

You are under no obligation to disclose whether you have been offered other job opportunities.

It is best to keep the information to yourself until you can gauge interest or compare offers. The hiring process is a bit like poker, so remember not to reveal your hand too early.

I've decided that the position is really not a right fit for me. How do I politely decline the interview?

E-mail is the preferable choice as many people are not comfortable declining an offer via the phone or face to face.

It's important to remember to remain courteous in the e-mail. Don't be arrogant.

Though you may have declined this opportunity, there could be future opportunities with the company or hiring manager that you want to be considered for.

It is advisable to remain professional and polite in your correspondence as it will leave a lasting impression.

This article was f irst published in Her World Online (