Going in for an interview for a job I'm not sure I want
May 30, 2014 4:03 AM   Subscribe

I have been asked to come in for a job interview at a company I have interviewed at before. They have since hired someone else for the position, but have asked me to come in for a similar job as the work load has increased. For a number of reasons, I'm not sure I will be interested in the position, but I want to hear them out and I want to keep these connections in the future. Is there anything I should keep in mind or do to to ensure that it goes well?

The reasons I don't think I will be interested in the position are:

1. The pay is pretty low
2. The job is only temporary until the two guys I would be working for can prove to their bosses that the work will be consistent.
4. I have a better paying very fulfilling temporary job in the same field that I am somewhat confident will become a full time job in a month or two.

The reasons I want to come in for the interview, even though I am skeptical about the position:

1. My skills are in content creation (writing, audio/video production) and web content management and I am taking programming classes. I am interviewing in the web department of a corporate magazine publisher that is often hiring. I really want to have a connection with these guys in the future and make sure they know how I am developing.
2. I really like the guys I am interviewing with. I got along with them very well last time we met and am looking forward to meeting with them again.

I want them to know what I am doing and how I am developing. I also want them to know I am very interested in the company in general. How do I do this without coming off as opportunistic or a waste of their time?
posted by coreywilliam to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is it difficult for you to go to the interview anyway? If not, you might as well go; you can tell them that you're interested in the job but that you can't reasonably take a pay cut and a temporary job over your current situation.
posted by katrielalex at 4:08 AM on May 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tell them the truth. Explain your situation and why you want to keep the door open with them, etc. If they are reasonable people, they'll match your salary requirements or understand why you have to turn them down.
posted by pracowity at 4:13 AM on May 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

You can never have too much practice interviewing for jobs. And part of interviewing is to figure out if you want the job. You interview, decide you don't want it, and tell them so politely. It's not a big deal.
posted by COD at 4:51 AM on May 30, 2014 [8 favorites]

I would have told them on the phone exactly what you've written above. This way neither of you are wasting your time. Interviewers are people and they will totally understand where you're coming from. You won't get blackballed for saying no, if the company is run by good people with common sense.

"Gosh, while I'd love to work with you, given that this position is temporary I can't really consider it, however, please keep me in mind for any future permanant positions."

Now, is it something that you might be able to do part-time in your off-hours on a freelance basis? If so, counter-propose that to them in the interview, that way you're working with these people, you're getting some dough on the side and building up experience.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:02 AM on May 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

One of the most helpful experiences in my life was interviewing for a job I really didn't want.
posted by Benjy at 5:18 AM on May 30, 2014

I should clarify that I am definitely going in for the interview. Just wanted to make sure I handle it well.
posted by coreywilliam at 5:21 AM on May 30, 2014

I would tell them exactly what you've told us. Keep in mind, an interview is a two way street: you are interviewing them as well and want to see what they can do for you (such as coming up on salary).
posted by J. Wilson at 6:44 AM on May 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

I also want them to know I am very interested in the company in general. How do I do this without coming off as opportunistic or a waste of their time?

I am giving your question a go because I think that part of your question has not been answered, which is how to keep in contact and continuously keep in contact pending a probable "not a good fit at this time" position.

First, I am going to reiterate what everyone else basically said above: It is an interview, and there is not way for either party to know that they should work together in the future without first having the interview. So you are going with knowing that you like the team and like what they do. You have their desired job skills. But it is not an obligation to take the job right now, nor are they obligated to hire you right now.

So during the interview, people typically hand out business cards. Collect this and/or ask the question (for people you connect well with) if you can get contact info for any followup questions.

If a job offer comes from this, you can use your current position to negotiate. "I loved the team, I love the product, I see it as a great opportunity, but I am currently making X dollars here and this is likely to turn into a permanent position in 2 months. But I am very interested in your position." Then stay silent and often, they change something in the offer. So you may get what you want.

But let's say that they can't negotiate, but you had a great interview.

You followup a week later or 2 weeks later with a brief email. "It was a pleasure meeting with you. As you know, the job is not a good fit for me at this time, but I would really like to keep in contact in the future." Invite them to connect on LinkedIn if that is done in your industry. IF there email response is positive, every few months you can check in with industry appropriate material. "Hey, I will be going to widget conference. Will you be there and do you want to catch up."

Also saying this as a freelancer, but this may skew my perspective. If you have a good rapport, mutually respect one another, I think that it would be perfect appropriate a yr or 2 years from now to proactively approach them with an email "I met you on x/x/xxxx date for an interview and at conference Y. I am looking for a job at the moment and just completed 1,2,3 credentials. Do you know of any positions at your company or a colleague's company? If not, now worries, and blah blah blah cordial pleasantries."
posted by Wolfster at 10:06 AM on May 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

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