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Are You Burning These Bridges When You Interview?

Every so often we come across job seekers that start the interview process with a prospective employer but end up dropping out with no explanation.  Although we understand self-interest is point of changing jobs, the slightest lack of professionalism could haunt your opportunities down the road.

What Not to Do

Say  you’ve arranged an interview through a recruiter but realize you’re not ready to change jobs.  So you decide last minute to cancel with no explanation or even worse, simply don’t show up.  You’ve just demonstrated your professionalism and critical thinking skills.  This also goes with accepting counter-offers (a subject of its own).  If you accept an offer and are then lured back to your current employer, then you’ve wasted everyone’s time and indicated you were not truthful to yourself and the prospective employer about your candidacy.  Although rare, we’ve seen candidates go as far as accepting a job, then emailing us the night before their first day, that they’ve accepted a counter-offer and will not be showing up the next morning.

Unforeseen Consequences

Say you liked the company, but the timing just wasn’t right when you interviewed and you weren’t professional about dropping out.  If an opportunity at the same company surfaces down the road that you’re now interested in, then your previous actions may have blacklisted you from applying.  Another thing to consider is the IT community is smaller than you may think.  We’ve seen situations where one of the interviewers you previously “burned”, changed jobs to a company you’re now applying for.  If s/he remembers you, then it could be trouble for your candidacy.

The point here is no one can fault you for turning down an offer or interview for logical reasons.  However your level of professionalism can directly affect your reputation now and down the road.  If you bail on a job opportunity through a recruiter, most likely the employer with vent her frustration on the headhunter but the two will move forward.  Your actions, however will be remembered and there is a chance you will run into these people again.  Protect your reputation by keeping the utmost professionalism when interviewing.


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