Going on job interviews is time consuming and also relatively stressful, particularly if you’re doing it while you’re already employed. For this reason, many people are hesitant to go on an interview unless they’re positive that they’re excited about the opportunity they’re headed to talk about. However, there are certainly some benefits to attending an interview, even if you’re not totally sold on the job opening. They include:
Honing your interview skills
Interviewing is nerve-wracking for even the most confident person. Any time you get a chance to practice doing it, take it. When you interview for a job you’re not desperately hoping to get, you can practice interviewing without the pressure of saying exactly the right thing. This way, when you’re in a situation where you really do want to get the job, you’ll feel better prepared.
You may find that you actually really do want the position
Perhaps the company’s website fell flat or the job description was bland, which led you to believe that you weren’t enthused about the opportunity. When you actually show up, you may realize that the job really is a great fit. Had you gone simply off of first impressions, you could have missed out on the potential for a new role you’re excited about.
You’ll learn about what hiring managers are looking for
Even if it turns out the position isn’t a great fit, you’ll get to do your own research about what hiring managers are looking for. What kinds of questions did they ask you during the interview? What portions of your resume did they seem to focus on? Use this information to shape your cover letters going forward and future interview discussions.
You’ll figure out what you are and aren’t looking for
As you go out on more interviews, you’ll get a better sense of what you’re looking for in a job. What matters to you the most, salary or company culture? Do you want to be in a big office or a smaller one? What area of town would you like to work in? You may have an idea in your mind when you begin the job search process, but this could change when you actually begin interviewing. Even if the job opening turns out to not be for you, the process can still be a highly valuable learning experience.
Job interviewing is also a form of networking. Say you meet a hiring manager you really hit it off with. Perhaps the position she’s got open isn’t for you, but in six months she leaves and heads to a new company. Down the road, she may end up calling you for an open job there that’s just what you’ve been hoping to find. You never know who you might meet when you’re out interviewing.