Five things you should know before accepting a job interview

05 February 2018 - 07:00 By jill young schutte
123RF/Andriy Popov.
123RF/Andriy Popov.
Image: 123RF

In terms of recruitment etiquette, when you send out your CV, you’re shopping around, when you accept an interview, you’re serious about potentially taking the job and when you accept an offer, you must be 100% certain you want it.

If you’re not serious about wanting the job, you’ll end up wasting the interviewers’ time. Do this a few times and you could end up with a bad reputation, and soon, your interviews could dry up. Not to mention, you’re wasting your own time too!

If you accept a job offer and then don’t follow through with it, this is serious. It means the company has not only wasted time interviewing and assessing you but they’ve probably have had to wait some time for you to be able to start working there and now they have to start all over again. This could mean a loss of 2-3 months for a company. When time is money, this is a lot to lose. Never do this!

To avoid this problem in the first place, make sure you only apply (send your CV in) for relevant positions. But if you overlooked anything during the application process, make sure you pick this error up before you accept an interview.

Use this checklist to help you decide if you should go through with the interview:

  1. Scrutinise the job specification in the advert. Is it what you really want to do?
  2. Do you tick the boxes? If the company is looking for someone with a car, for example, and you don’t have a car, be sure to mention this when the person is setting up the interview with you.
  3. Are you happy with the benefits advertised? You may be able to negotiate one or two minor things with your future employer, but they won’t be able to make any significant changes to the salary package just because you’re sitting down in front of them for your interview. Be sure the salary bracket and the benefits are something you can work with from the word go.
  4. Are the conditions right? You’ll spend at least eight hours per day, five days a week doing that job, make sure it’s what you want to do. Research the company on the internet to help you make this decision.
  5. Can you see growth opportunities? Is the company big enough to allow for individual growth, does the website portray a professional image?
    If you’re sure about these points, then accept the interview because you’ll be in a good position to understand how you’ll be able to contribute to the business’ growth, how you’ll fit in to the structure and what the corporate culture is like.

If you find yourself thinking, ‘I don’t think I’d enjoy this or this isn’t for me’, rather cancel the interview politely – don’t just not pitch.